A Harlingen area Army veteran who served in Vietnam and Germany from Nov. 13, 1967 through Nov. 1, 1970 came to the Texas Veterans Commission (TVC) to file his initial Claim on May 1, 2013. “His Claim was for exposure to Agent Orange in Vietnam,” said TVC Claims Benefit Advisor (CBA) and Army veteran Rene Coronado. “It was originally denied because the PACT Act was not yet in effect.”
A few years later, in January 2017, the veteran passed away, before his Claim was awarded by the VA. This left his Claim and surviving spouse waiting for a decision from the Board of Veterans’ Appeals. Eventually, “He was service connected for Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and Type 2 Diabetes by the Board of Veterans’ Appeals, which brought the veteran up to 100% disability,” said Cornado.
In August 2023, the spouse “was shocked to find a deposit from the VA of nearly $120,480 as an award for back pay, dated to the date of the original claim on May 1, 2013. She also received a separate payment of $2506.35 to make up the difference for the month of the veteran’s passing,” said Coronado, pictured. The surviving spouse visited Coronado to ask about the award and deposit in her bank account. “I reviewed the case and gave her the great news! She was so grateful for our help and said TVC was the only organization that did anything to help her. She thanked me and gave me a hug with tears in her eyes.” Now that her Claim has been awarded, she is ready to spend more time with her two sons, grandchildren and other family.