When it comes to Agent Orange and veterans benefits, there is a lot of misinformation out there. The first and most important thing to understand is that being exposed to Agent Orange alone doesn’t qualify someone for benefits. It is actually the condition that was a result of exposure to Agent Orange that could earn benefits for an individual. Without a support condition, there is no case for benefits.
What is Agent Orange?
To better understand the connection between Agent Orange and veterans benefits, it is important to know what Agent Orange actually is. Simply put, Agent Orange is a herbicide that was used to reduce cover from plants primarily in the Vietnam War. The “rainbow herbicide” is made up of equal parts, 2, 4-D and 2, 4, 5-T. It was used in Vietnam starting in 1965, but was also used in other parts of the world during this same time, including Thailand and other areas of Asia.
Conditions Associated with Agent Orange Exposure
As mentioned above, Agent Orange exposure alone doesn’t qualify a veteran for benefits from the VA. But if someone has developed a condition that happened due to Agent Orange exposure, there could be a case made.
There are a number of conditions now associated with Agent Orange exposure. They include:
- AL Amyloidosis
- Chronic B-Cell Leukemias
- Chloracne (or similar acneform disease)
- Diabetes Mellitus Type 2
- Hodgkin’s Disease
- Ischemic Heart Disease, including Coronary Artery Disease, stable and unstable angina, myocardial infarction, and sudden cardiac death)
- Multiple Myeloma
- Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Peripheral Neuropathy, Early-Onset
- Porphyria Cutanea Tarda
- Prostate Cancer
- Respiratory Cancers, including Lung Cancer
- Soft Tissue Sarcomas (other than osteosarcoma, chondrosarcoma, Kaposi’s sarcoma, and mesothelioma)
Presumptive Service Connection and Agent Orange
Due to the common link of exposure to Agent Orange and Vietnam-ear veterans, there is a presumption of exposure from the VA for a number of veterans. Any veteran who was boots on the ground in Vietnam between January 9, 1962 and May 7, 1975 has a presumptive service connection to Agent Orange. In addition, veterans near the Korean demilitarized zone between April 1, 1968 and August 31, 1971 have the same presumptive service connection to Agent Orange.
For presumptive service connections, veterans must provide a medical nexus to prove their claims to the VA. This is different than the active condition or injury that non-presumptive veterans exposed to Agent Orange need to provide.
For the difference, and details on this portion, please contact us.
Benefits for Children of Veterans Exposed to Agent Orange
Unfortunately, there are numerous birth defects known to be related to veterans exposure to Agent Orange. The following are among those known to the VA:
- Spina Bifida
- Cleft lip and cleft palate
- Congenital heart disease
- Congenital talipes equinovarus (clubfoot)
- Esophageal and intestinal atresia
- Hallerman-Streiff syndrome
- Hip dysplasia
- Hirschprung’s Disease (congenital megacolon)
- Hydrocephalus due to aqueductal stenosis
- Imperforate anus
- Neural tube defects
- Poland syndrome
- Pyloric stenosis
- Syndactyly (fused digits)
- Tracheoesophageal fistula
- Undescended testicle
- Williams syndrome
For assistance with child birth defects or any other Agent Orange related claim – including a claim denial – contact the professionals at Tabak Law who have a wealth of experience working with veterans and their families.