Nehmer Class Definition
The Nehmer class of veterans was represented in the case Nehmer vs. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs – a 1986 class action lawsuit brought against VA by the National Veterans Legal Services Program (NVLSP). The Nehmer class includes veterans who served in Vietnam between January 9, 1962 and May 7, 1975, either with 1) “boots-on-the-ground” or 2) what VA calls “brown water” veterans – those who were stationed aboard ships that operated in the inland waterways of Vietnam. Veterans believed VA’s standard used to determine whether diseases are related to Agent Orange was too limited, thereby violating the 1984 Veterans’ Dioxin and Radiation Exposure Compensation Act. VA and the NVLSP agreed to settle if VA issued a new regulation providing presumptive service connection for more diseases, and to adjudicate previously denied claims that were related to those diseases.
NVLSP also negotiated an agreement that requires VA to take certain actions when it recognizes a new disease as scientifically linked to Agent Orange exposure. When VA adds a new condition to the presumptive list, it must (1) identify all claims for the recognized disease that were previously filed and/or denied, and (2) pay retroactive disability and death benefits to veterans, or their survivors, back to the date of the veteran’s initial claim.
In other words, Nehmer claims are VA claims for compensation for presumptive conditions associated with Agent Orange exposure that were previously denied by VA under the 1984 Veterans’ Dioxin and Radiation Exposure Compensation Act.
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