Many veterans who served in Vietnam and the Korean demilitarized zone were exposed to Agent Orange. Those who have developed a condition linked to the toxic herbicide may qualify for compensation.
To receive monetary benefits, you must prove your medical condition is connected to the exposure and that it happened in service. The VA also has a presumptive policy that makes it easier to connect needs to direction.
Over time, medical research has shown a correlation between certain illnesses and herbicide exposure. Those diseases and conditions are now included in the VA Presumptive List, automatically making them service-connected and eligible for disability benefits.
The list currently includes ischemic heart disease, lung and trachea cancers, hypertension, Parkinson’s Disease, peripheral neuropathy, early-onset and persistent peripheral neuropathy, porphyria cutanea tarda, type 2 diabetes, and chloracne. Studies are underway to determine if several additional conditions, including bladder cancer, hypothyroidism, and hypertension, can be linked to Agent Orange exposure.
To receive presumptive exposure, a veteran must have served in a specific location or during a particular period. For example, veterans who served in Vietnam, Korea, or at certain Air Force bases in the United States between 1969 and 1986 can be presumed to have been exposed to Agent Orange. The presumption can also extend to Blue Water Navy Veterans who served near or off the coast of Vietnam.
Since the Agent Orange Act of 1991, the government has recognized that certain diseases are linked to exposure to the herbicide. These conditions are known as presumptive diseases, and veterans with them are automatically awarded service connections.
To qualify for presumptive service connection, a veteran must have served during the appropriate periods and in the locations listed on their discharge papers or DD214. Additionally, they must have medical evidence showing that their disability is directly tied to their exposure to Agent Orange.
The PACT Act that became law in August 2022 expanded the list of presumptive diseases related to Agent Orange. This makes it easier for veterans to receive financial relief for their ailments. However, even if your condition isn’t on the list of presumptive diseases, you can still file a claim for service-connected compensation if you can prove that your exposure to Agent Orange was the cause of it. The veteran’s disability attorneys can help you gather evidence and build your case.
Now, what is the average compensation for Agent Orange? is a common question among veterans seeking information about the typical monetary benefits provided for health issues related to exposure to this herbicide during their military service.
Many of the health conditions associated with Agent Orange exposure are now covered as service-connected disabilities thanks to the 1991 Agent Orange Act. The Act made it so that veterans who served in specific locations and times or on vessels within 12 nautical miles of the demarcation line of Vietnam and Cambodia waters were presumed to have been exposed to Agent Orange.
However, for certain conditions like bladder cancer or hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) that don’t appear on the list of presumptive diseases, a medical opinion is needed linking the disease to Agent Orange. This can be difficult, especially for widows who often need to navigate the VA’s bureaucracy alone.
In addition to disability compensation, surviving spouses and children of eligible veterans may also be entitled to additional benefits like healthcare, education, and housing assistance. A lawyer could help you determine if your medical condition and its causes are linked to your Agent Orange exposure and how much you might be entitled to receive each year in tax-free compensation.
Veterans’ exposure to Agent Orange did not just harm the enlisted men and women who served, but it also impacted their children. Biological children of Vietnam-era Veterans who had qualifying service in Vietnam or the Korean demilitarized zone are presumed to have been exposed to Agent Orange and other herbicides, making them eligible for certain VA benefits.
Research into the effects of dioxin on multiple generations continues to show that chemical exposure can pass from parent to child, altering the genes and resulting in congenital disabilities. Studies of fetuses and newborns have found that infants born to mothers who had been exposed to herbicides were more likely to have structural congenital disabilities, such as spina bifida, oral clefts, and heart defects.
A defense consulting company authored an Air Force study in the 1980s that linked Agent Orange to congenital disabilities in the offspring of veterans who handled the herbicide. However, the study was kept secret, and other research later contradicted his results.