Veteranclaims’s Blog

December 2, 2010

Agent Orange, Nehmer VA Training Letter

For those interested in what the VA has issued as the training guide for the re-adjudication under Nehmer, see the web page linked below.

Full Web Page at: Training Guide for the readjudication of Claims for Ischemic Heart
Disease (IHD), Parkinson‟s Disease (PD), Hairy Cell Leukemia (HCL) and other
Chronic B-cell Leukemias, and other Diseases Under Nehmer

Page 1
Veterans Benefits Administration
Washington, DC 20420
June 14, 2010
Director (00/21)

In Reply Refer To: 211A
All VA Regional Offices
Training Letter 10-04

SUBJ: Training Guide for the readjudication of Claims for Ischemic Heart
Disease (IHD), Parkinson‟s Disease (PD), Hairy Cell Leukemia (HCL) and other
Chronic B-cell Leukemias, and other Diseases Under Nehmer

On October 13th, 2009, Secretary Shinseki announced his intent to establish
presumptive service connection for IHD, PD, and HCL for Veterans who served
in the Republic of Vietnam. This decision was based on the Institute of
Medicine‟s seventh biennial update, “Veterans and Agent Orange: Committee to
Review the Health Effects in Vietnam Veterans and Exposure to Herbicides.”
Under the court order of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of
California (the “Court”) in Nehmer v. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, 712 F.
Supp. 1404, 1409 (N.D. Cal. 1989), VA must readjudicate previously denied
claims for IHD, PD, or HCL filed by Nehmer class members (Vietnam Veterans
and their survivors) and provide retroactive benefits pursuant to 38 C.F.R §
3.816. This requirement involves claims filed or denied from September 25,
1985, to the effective date of VA‟s final regulation establishing a presumption of
service connection for the disease claimed. Such claims may not be finally
adjudicated until VA‟s regulation change at 38 C.F.R. § 3.309(e) is final, which
will add these three diseases to the list of diseases associated with herbicide

Resource Centers, who are responsible for the readjudication of Nehmer claims,
must strictly comply with the instructions set forth in this letter and the attached Training Guide. It is critical that Nehmer claims be handled expeditiously and correctly. The processing of Nehmer claims requires VA to operate under court-imposed deadlines. Failure to comply with instructions could result in court-ordered sanctions against VA and/or VA officials”


  1. I filed a claim for DIC 0ver 2 years ago when I lost my husband due to IHD. Since then I was notified that my husband was a potential Nehmer class member. My husband served in Vietnam, stationed in Chu Lai to my knowledge. I would like to know why can the VA cannot decide on DIC claims with the information they already have and then make a decision for the Nehmer claim? My husband died from IHD, one of the three presumptive diseases associated with exposure to agent orange while serving in the US Army in Vietnam.

    Comment by Tanya Wilson — January 13, 2011 @ 4:56 pm

  2. I have a similar situation. I was wondering if DIC claim would be handled along with the Nehmer case since both were initiated at different times.

    My husband passed away from lung cancer last year. VA had already paid him for the lung cancer a few years prior. I did not know about this previous payout because we married subsequent to it. VA sent me a letter a few months ago saying they were reopening an old claim for IHD he had. I’m wondering if I am now also going to get a payout because he eventually passed away because of the lung cancer since IHD and lung cancer are both ont the list of presumtive diseases.

    Comment by Sharon F. — January 18, 2011 @ 8:36 pm

  3. My father was a vietnam veteran i recieved a letter stating my father had filed for IHD and was denied years ago. I lost my father in 1996, he was 48 years old when he passed.. I have not heard anything else from the VA.. The last time i called it was in decision phase. Does anyone no how long the process take???

    Comment by Coco48 — September 2, 2011 @ 3:56 am

  4. I just found this great information. If you need further help with your Nehmer claim related to Agent Orange and the VA.Go to google search engine. type in Veterans Affairs Washington D.C. Nehmer Training Guide, February 10,2011. And here you will find what exactly you will expect the Veterans Affairs are orderd by this court ruling to do. Remember to keep exact paper work, notes with whom you spoke, when you spoke, what was being said. Everything they do is under court odrder. If they do not fallow this court order, they can be hold responsible and then we all have leverage.

    38. U.S.C $503 and it’s the procedures from the Nehmer case.
    Good luck you all. I am going though this too. My husband passed away also it needs to involve claimes filed or denied from Sept 25, 1985 to August 31,2010.

    Comment by Angelika — January 11, 2012 @ 7:22 am

  5. MY husband passed away in 2012 with Ischemic heart disease he had had this disease a long time and the Dr. diagnosed it in 2001 he did not get approved until 2011 never got any back pay at all they just added an amount to his check sept.2011 and he passed away in 2012 Joyce W

    Comment by Joyce Wiseman — August 13, 2014 @ 8:49 pm

    • Dear Joyce
      So sorry for your loss. My husband passed away 1997. it took me 14 years to win his case. I had to promise him on his dead bed that I win it. I did mine with no attorney nor any other help . The veterans service officers arnof no help at all. I know they failed me. My husband died of related ill esses to agent orange. He had ischemic heart condition, lung liver and bone cancer. It was hard to see him suffer and beg for what was truly his benefits! Go take an agtorney dont quitt ! Thats what they want us to do. If I can be of assistance email me. Sincerely angelika

      Comment by angelikabertrand64 — August 13, 2014 @ 11:10 pm

  6. Les keep this going guys because the VA is not going to help. Please leave a replay.

    Comment by Joyce Wiseman — October 1, 2014 @ 7:19 pm

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