Dingess & Hartman VS Nicholson letter


Some Veterans have asked me what about this Dingess & Hartman VS Nicholson letter they are receiving and what they should they do and what it means to them.


I also received one of the letters from Providence, RI.


These cases in detail are located at:




Please review those cases on your own if you can get through the legal voodoo language.


I can only give you my opinion, as everyone’s case at this point is different.


These cases were for PTSD.  Therefore, they are very subjective to begin with.  Then when you start talking about percentages of rating you are really getting interpretative and even more subjective in diagnosis.


Now most of you know my stand on this subject that has been totally set aside by the chemical companies and their partner the United States Government with the spotlight only on stress and not “neurotoxic brain damages.”  Actually, it is Central Nervous System damages and not just quote "brain damages" end quote.


These cases even add more credence by the discussion of the more “detailed symptoms” of what they call classic PTSD symptoms.


“…there is reduced reliability and productivity due to such symptoms as: flattened affect; circumstantial, circumlocutory, or stereotyped speech; panic attacks more than once a week; difficulty in understanding complex commands; impairment of short and long-term memory (e.g., retention of only highly learned material, forgetting to complete tasks); impaired judgment; impaired abstract thinking; disturbances of motivation and mood; difficulty in establishing and maintaining effective work and social relationships.”


This is “classic brain damage” and there is too much data out there that demonstrates there is a connection to the dioxin, TCDD, and created neuropsychological disorders including memory and cognitive issues.


How do I know?  Documented studies, by even our own government funded studies that show a connection outside of a combat environment and I LIVE WITH IT EVERYDAY WITH A MEMBER OF MY HOUSEHOLD.


Ironic what they do not test for which may even demonstrate more so an area of the brain that has been affected is a test showing the difference between written learned memory or oral learned memory and visual learned memory.  The not completing tasks can also be a created neurotoxic Attention Deficient Disorder (ADD).  This especially true if the neurotoxic chemicals are affecting such areas of the brain as the hippocampus, which not only controls emotions (wild swings), but conversion of short term to long term memory and learned instructions, and creates an ADD condition.  


I am not even going out on a limb here.  If Veterans of our era and the Gulf War guys and gals do not start submitting for medical central nervous system damages and not just PTSD but mental damages with PTSD symptoms; Veterans are going to be out to lunch with out a brown bag.


No, I am not a doctor but a data analysis engineer but as I sit here drooling from the medication given me I still have enough faculties to read, comprehend, analyze the failure modes, and “connect the damn dots on this issue.”


All cases of PTSD have recently seen how very close everyone came to having ALL cases reviewed by the VA in an attempt to downgrade; especially those at 100%.  You must remember money is the ultimate goal; not supporting the Veterans.  By just reducing the cases back to 90%, you are talking millions of dollars per year of government/DOD savings.


Now just so any new comers that are reading this; I personally have no dog in the PTSD issues. 


Whose side do you really think the government/DOD is on?  Themselves or “your used up government obsolete assets.”     


From what I can read, this is whole Dingess legal case is nothing more than what Social Security does in determining disability and how that applies to employment.  In other words, using common sense.


In fact, most of what I am seeing they are suggesting you provide; if you have not already done so.  Is already contained in their internal processes of what they are already supposed to be doing and considering in, evaluations and judgments.  I really see nothing-new here and certainly nothing that could be concluded as a “landmark decision.”


Forcing the VA and then auditing them for compliance with some form of punishment for “not doing their job” or what they are “supposed to be doing” would have been a “landmark decision.”


For those that have been found disabled by Social Security since your claim started.  I think that is a very important subject to cover and submit in response to this letter.  The VA is already supposed to rely on this fact as a data point.  If not then, they are not only fighting you but also the Social Security Administration and their doctors.  This goes to the consideration of 100% disability only, not service connection.  That question must be resolved to the VA’s satisfaction.  (Remembering that one service connection can lead to cumulative issues that now make you 100% as the Social Security Administration has previously found.)


One reason I consider this important and will be doing it myself.  If you have a BVA case on going and submit something to the local VA shop for inclusion.  It is questionable as to how far that goes.  In my case, it did not go past the curb in front of the VA here in Atlanta.  Therefore, I will be submitting that Social Security data directly to the BVA.


Ironic Social Security found me 100% disabled and unemployable in less than nine months as of 05-01-2003 with a comment that in my case they did not expect me to improve at all.  That is one of their classifications.


Therefore, in my case, at least in my opinion the 100% is not even in question and only the determination of service connection is in question.


Which, as most of you know I would have no problem showing that association by statistics, real honest studies, and medical data. 


The problem is the VA will not allow me to present my service connection case so far and just keep on stalling for any kind of confrontation with the real data.


Therefore, in just putting this out one time on a posting, I really see no earth shattering news here. 


This is no different than the Dioxin Standards Act put out by congress in 1984 or the congressional mandates and then the courts review of what the VA was doing as far as level of proof in “cause and effect” versus “increased risk of incidence” or “significant correlation.”  The courts found for the Veterans in this issue. 


Yet still, the USC 38 defines this a p-value of 0.05.  It describes nothing about an “increased risk of incidence,” which we have met many times over in many mortality and disabling issues and decades ago.  Including in any study that shows a significant value of 0.05 there is little doubt given, if any that the comparisons made make it statistically impossible to have it occurred by chance alone. 


This is just another court order or congressional mandate for the Department of Veterans Affairs to totally ignore and keep on with the business at hand – “White House Budget Control.”


What I did find interesting in reviewing the cases was the dissenting judges statements:


“It is the Secretary, not the court, that has been given the authority to write regulations implementing law.  The Secretary has authority to prescribe all rules and regulations which are necessary or appropriate to carry out laws administered by the Department and are consistent with those laws…”


Number one - the VA could not even pass a level 1 (ISO 9000) International Standards Organization quality audit unless they paid the auditors under the table to pass them.  So there is no consistency between VA shops or even regions. Therefore, the judge’s remarks are totally bogus to begin with respect to being consistent.


Number two - I am not real comfortable with the statement by Judge Kasold on our US Veterans Court, (our own totally separate court; imagine that).  Now, it seems, the United States Government in concert with the Asbestos companies wants to also create a separate system outside of the legal laws of our nation.  


The parallels of US Government/chemical company collaborations and US Government/Asbestos company collaborations are undeniable. Including the same senators that were involved in our separate system creation in 1986, as the toxic chemical claims mounted; that honchoed our separate legal system are now also involved with the creation of the separate asbestos claims court. 


Amazing what corporate money can buy in our supposedly democratic republic; including congressional influence. 


Let's reflect:


We are supposed to be comfortable with the fact that the same branch of government, the Executive Branch, that allowed the mass Veteran Issues to take place in the first place; that also controls the federal agency the Department of Defense and its Secretary who not only allowed the mass Veterans Issues but approved the usage of such materials (gave the authority for the use of such “weapons of mass destruction”).


Then we are supposed to take heart that the same Executive Branch also appoints the Secretary of the VA whose actions or inactions and funding is controlled by that very same Executive Branch.


Then we are supposed to really bolster up and thank the United States Government for giving us our own court and our own judges.


Then I assume, we are supposed to ignore the fact that this same Executive Branch controlled Federal Agency, the VA, denied any dioxin associated medical issues for over 28 years until 1990.  While they were denying these causations to Veterans for almost three decades; in 1982, a whole town in Missouri of 801 homes was purchased for the very same reasons of dioxin, TCDD contamination.  Not really, a cohesive stand by our government but then there is a difference between civilian’s rights and former military men and women rights and that includes the right to know what they are going to die from or become disabled from.  


Even more so we are supposed to ignore the documented facts of Executive Branch interference and scientific misconduct in manipulating the CDC, Ranch Hand, and VA study itself.  This also includes as the study result started to become cumulative a philosophical decision made by the Reagan/Bush White House, the Executive Branch, that the government did not want the financial responsibility for this what should have been deemed a National, if not International Disaster, caused by the arrogance of Johnson and McNamara.


Does this all give me a warm and fuzzy feeling the United States Government including this quack of an appeals judge supports Veterans?  You decide.


For most of us, the issue of when the claim was legitimized in the Dingess ruling is a non-issue.  I for one am certainly not going to fight the VA for another four years on when my date of disability occurred.  I need monthly financial help now for living- not four years from now.  Therefore, in my case I really do not care when it was approved back to, as long as it finally gets approved. 


I know I am capitulating to this adversarial agency but every one of us must look at what we need to live; versus what the monetary gain might be if you continue to fight. 


Losing ones home is not worth another four-year fight on what could or may have been.


Every case will be different as to what you have submitted and what has taken place since you submitted. 


I doubt very seriously if anything this ruling is supposed to accomplish will in fact accomplish anything.


That is my opinion - such as it is.