Never Give Up: VAC Matt Cole’s Story

Roses laid against Vietnam Veteran Memorial

Matt Cole, LDVA Veteran Assistance Counselor – All of the LDVA’s Veteran Assistance Counselors are veterans themselves. They understand what you are going through and go the extra mile to help fellow veterans navigate through the Federal VA compensation and benefits claims process.
Matt Cole is a U.S. Marine Corps veteran and the dedicated LDVA Veteran Assistance Counselor who went above and beyond to help a Vietnam Veteran receive the largest retroactive payment in Louisiana to date.

“He came to my office when his wife’s co-worker was talking about how her husband, a Vietnam Vet, was service connected for heart disease and receiving monthly compensation,” says Cole of this unique case.
This particular Vietnam Veteran felt like the VA did nothing for him in the late 80’s so he had chosen to have nothing to do with them since.

“I had the vet get a Disability Benefits Questionnaire completed for his heart disease and we filed a Fully Developed Claim,” says Cole. After reviewing his file, I knew he met the criteria for 100% service connection, however, I did not know how far back VA would go for compensation purposes.

The process took some time and this Vietnam Vet even said “I won’t get anything, but I’ll file to make my wife happy!” We’re glad he did.

Six months later, in April of 2013, this Vietnam Veteran received $702,429.44.

“I was just a shocked as the vet to learn that the VA granted 100% back to 1988 and that he would receive over $700,000.00,” says Cole.

The vet passed away from his heart disease in July but his Surviving Spouse still lives in Covington and is receiving Dependency and Indemnity Compensation.

While VA claims can take a long time to process, we urge you to spend time with an LDVA VAC who can help you navigate the claims system and never give up on the benefits that you earned.

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