Some Veterans of the Vietnam War and other conflicts of that era are presumptively eligible for service-connected compensation for medical conditions that are designated by the VA as being caused by exposure to Agent Orange. Benefits are not awarded just because you were or might have been exposed to Agent Orange. To qualify you must meet both of the criteria (exposure and condition) described below.
Exposure to Agent Orange
You must have been “boots on the ground” in Vietnam, served on a vessel in the “brown water” around Vietnam, or been in one of the listed areas of Korea or Thailand. If you served on a vessel that did not enter the inland waterways of Vietnam (also known as “blue water” Veterans), but you went ashore and can document that, then you may also meet this criteria. Under new rules if you were on a vessel within 12 miles of Vietnam you may also qualify for the presumption.
- Vietnam – Were on land in Vietnam or on a ship operating on the inland waterways of Vietnam between January 9, 1962 and May 7, 1975
- Korean DMZ – Exposure along the demilitarized zone in Korea between April 1, 1968 and August 31, 1971
- Thailand – Exposure on or near the perimeters of military bases between February 28, 1961 and May 7, 1975
Medical Conditions Presumed to be due to Agent Orange Exposure
You must have one of the medical conditions that the VA has conceded may have been caused by that exposure. The most common ones are diabetes, prostate cancer and ischemic heart disease.
- AL Amyloidosis
- Chronic B-cell Leukemias
- Chloracne (or similar acneform disease)
- Diabetes Mellitus Type 2
- Hodgkin’s Disease
- Ischemic Heart Disease
- Multiple Myeloma
- Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Peripheral Neuropathy, Early-Onset
- Porphyria Cutanea Tarda – under VA’s rating regulations, it must be at least 10 percent disabling within one year of exposure to herbicides.
- Prostate Cancer
- Respiratory Cancers – Cancers of the lung, larynx, trachea, and bronchus
- Soft Tissue Sarcomas (other than osteosarcoma, chondrosarcoma, Kaposi’s sarcoma, or mesothelioma)
If you have one of these medical conditions but do not meet the exposure criteria, you may still be found to have a service-connected disorder, but it will not be presumptively service connected.
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