Wounded Times

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Friday, September 6, 2013

Vietnam veteran's widow shows how the VA left trail of mistakes

Widow outlines trail of mistakes VA made
ABC 13 News
By Loni Blandford
CREATED SEP. 5, 2013

Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- A trail of mistakes by the Department of Veterans Affairs has led to heartbreak for an Army veteran's widow. She calls the treatment of her husband's case careless and fears it could happen to other families.

Karaoke was one of Raymond Fafard's favorite past times when he was well. His widow, Johnnette, is thankful that at least his voice lives on. The Vietnam veteran proudly served his country but Johnnette says the dedication he gave wasn't returned. He died in February.

"He didn't get what he should have," said Johnnette.

Years after his service, his health problems continued to grow. So Johnnette helped Raymond file claims with the VA. One of the ongoing issues was his deteriorating sight. Initially, Johnnette says the VA awarded Raymond 20% compensation for his eyes, then increased it to 30%. But as vision got worse, Raymond asked for more.

His request , according to a letter from the VA, was denied. It says records show his eyesight hadn't gotten bad enough to qualify for higher compensation under the Code of Federal Regulations 4.85. Why is that number so important?

"When I went to figure out what this coding was it's for ears," said Johnnette.

Ears, not eyes. The denial cited an evaluation of hearing impairment.
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