Agent Orange was an herbicide that the U.S. military used during the Vietnam War. Exposure to Agent Orange is associated with a number of medical conditions, some of which are serious.
The Department of Veterans Affairs lists these conditions as presumptive. This means that veterans who meet certain eligibility criteria are automatically eligible for VA disability benefits.
Who is Eligible for Agent Orange Benefits?
Veterans who meet the following criteria are eligible for Agent Orange disability benefits:
A medical record of having been diagnosed with an Agent Orange-related illness or condition, AND any of the following:
- Service in Vietnam for any length of time between January 9, 1962 and May 7, 1975, OR;
- Service in or near the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) for any length of time between September 1, 1967 and August 31, 1971, OR;
- Service aboard a U.S. military vessel that entered the inland waterways of Vietnam, OR;
- Service aboard a vessel operating not more than 12 nautical miles seaward of the demarcation line of the waters of Vietnam and Cambodia (c.f. Public Law 116-23, the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2019), OR;
- Exposure to herbicides in a location other than Vietnam or the DMZ, such as by loading, transporting, or storing them while serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.
Certain veterans who operated from Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) bases near U-Tapao, Ubon, Nakhon Phanom, Udorn, Takhli, Korat, and Don Muang, near the airbase perimeter anytime between February 28, 1961 and May 7, 1975 may qualify.
You can read the full set of eligibility requirements on the VA website.
Honoring Our PACT Act Expands Eligibility for Thailand Veterans and more
The new toxic exposure bill (Honoring Our PACT Act of 2022) broadens presumptions for Agent Orange exposure in Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Guam, American Samoa, and Johnston Atoll! This is HUGE NEWS for thousands of Vietnam vets who were stationed outside of Vietnam but were still “toxic-exposed” to Agent Orange.
The bill provides expanded Agent Orange presumptive locations for those dealing with herbicide exposure:
- Any U.S. or Royal Thai military base in Thailand from January 9, 1962, through June 30, 1976
- Laos from December 1, 1965, through September 30, 1969
- Cambodia at Mimot or Krek, Kampong Cham Province from April 16, 1969, through April 30, 1969
- Guam or American Samoa or in the territorial waters off of Guam or American Samoa from January 9, 1962, through July 30, 1980
- Johnston Atoll or on a ship that called at Johnston Atoll from January 1, 1972, through September 30, 1977
If you served in these areas, during these dates, the VA will now assume (or “presume”) that you were exposed to Agent Orange.
Watch below for our full discussion into the latest update of the Honoring Our PACT Act of 2022
Agent Orange Presumptive Conditions List Updates
This is an up-to-date list of conditions on the VA’s Agent Orange presumptive list.
|Chronic B-Cell Leukemias||2003|
|Diabetes Mellitus Type 2||2001|
|Ischemic Heart Disease||2010|
|Peripheral Neuropathy, Early-Onset||2013|
|Porphyria Cutanea Tarda||1994|
|Soft Tissue Sarcomas*||1991|
*Exceptions: osteosarcoma, chondrosarcoma, Kaposi’s sarcoma, and mesothelioma
New Conditions on The Agent Orange Presumptive List
Following the passing of the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act, there are now three new conditions on the Agent Orange presumptive list. These conditions include:
- Bladder Cancer
- Hypothyroidism: A condition occurs when the thyroid doesn’t produce enough hormones
- Parkinsonism: A condition with symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease, including tremors, impaired speech, muscle stiffness, and slow movement
The addition of these conditions means that many more veterans will be eligible for VA disability benefits. If you filed a claim for one of these conditions in the past, the VA will automatically review your case to see if you’re now eligible.
The latest additions to the Agent Orange presumptive list comes from Sec. 404 of the Honoring Our PACT Act (the short name being, “Fair Care for Vietnam Veterans Act”) which lists two additional diseases that can be service connected.
- Monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance
This is a huge win for any veteran suffering from agent orange related symptoms.
Have Questions About Agent Orange Benefits?
The attorneys at Hill & Ponton are here to support you in your Agent Orange claim. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.
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