The National Defense Authorization Act which was enacted into law on New Year’s Day 2021 contains good news for many Vietnam Veterans struggling with Agent Orange related illnesses.
Even though the Vietnam War may have ended in April of 1975, the fight for thousands of veterans exposed to defoliants like Agent Orange continues to this day.
As of January 1 of 2021, more than 34,000 veterans afflicted with serious life-ending diseases are now presumed to have the illnesses due to their exposure to Agent Orange.
These numbers are specifically related to the three newly added conditions, which are bladder cancer, thyroidism and Parkinsonism, or Parkinson-like symptoms.
Veterans whose claims were denied in the past and who were diagnosed with one of these illnesses, should now request reconsideration for service connected disability compensation and those who have yet to file for benefits should start their applications now.
If you are the widow or dependent child of a Vietnam veteran who has died as a result of one of the newly added presumptive conditions, you are also encouraged to apply for Dependency Indemnity Compensation (DIC), accrue benefits, as well as burial allowance, and potentially education and healthcare benefits through ChampVA due to the veteran’s passing.
Exposure to Agent Orange is presumed if the veteran serviced boots on land in Vietnam, and or along the inlet waterways, along the DMZ in Korea 9/01/1967-08/31/1971, certain Navy personnel serving within 12 nautical miles off the coast of Vietnam, and those participating in the application of the defoliate in Vietnam. Other veterans may have been exposed to Agent Orange in other areas, however exposure is not presumed and must be proven through evidence of the exposure.
If you would like more information on VA & State Benefits, please contact Montgomery County Veterans Service at 936-539-7842 or via email at [email protected], or follow us on Facebook at Montgomery County Veterans Service.