Agent Orange Benefits
General Information About Agent Orange Benefits
Approximately 20 million gallons of herbicides were used in Vietnam between 1962 and 1971 to remove unwanted plant life and leaves which otherwise provided cover for enemy forces during the Vietnam Conflict. Shortly following their military service in Vietnam, some veterans reported a variety of health problems and concerns which some of them attributed to exposure to Agent Orange or other herbicides. The Department of Veterans Affairs has developed a comprehensive program to respond to these medical problems and concerns. The principal elements of this program include quality healthcare services, disability compensation for veterans with service-connected illnesses, scientific research and outreach and education.
Current Conditions Considered by VA Presumptive to AO Exposure
These are the diseases which VA currently presumes resulted from exposure to herbicides like Agent Orange. The law requires that some of these diseases be at least 10% disabling under VA's rating regulations within a deadline that began to run the day you left Vietnam. If there is a deadline, it is listed in parentheses after the name of the disease.
Special Compensation for Disease
As with other veterans, Vietnam veterans with disabilities incurred or aggravated by military service may receive monthly VA compensation. As knowledge has grown from studies of Agent Orange, some diseases that may not have become evident in service have been recognized as service-connected. In addition, monetary benefits, health care and vocational rehabilitation services are provided to Vietnam veterans' offspring with spina bifida, a congenital birth defect of the spine. VA presumes that all military personnel who served in Vietnam and who have one of the listed diseases were exposed to Agent Orange.
Agent Orange and Birth Defects
The Veterans’ Benefits Act of 1997 granted benefits for children of Vietnam veterans who were suffering from spina bifida (38 U.S.C. §1805).
Under Public Law 106-419, VA identified the birth defects of children of women Vietnam veterans that
Birth defects not included in this benefit program as those abnormalities that result from the following:
The law defines the term "child" as an individual, regardless of age or marital status that is the natural child of a woman Vietnam veteran, and was conceived after the veteran first entered Vietnam. The legislation provides for health care services, vocational training, and a monthly allowance for eligible children.
To apply for benefits, apply on-line or send the VA Regional Office a letter stating that you have a specific health problem and that you claim it is due to your exposure to Agent Orange while serving in Vietnam. This is called an informal claim and will set the effective date for your benefits payments, if your claim is granted. The VA Regional Office will then send you an application form, which you must fill out and return. To get the address of your VA Regional Office, call 1-800-827-1000.
In an Agent Orange-based claim by a Vietnam veteran for service-connected benefits, VA requires:
What If I Served in Vietnam and Have a Disease Not on VA’s List?
If you served in Vietnam and believe that you have a disease caused by herbicide exposure, but that disease is not on VA’s list of diseases associated with herbicides like Agent Orange, you may still apply for service-connection. Such a veteran needs to establish entitlement to service connection on a “direct” (rather than “presumptive”) basis. In these cases, VA requires:
Where Can I Get More Information About Agent Orange?
Visit the VA’s websites:
Or contact the Agent Orange Helpline:
Other Related Benefits
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