When I turned 60 I thought it a good idea to get a physical. That’s when I found out that my prostate was slightly enlarged. It turned out that I tested positive for prostate cancer. I had to have surgery but, I didn’t get better. The cancer has spread into my blood. It’s in my bones and lymph nodes. I now have stage IV cancer.
I am a Vietnam veteran, but I never thought of applying to the VA for help. I’ve been healthy all my life until now. I thought getting cancer was just something that happened. I didn’t think it had anything to do with service in Vietnam. It was my sister-in-law’s dad, and a veteran, who told me I could get cash benefits from the VA (Department of Veterans Affairs). He said I should give it a try.
I Got Immediate Attention and Service at Alpha
I called them many times but I could never get through. I was always getting disconnected. I couldn’t get a hold of anybody there. So, I started hunting around for veterans groups to help me, and found Alpha.
From the start, I got respect, and service. Every time I called my Alpha advocate I got through to him. He took my case very seriously and pushed hard for me. He kept me updated on progress. And when my condition was upgraded to Stage IV he called the VA and told them they needed to expedite the decision process. I got what I never expected – a 100 percent disability rating and cash benefits within four months of my Alpha advocate submitting my initial claim.
Vietnam Veterans Need to Know about VA Benefits
When I got sick and could no longer work, my wife and I were really getting nervous. Bills were piling up and, though we have health insurance from her job, it didn’t cover everything. It really was by chance that I found out I could get help from the VA because I’m a Vietnam veteran. I don’t know why I didn’t think of it. I suspect that there are many Vietnam veterans who are seriously sick and don’t know that their conditions could have been caused because they were in Vietnam. They need to know that they can apply for financial help, and get it, like I did.
VA Benefits Provide for My Family
My main concern is for my family. I had been worried about how they will continue on if I’m not here. But I got back benefits from the date my Alpha advocate filed the claim. I got a lot of money. And I’m getting a special monthly compensation for being house bound, as well as medical aid and attendance when I need it. My 100 percent rating also gets my wife tax-free survivor benefits of $1,154 a month. That’s another thing I didn’t know about – survivor benefits (Dependency Indemnity Compensation (DIC))
I can’t say it enough. I really appreciate everything my Alpha advocate has done for me and my family. I am so grateful. – Leon
Note: Exposure to the killer herbicide Agent Orange has been found to have caused many serious conditions in veterans who stepped foot on Vietnam soil during the Vietnam War. Prostate cancer is one of those conditions. Find out more in the Wartime Veterans section of this Web site.
An appeal was not required for this initial claim; therefore, no fee was paid to Alpha for winning the most in compensation benefits possible for this veteran. The Advocate’s fee is subject to review by the VA’s Office of the General Counsel (OGC). The VA/OGC generally considers a fee of 20% of the retroactive award as a reasonable payment and we agree. Subject to the review of the OGC, and only if we win an appeal, your Alpha Advocate will be paid a one time fee of 20% of your retroactive award.
Note: All representation coordinated by Alpha is provided by our employees, the Advocates, who are accredited by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). No private organization that trains and employs accredited agents has been legally recognized by the VA for the purposes of preparation, presentation, and prosecution of claims. This work must be done by the Advocates themselves and not organizations.