Is There a Test for Agent Orange Exposure?
As of 2018, there is no medical test for Agent Orange exposure. However, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offers a free health exam to qualifying veterans. Even though this test will not confirm exposure, it may alert you to the development of any health issues commonly associated with exposure to herbicides.
The Agent Orange Registry Health Exam
The Agent Orange Registry health exam is a medical evaluation offered to qualifying veterans for free by VA that can alert you to illnesses commonly associated with Agent Orange and other dangerous herbicides. It does not detect if you have been exposed but whether you may be developing a medical condition that could be linked to exposure during service.
Parties Eligible to Receive a Free Agent Orange Registry Health Exam
VA offers this exam for free to any veterans who served in one or more of the following capacities:
- In Vietnam between January 9, 1962 and May 7, 1975.
- In or near the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) between September 1, 1968 and August 31, 1971.
- On a boat in the inland waterways of Vietnam between January 9, 1962 and May 7, 1975.
- On certain Air Force bases in Thailand between February 28, 1961 and May 7, 1975.
- As perimeter security personnel on certain bases in Thailand between February 28, 1961 and May 7, 1975.
- As a member of the military police (MP) on certain military bases in Thailand between February 28, 1961 and May 7, 1975.
- In any location used for the testing, storage, or disposal of Agent Orange or other herbicides.
What Happens During an Agent Orange Registry Health Exam
At a health exam for the Agent Orange Registry a VA health care provider will ask you about your history of contact with Agent Orange and/or other herbicides, but otherwise the exam is fairly similar to a regular physical at your doctor’s office. In addition to your history of herbicide exposure, the exam includes:
- Your health history (including any major illnesses or surgeries you may have had)
- A physical exam
- Medical tests that may be needed (like blood tests, X-rays, or other imaging tests)
After the exam, a VA health care provider will go over the test results with you. You’ll also get a letter with the details of your results.
7 Things You Should Know about Agent Orange Registry Health Exams
- The exam is free for eligible veterans. If you meet the eligibility requirements listed above, the exam is free of charge. There is no payment or copayment involved.
- The exam is NOT a disability compensation exam. As mentioned, exams scheduled as part of the Agent Orange Registry are different from disability compensation exams, also known as Compensation & Pension, or C&P, exams. The Registry health exam is meant to alert of potential health issues related to herbicide exposure and to collect data on veterans exposed to herbicides. The exam is not required for any VA benefits and doesn’t count as an application for VA benefits.
- You do NOT need to be enrolled in VA’s health care system to participate. Any veteran who meets the eligibility requirements (which are based on the location and time period of your service) can participate in the Agent Orange Registry and receive a related health exam.
- The exam is based on your recollection of service, not on your military records. You will be asked about your recollections of herbicide exposure, but you’re not required to bring any service records with you to the exam or prove exposure in any way.
- The exam will NOT confirm (or deny) 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. But the exam will help determine whether you have any illnesses that are potentially related to herbicide exposure.
- You can receive additional Registry exams if new problems develop. If at any time after your first Agent Orange Registry health exam you develop another medical condition potentially related to herbicide exposure, you can get a second (or third, etc.) exam.
- Your family members are NOT eligible for a Registry health exam. Unfortunately, the VA does not allow family members who may have been affected by their veterans’ exposure (in the form of birth defects, etc.) are not allowed to receive an Agent Orange Registry health exam.
Medical Conditions VA Acknowledges as Associated with Agent Orange Exposure
Although no test can confirm that you were exposed to Agent Orange, VA presumes exposure if you served in several of the capacities listed above (i.e. service in Vietnam and the Korean DMZ during the specified timeframes)If you subsequently received a diagnosis of any of the following conditions, VA assumes it is connected to your in-service exposure to Agent Orange, making it easier for you to receive VA disability benefits:
- AL Amyloidosis
- Chronic B-cell leukemias
- Type 2 diabetes
- Hodgkin’s disease
- Ischemic heart disease
- Multiple myelomas
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
- Parkinson’s disease
- Peripheral neuropathy
- Porphyria cutanea tarda
- Prostate cancer
- Respiratory cancers
- Soft tissue sarcomas
The VA Disability Lawyers at CCK Can Help You Obtain VA Disability for Agent Orange Exposure — Call for a Free Consultation
If you were exposed to Agent Orange during your military service, the VA disability lawyers at Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick LTD may be able to help you receive service-connected compensation. For a free case evaluation with a member of our staff, call us today at 800-544-9144.
Share this Post