The Veterans Administration (VA) has added three more diseases to its list of 12 conditions presumed to have been caused by exposure to Agent Orange during the Vietnam War. Now, Vietnam veterans who suffer from Parkinson’s Disease, Hairy Cell and other Chronic B-Cell Leukemia, or Ischemic Heart Disease, do not have to prove that their condition is connected to their service in Vietnam in order to get disability compensation and healthcare benefits from the VA.
The VA is expecting that more than 150,000 veterans who served in Vietnam between 1962 and 1975 will be claiming compensation for these illnesses due to their exposure to the defoliant. The VA also plans to review 90,000 claims from Vietnam veterans who were previously denied benefits for these diseases.
In a post on the White House Blog, VA Secretary Eric K. Shinseki said that it’s taken 40 years for the VA to fully realize the toxic effects of Agent Orange and that “its insidious impact on those exposed to it has become increasingly apparent.”
The new rule is expected to go into effect in November, after a Congressional review.
Note: All representation coordinated by Alpha is provided by our employees, the Advocates, who are accredited by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). No private organization that trains and employs accredited agents has been legally recognized by the VA for the purposes of preparation, presentation, and prosecution of claims. This work must be done by the Advocates themselves and not organizations.