NEED HELP: Does USAA or anyone on this forum know organizations that help apply for VA benefits 30 years AFTER service?

I am aware of American Legion's help and have met local VSO ... and they are nice & very kind but only helpful in very limited fashion.


I know their level of service is beneficial to 90%+ of Vets ... but I have circumstances that are probably beyond their capability.


I have Parkinson's, Heart health, TBI, PTS, Orthopedic, Thyroid, etc ... all likely related to LeJeuene and/or Agent Orange.


Of my immediate family (siblings, parents, children)  ... 11 out of 14 of us have VERY unusal medical conditions like:


  • Parkinson's
  • Down syndrome
  • Polysthemia Vera
  • Rapid onset Alzheimer's
  • Very rare pancreatic tumors
  • Very rare Breats Cancers

The 3 that are healthy are my wife (obviously not same genetics)  - my father who was KIA in Vietnam (we assume he was in good health otherwise but do not know) and my son currently serving in the Corps


My service records were ... well, on an open forum I'll only state that they are/were not accessible through traditional Archives DD214 requests.


Thankfully, I have some friends still working at HQ USMC and they were able to piece together some from unit diaries.  Enough to satisfy the VA (I pray) and the like.


I have not/would not apply for 3+ decades because:


  1. how poorly the VA treated us when my Father was killed
  2. how poorly the VA treated us/him when my Grandfather developed Alzheimers (he was a famous WW2 Pilot - flew in CBI)
  3. Prior to becoming so disabled I was fairly affluent and would not ask for benefits when so many were going without given all of the VA scandals.  I personally know over a dozen who have waited years for procedures.  It is not in my character or values to place myself in ine for 'what I deserve' when so many are suffering and going without.

However, I have come to the conclusion that my health will become an ever increasing burden to my Family and my ability to make any economic contribution is dwindeling.


Again, not on an open forum, but my Parkinson's has always helped me make wise financial decisions.  


My primary concern is for my wife & our son with Down syndrome long term financial security.


Apologies if this long winded.  I do not know the etiquette on these forums as I have never posted here (despite being a member for 30+ years)


THUS, My question to the forums is:  


Is there anyone out there that specializes, as a professional, on helping me/us apply for and receive benefits?


I need a dedicated advocate that is honorable, highly competent and willing to go the extra mile for a case/situation/client that is 'not traditional'


It is a very difficult thing to admit - but I no longer possess the energy, focus, and stamina to prosecute this as I once did.


Thank you for reading this, and


God speed!

Most Helpful

No, that's why I included the disclaimer "not an expert". But I recently left active duty and am going through the process myself, so I understand how frustrating it can be.

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I'm not an expert, but I imagine it would be difficult to get benefits without something showing characerization of discharge. Even if you had documents to prove that you were in the service, without a DD214 there's no proof you're actually eligible.

Thank you ... I DO HAVE that documentation now.  Sorry if I was not clear.


What I meant was going on to US Archives would not yield that result.  BUT I now have them in hand (took almost a year to get)


So, to be very very clear:


I do have my honorable discharge papers, readmit code 1, and they state I was discharged for disability.

Oh, well that's good. So if you have a discharge for disibility why are you having trouble getting benefits?

Jesse, thank you so very much for replying and seeking to help.


My trouble is more me & my ability to do the work.


The VSO wants to submit 'fully developed claims.'  I'm glad to know that exists.  AND, as someone with Parkinson's, sitting down and going through the 3 or 4 foot stack of my medical records is very daunting.


Completing paperwork, itself, is daunting.  My mind simply does not comrehened "forms" well or easily.


I also have difficulty keeping track of what needs to be done & when.  I have a very poor sense of time now and regretfully am not good at recalling appointments, due dates and such.


So, Jesse, the issue is me.


My wife works 12+ hour days as a Head Nurse.


My children (save son with Down syndrome) are up & out.


I believe this will be a long, and for me, frustrating process without help to complete, follow up on all the paperwork required.  Furthermore, I do not know the rules, the proces, what is available, etc - what younger people call 'life hacks'


I hope this clarifies the situation.


My mental & physical health will make this process difficult and I am looking for a professional that can help me.


Again, thank you for your interest and willingness to help and comment Jesse.


God speed.

I forgot to ask Jesse:  ... are you a professional (VA approved Lawyer or Agent) that could help?

No, that's why I included the disclaimer "not an expert". But I recently left active duty and am going through the process myself, so I understand how frustrating it can be.

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