Agent Orange was an herbicide that the United States military used during the Vietnam War. Agent Orange exposure 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 and disability compensation:
A medical record of having been diagnosed with an Agent Orange-related illness or condition, AND any of the following:
- Service in Vietnam, during the Vietnam War 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 Vietnam veteran 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/Agent Orange Act ( 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 a Vietnam veteran was 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
The team at Hill & Ponton may be able to assist you with a denial of benefits. Click the button below to get more information.
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 Vietnam War or any other veteran suffering from agent orange exposure related symptoms.
What Benefits Do I Get From Agent Orange Exposure?
The VA offers health registry exams, health care, disability compensation and other benefits to eligible veterans affected by Agent Orange toxic exposure. Their dependents and survivors may also be eligible for benefits.
Health Care Benefits
Veterans who were exposed to Agent Orange or other herbicides during military service may be eligible for:
- Agent Orange Registry health exam: this is a free exam for possible long-term health problems related to herbicide exposure. Veterans who served in Vietnam, Korean demilitarized zone or other areas where Agent Orange was sprayed may be eligible.
- Health care benefits: a full range of medical benefits. There are many ways a veteran may qualify.
Disability Compensation Benefits
Veterans may be eligible for disability compensation if they have a service-connected disability related to Agent Orange exposure. The VA has recognized certain cancers and healthcare problems associated with Agent Orange, as outlined above.
Benefits for Children with Birth Defects
Children who have certain birth defects and are biological children of Vietnam-era veterans may be eligible for VA compensation, healthcare and vocational training.
Surviving spouses agent orange widows, dependent children and dependent parents of veterans who were exposed to Agent Orange or other herbicides during service and died as the result of the diseases related to exposure may be eligible for healthcare, compensation, education and home loan benefits.
Have Questions About Agent Orange Benefits?
The attorneys at Hill & Ponton are here to support you in your claim and determining your agent orange disability percentage. If you are intending to appeal a denied claim, you can contact us for an evaluation.
We also offer a free ebook The Road to VA Compensation Benefits, to help break down the claims process from start to finish. Click the link below to learn more.
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