The widespread use of Agent Orange in the 1960s and 1970s led to several serious health problems among veterans. Veterans exposed to this chemical deserve compensation for their suffering. But the rules about exposure locations and dates and the conditions associated with Agent Orange are changing. For this reason, it is important to understand the VA disability benefits for Agent Orange exposure.
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In this article about Agent Orange and Veterans
- What is Agent Orange?
- Symptoms and Conditions of Agent Orange
- Assumed Terms of Agent Orange
- VA presumed disability benefits for exposure to Agent Orange
- How to prove exposure to Agent Orange
- Secondary service connection under Agent Orange
- The forest and the forest can help
The US military used Agent Orange to remove foliage that could provide cover for the enemy, making them harder to see and therefore more dangerous. And while that danger was real, the danger to US military personnel was also great.
Agent Orange is associated with a variety of serious health conditions, which is why veterans need to understand VA disability benefits for Agent Orange exposure.
What is Agent Orange?
Agent Orange was a defoliant – a chemical used to remove leaves from trees and plants – used by the military in many places, including military bases, since the 1960s. The military used Agent Orange extensively in the Vietnam and Korean Wars . Agent Orange was also stored on US soil. Soldiers were also exposed to the chemical on Navy ships and Air Force planes. Government officials say it's impossible to know how many people were exposed to Agent Orange, but the VA says it could have been as many as 2.6 million.
The herbicide ingredients contained a deadly chemical, dioxin, which is a carcinogen. That oneThe government knew dioxin was dangerousbut he didn't think American soldiers would be exposed to it if they dropped it from planes.
Agent Orange causes serious physical, mental and neurological health problems. It is associated with skin diseases, spontaneous abortions,birth defect, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, Parkinson's disease, neuropathy and many other serious health problems. That oneWorld Health Organizationclassifies Agent Orange as a hazardous chemical.
Veterans began fighting for compensation and benefits for health problems caused by Agent Orange in 1979. The Agent Orange Act, signed into law in 1991, requires that some illnesses associated with exposure to the chemical be automatically treated as related to military service . The bill was the catalyst for the VA's report on today's conditions.
Symptoms and Conditions of Agent Orange
Exposure to Agent Orange can result in a variety of physiological symptoms, depending on the specific condition you develop. Some symptoms of an Agent Orange related illness are:
- rash or darkening of the skin
- muscle or joint pain
- a problem
- gastrointestinal concerns
- heart disease
- sound problems
Assumed Terms of Agent Orange
Doctors have linked exposure to Agent Orange to many illnesses. Here it isVA's putative list of Agent Orange diseases:
- bladder cancer
- Chronic B-cell leukemias
- Chloracne (or a similar acneiform condition)
- type 2 diabetes mellitus
- Morbus Hodgkin
- Ischemic Heart Disease
- Gamopatia Monoclonal
- multiple myeloma
- non-Hodgkin's lymphoma
- Parkinson diseaseand Parkinson-like symptoms (parkinsonism)
- Early onset peripheral neuropathy
- porphyria cutanea tarda
- prostate cancer
- respiratory cancer
- sarcomas of mole parts
VA presumed disability benefits for exposure to Agent Orange
The Agent Orange Act of 1991, mentioned above, created aalleged service connectionfor veterans who have served specific times in specific locations and have any of the conditions listed above. This connection means that veterans who meet these criteria do not need to provide additional evidence to establish a service link to their condition.
veterans who aresuspected of being exposed to Agent Orangeare those who served in:
- Vietnam:On land and on some ships between January 9, 1962 and May 7, 1975. This exhibit includes those stationed atBlue Water Navy Ships.
- Aeronave C-123:The delays caused exposure to those surrounding these plans after the Vietnam War.
- Korea:In the demilitarized zone between September 1, 1967 and August 31, 1971.
The VA also acknowledges that Agent Orange has been stored at other locations. It is currently processing exhibition requests at these locations on a case-by-case basis:
- Thailand:In Thailand or at the Royal Thai Air Force base between January 9, 1962 and May 7, 1975.
- Herbicide testing and storage: This exposure may have occurred on military bases in the United States or other countries.
- Laos: between December 1, 1965 and September 30, 1969
- Cambodia:in Mimot or Krek, Kampong Cham Province, between 16 April 1969 and 30 April 1969
- Guam or American Samoa (or in territorial waters):between January 9, 1962 and July 31, 1980
- Johnston Atoll (or on a ship calling at Johnston Atoll):between January 1, 1972 and September 30, 1977
Expected Terms Regarding Agent Orange and Eligibility Criteriachange often🇧🇷 The list of locations where soldiers used the chemical is also growing. These changes will likely continue as the government better understands the widespread use of Agent Orange and researchers discover more resulting health problems. However, a veteran might argue that all conditions are Agent Orange related, whether the VA assumes it or not.
In addition to veterans,some children and even surviving spouses of veterans exposed to Agent Orangemay also be entitled to benefits.
As VA policies change regarding Agent Orange, it may be best to hire a veteran disability attorney to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.
How to prove exposure to Agent Orange
To prove contact with Agent Orange, you must provide evidence that you served at one of the locations listed above at the times specified, or you must have evidence of contact elsewhere. Veterans can find the locations and dates of their service on their discharge documents or DD214.
If you develop any of the conditions listed above and can show that you have been exposed to Agent Orange, the VA should assume that the condition is related to your exposure.
If your condition is not on the list of suspected conditions, but you have been exposed to Agent Orange, you can still file a claim. If so, you will usually need a medical report linking your condition to Agent Orange.
Secondary service connection under Agent Orange
Many disabilities related to secondary services are also eligible for Agent Orange benefits. For example, a Vietnam veteran who was exposed to Agent Orange and develops diabetes may later develop neuropathy. Since his diabetes results from his exposure to Agent Orange and also causes his neuropathy, the neuropathy must be considered secondary to service for VA compensation purposes.
In other words, if you've been exposed to Agent Orange, you can probably tie your condition back to that exposure.
"The VA may or may not recognize how your condition is related to Agent Orange," said Lori Underwood, a VA-certified disability benefits attorney. "While you may not be affected by the suspected medical condition on Agent Orange's list, it is believed that you have been exposed to Agent Orange. So if you have a condition that you know to have been caused by your contact with Agent Orange, but not is on the presumptive list, your contact with Agent Orange may still qualify you for a service connection.”
It is possible to receive thousands of dollars from the VA every month due to exposure and subsequent conditions. You may even qualify for retroactive payment if the VA puts your condition on the presumptive list after you were denied or after you applied.Disability advocates can help you get the benefitsYou earn based on your Agent Orange presence.
The forest and the forest can help
If you were exposed to Agent Orange, you deserve disability compensation from the VA. Please contact Woods and Woods to make an initial complaint or to dispute an assessment decision. They only pay us when we win.
All of our attorneys are VA certified🇧🇷 Give us a call and join the thousands of veterans we've helped get the VA disability benefits they deserve.
Talk to us about your needs:
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What qualifies a veteran for Agent Orange benefits?
A veteran claiming benefits related to exposure to Agent Orange need only show that he served specific times in specific locations and has any of the suspected conditions related to the chemical. If your condition is not on the list of suspected conditions, but you have been exposed to Agent Orange, you can still file a claim. In that case, you will need a medical report linking your condition to Agent Orange.
How much does a Veteran of Agent Orange make?
How much compensation a veteran receives for Agent Orange depends on the rank he receives. It can be upwards of $3,000 a month.
Which health condition is associated with Agent Orange exposure? ›
Peripheral Neuropathy, Early-Onset
A nervous system condition that causes numbness, tingling, and motor weakness. Under VA's rating regulations, it must be at least 10 percent disabling within one year of herbicide exposure.
Of the 105,000 claims received by the Payment Program, approximately 52,000 Vietnam Veterans or their survivors received cash payments which averaged about $3,800 each.What is the VA rating for Agent Orange? ›
The VA rating for Adult fibrosarcoma due to Agent Orange is 100 percent. What is the VA rating for Adult fibrosarcoma cancer due to Agent Orange exposure? Adult fibrosarcoma, soft tissue cancer (muscle, fat, or fibrous connective tissue) rate at 100%.What are the three new presumptive conditions for Agent Orange? ›
As a result of the FY21 National Defense Authorization Act, VA added three new conditions that are related to exposure to Agent Orange and other herbicides: bladder cancer, hypothyroidism, and Parkinsonism (also known as Parkinson-like conditions).How do you prove exposure to Agent Orange? ›
Unfortunately, there's no medical test or biological feature that can show that someone was exposed to Agent Orange or other herbicides, so the health exam cannot confirm that you were (or were not) exposed.What are the VA presumptive conditions for Agent Orange exposure? ›
New PACT Act-related presumptive conditions and locations. We've added 2 new Agent Orange presumptive conditions based on the PACT Act: High blood pressure (also called hypertension) Monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS)How far back will the VA pay back pay? ›
The VA typically only pays disability compensation going back to the date of discharge to veterans who apply for their VA disability benefits within one year of being discharged.Are Agent Orange benefits retroactive? ›
Blue Water Back Pay Errors. VA has been awarding benefits to Vietnam veterans for any conditions related to Agent Orange for decades. When Congress passed new legislation that expanded coverage to the veterans who served on offshore ships, VA did not award retroactive benefits beyond the passage of that law.How do I know if I'm on the Agent Orange registry? ›
Find your local VA Environmental Health Coordinator and contact them about getting an Agent Orange Registry health exam today! For more information about the Agent Orange Registry health exam, visit www.publichealth.va.gov/exposures/agentorange/benefits/registry-exam.asp.What are secondary conditions to Agent Orange? ›
Veterans can be service-connected for peripheral neuropathy as secondary to their already service-connected diabetes mellitus type II that is due to Agent Orange exposure. Other conditions that are commonly secondary to diabetes include diabetic retinopathy, erectile dysfunction, and kidney disease.
Is high blood pressure related to Agent Orange? ›
The VA study, “Herbicide Exposure, Vietnam Service, and Hypertension Risk in Army Chemical Corps Veterans,” found that exposure to herbicides is “significantly associated” with the risk of hypertension, or high blood pressure, in members of the Army Chemical Corps.How long does Agent Orange stay in the environment? ›
Agent Orange was sprayed at up to 20 times the concentration the manufacturers recommended for killing plants. It defoliated millions of acres of forests and farmland. Large tracts of that land remain degraded and unproductive to this day. The chemical dioxin in Agent Orange can remain toxic in the soil for decades.Who gets Agent Orange benefits? ›
Surviving spouses, dependent children and dependent parents of Veterans who were exposed to Agent Orange or other herbicides during service and died as the result of diseases related to the exposure may be eligible for health care, compensation, education, and home loan benefits.How long does it take for Agent Orange to show up? ›
Elevated blood TCDD levels, probably related to Agent Orange exposure, can be detected between two and three decades after potential exposure in some American veterans. Original levels were estimated to be 35-1,500-fold greater that that of the general population (4 ppt, lipid) at the time of exposure.Is neuropathy a presumptive of Agent Orange? ›
VA presumes Veterans' early-onset peripheral neuropathy is related to their exposure to Agent Orange or other herbicides during service when the disease appears within one year of exposure to a degree of at least 10 percent disabling by VA's rating regulations.How do you prove chemical exposure? ›
The most common ways of measuring potential exposure to a chemical or a physical agent are attempting to quantify it in the air or near a person's breathing zone (industrial hygiene testing) or measuring it in some bodily fluid, like blood or urine, or in tissue, like fat.What are some of the long term effects of exposure to Agent Orange? ›
Unfortunately, Agent Orange exposure has led to long-term health effects in many Vietnam era veterans, including multiple myeloma, Parkinson's Disease, and various types of cancer.How long does it take for Agent Orange to go away? ›
Agent Orange has a short half-life of days and weeks after application to vegetation, and has not been found to persist, after 50 years, in the water or soils of southern Vietnam.What are the 20 new presumptive conditions? ›
These conditions include:
- Brain cancer.
- Kidney cancer.
- Pancreatic cancer.
- Asthma diagnosed after service.
- Chronic rhinitis.
- Chronic sinusitis.
The VA estimates that it takes them 94 days to review a VA disability application. However, many cases take much longer than that. Here are some factors that can shorten or extend the time it takes to reach a decision: Type of claim filed.
What is the VA presumptive list? ›
What is “Presumptive” Service Connection? VA automatically presumes that certain disabilities were caused by military service. This is because of the unique circumstances of a specific Veteran's military service.What is the 55 year old rule for VA disability? ›
What is the VA 55-year-old rule? Veterans who receive VA disability benefits for service-connected conditions are exempt from periodic future examinations once they turn 55 years old. This includes veterans who will be 55 by the date of a future examination, according to the VA Adjudication Procedures Manual.Can I get a lump sum for my VA disability? ›
Disability severance pay from the military is granted for a disability received or acquired while in the military and is usually paid in a lump sum. VA compensation is unlike severance pay because it is not paid in a single lump sum, but is paid out over time.At what age does VA disability stop? ›
Your VA benefits will last for your whole life. Even if your disability is classified as less than total and not permanent, if you've been collecting benefits for 20 years or more, the amount of your benefit won't go down.How far back can you claim VA disability? ›
You can file a claim up to 180 days before leaving the service: If you have 180-90 days left on active duty, you may be able to file a pre-discharge claim through the Benefits Delivery at Discharge (BDD) program.Does Agent Orange stay in your body? ›
Answer and Explanation: The dioxin TCDD, the harmful contaminant of Agent Orange, can stay in the human body for decades. It is believed to have a chemical half-life of seven to 11 years.How does the VA determine back pay? ›
The VA calculates VA disability back pay based on your disability effective date, not on your application or approval date. You may also receive back pay if the VA approves your previously denied claim after a review or an appeal.Does Agent Orange change your DNA? ›
The constituents of Agent Orange are capable of producing gene mutations and chromosomal aberrations, at least in some experimental circumstances. TCDD and 2,4,5-T are teratogenic in mice and perhaps in other mammals, but the teratogenicity of these chemicals has not been convincingly demonstrated in humans.What are the psychological effects of Agent Orange? ›
Neurobehavioral difficulties involve two primary categories: cognitive decline, including memory problems and dementia; and neuropsychiatric disorders, including neurasthenia (a collection of symptoms including difficulty concentrating, headache, insomnia, and fatigue), depression, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), ...What were 4 different long term effects of Agent Orange? ›
Bladder Cancer. Chronic B-cell Leukemias. Chloracne. Diabetes Mellitus Type 2.
Can the VA deny a presumptive disability? ›
Any disabilities must have a clear in-service connection, or else the VA will deny the claim. However, there is an exception: the VA's presumptive conditions list. If you suffer from a condition on this list, you don't have to prove an in-service link, and it doesn't have to appear on your service medical records.What is VA rating for high blood pressure? ›
A 20 percent rating is assigned for diastolic pressure that is predominantly 110 or more, or systolic pressure predominantly 200 or more. A 40 percent rating is assigned where diastolic pressure is predominantly 120 or more. A 60 percent rating is assigned where diastolic pressure is predominantly 130 or more.Is hypertension a presumptive for Agent Orange exposure? ›
Passed into law in August of 2022, the Honoring our PACT Act piece of VA legislation added hypertension to its list of diagnoses presumed to be caused by exposure to the tactical herbicide known as Agent Orange (AO), making eligibility for disability benefits much easier.Can Agent Orange cause arthritis? ›
Rheumatoid arthritis is not recognized by VA as etiologically related to exposure to herbicides, such as Agent Orange, which were used in the Republic of Vietnam during the Vietnam Era.Can a spouse get Agent Orange? ›
Surviving spouses, dependent children and dependent parents of Veterans who were exposed to Agent Orange and died as the result of diseases related to Agent Orange exposure may be eligible for a monthly payment called Dependency and Indemnity Compensation.Where was Agent Orange sprayed the most? ›
According to military estimates of herbicide use, 90 percent of Agent Orange was used in Ranch Hand forest defoliation missions; 8 percent was used in Ranch Hand crop destruction missions; and 2 percent was sprayed from the ground around base perimeters and cache sites, waterways, and communication lines (NAS, 1974).What military bases was Agent Orange stored in? ›
Thousands of barrels of Agent Orange are stored on Johnston Island, an atoll in the South Pacific, for six years until the last barrel is destroyed on a Dutch incineration ship in 1977.How do I prove neuropathy VA claim? ›
Service Connection for Peripheral Neuropathy
A grant of VA disability benefits typically requires proof of three things: An in-service event, injury, or illness; A current diagnosis by a medical professional; and. A medical nexus, or link, between your in-service event, injury, or illness and your current diagnosis.
Peripheral neuropathy is an illness often linked to Agent Orange and herbicide exposure. It is associated with pain, burning, and numbness in the upper and lower extremities such as the hands and feet.What is the disability rating for neuropathy? ›
All VA ratings for peripheral neuropathy range from between 10% and 40% maximum. Ratings are determined based on the severity of the Veteran's displayed and recorded symptoms. However, a Veteran may be entitled to a maximum rating of 40% disability benefits for each extremity affected.
What does exposure to Agent Orange cause? ›
United States military personnel used Agent Orange to clear trees and vegetation in fields known to hide enemies. Unfortunately, Agent Orange exposure has led to long-term health effects in many Vietnam era veterans, including multiple myeloma, Parkinson's Disease, and various types of cancer.Is there a connection between Agent Orange and ALS? ›
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is not associated with Agent Orange exposure. However, VA has recognized ALS diagnosed in Veterans with 90 days or more of continuously active service in the military was caused by their military service.What skin cancers are caused by Agent Orange? ›
Exposure to Agent Orange and TCDD has been linked to a wide range of health problems, including many different cancers. However, its association with the basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma-the two most common types of skin cancer-has been unclear.How long does Agent Orange stay in the body? ›
Answer and Explanation: The dioxin TCDD, the harmful contaminant of Agent Orange, can stay in the human body for decades. It is believed to have a chemical half-life of seven to 11 years.How long is Agent Orange toxic? ›
Agent Orange was sprayed at up to 20 times the concentration the manufacturers recommended for killing plants. It defoliated millions of acres of forests and farmland. Large tracts of that land remain degraded and unproductive to this day. The chemical dioxin in Agent Orange can remain toxic in the soil for decades.What does Agent Orange do to the brain? ›
The harmful ingredient in Agent Orange is dioxin. Dioxin can remain in adipose tissue for decades after exposure. Dioxin could have a direct toxic effect on the brain or could act indirectly by impairing blood circulation or increasing the risk of other diseases that, in turn, increase dementia risk.”Is high blood pressure covered under Agent Orange? ›
Passed into law in August of 2022, the Honoring our PACT Act piece of VA legislation added hypertension to its list of diagnoses presumed to be caused by exposure to the tactical herbicide known as Agent Orange (AO), making eligibility for disability benefits much easier.Is Agent Orange exposure considered combat related? ›
The Department of Veteran's Affairs (VA) will also consider disability caused by exposure to Agent Orange, chemical exposure in the Gulf, and other hazards as combat-related for the purposes of this program.Does Agent Orange cause neurological problems? ›
Exposure to Agent Orange may cause nerve damage. In fact, one of the conditions for which the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) presumes service connection due to Agent Orange exposure is peripheral neuropathy. Peripheral neuropathy results from damage to the peripheral nerves.Can Agent Orange cause neuropathy? ›
VA presumes Veterans' early-onset peripheral neuropathy is related to their exposure to Agent Orange or other herbicides during service when the disease appears within one year of exposure to a degree of at least 10 percent disabling by VA's rating regulations.
How many deaths has Agent Orange caused? ›
Over almost five decades since its use in Vietnam, exposure to Agent Orange has killed or maimed approximately 400,000 US soldiers and affected an estimated 4 million Vietnamese. The chemical's reputation has permeated throughout Western and Vietnamese history.How many diseases are caused by Agent Orange? ›
Here are the 14 health conditions associated with Agent Orange exposure as of 2020: Chronic B-Cell Leukemia. Hodgkin's disease. Multiple Myeloma.Can Agent Orange cause fatty tumors? ›
Agent Orange exposure was significantly dosage-related to history of benign fatty tumors, adult acne, skin rash with blisters, and increased sensitivity of eyes to light.