The millions of gallons of Agent Orange sprayed by the United State during the Vietnam War continue to impact the lives of many people, including Vietnam veterans and their dependents. Agent Orange exposure has been connected to many different types of disabilities and birth defects, and service members who were exposed to Agent Orange can receive veterans benefits if they have a qualifying disability.
Diseases Associated With Agent Orange
A long list of diseases has been associated with Agent Orange exposure. The following diseases are considered presumptive conditions by the VA for veterans who were exposed to Agent Orange in Vietnam:
• Chloracne (or similar acneform disease)
• Respiratory Cancers (includes lung cancer)
• Soft Tissue Sarcomas (other than osteosarcoma, chondrosarcoma, Kaposi’s sarcoma, or mesothelioma)
Any veteran who has one these conditions and was exposed to Agent Orange in Vietnam will receive a presumption of service connection from the VA.
Birth Defects Associated With Agent Orange Exposure
The VA has recognized that certain birth defects in the children of Vietnam veterans are connected to the Veteran’s service during the Vietnam War. These children may be eligible to receive compensation, healthcare, and vocational training.
Children with spina bifida (except spina bifida occulta) and who are biological children of Vietnam veterans may be eligible to receive certain VA benefits. The veteran must have served either in Vietnam between January 9, 1962 and May 7, 1975, or in the Korean demilitarized zone. Veterans who served in the Korean demilitarized zone must have been exposed to herbicides, but if they served between April 1, 1968 and August 31, 1971, it is presumed that there were exposed.
Children with other birth defects may be eligible for compensation as well, but only if their biological mother served in Vietnam and they have a covered condition. The VA states that these conditions are not related to Agent Orange exposure, only to the biological mother’s service in Vietnam.
Birth defects caused by family disorders, birth-related injuries, or fetal or neonatal infirmities with established causes are not covered.
Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick has over 25 years of experience helping veterans get the benefits they deserve. If you have health issues as a result of exposure to Agent Orange, call our office at 401-331-6300 for a free consultation.