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Compton: Van can take vet to Sepulveda clinic

By George Compton
Saturday, July 26, 2008

Q. I received hearing aids from the VA in Santa Barbara for many years. I found out that there is no longer a hearing clinic there. Where can I get help?

A. The closest VA hearing clinic is at Sepulveda OPC. Have your primary VA doctor make you an appointment there, and if you need transportation, call this office to schedule a ride on the DAV Van.

Q. I injured a knee in the service and the VA gave me 20 percent. I believe my knee is keeping me from getting a good job. Is it possible to get a higher VA rating for my knee?

A. You can always reopen a claim if a medical condition becomes more severe. The highest rating for a knee is 40 percent because that is the rating for an amputation at the knee. Keep that in mind when evaluating how bad your knee is at this time.

If you now have a problem with your other leg or back because of favoring your service-connected knee, those could be considered as secondary conditions and could be rated.

When you reopen your claim, make sure you have medical history of your problems since you were first rated. If you have not been receiving any treatment, you have a weak claim.

Q. My husband served in Vietnam and was recently diagnosed with leukemia. Is it possible that his condition was caused by Agent Orange?

A. Chronic lymphocytic leukemia was the last medical condition added to the list of presumptive conditions to Agent Orange. If that is the type of leukemia that was diagnosed, he needs to let this office assist him in filing a claim for compensation as soon as possible. We need a copy of his discharge and information on his doctor so the VA can make contact for required information. If he has a written diagnosis for CLL, that will speed his claim.

Also, if the condition is CLL he has a presumptive condition and will be admitted in the VA medical system. All treatment for his condition will be without any charges. Call Mario (485-7060) at the VA Clinic, and he will assist in enrollment.

— George Compton, retired Army colonel, is the veterans service officer for the County of Ventura, Human Services Agency. Send your questions to Veterans Service Office, 1701 Pacific Ave., Suite 110, Oxnard, CA 93033; phone number: 385-6366; fax: 385-6371; or e-mail: George.Compton@ventura.org.

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