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Agent Orange was used in a number of military operations during the 1960s and 1970s. Though most commonly associated with Vietnam, the defoliant chemical played a role in several other conflicts and operations, including in Korea and Thailand.

If a veteran has a qualifying service, he or she will be presumed to have been exposed to herbicides.  A veteran who is presumed to have been exposed to Agent Orange or who proves exposure on a facts-found basis can receive VA disability benefits if they develop a medical condition VA acknowledges as associated with herbicide exposure.

When and Where Agent Orange Was Used During the Vietnam War

Veterans with qualifying service during the Vietnam era include veterans who served in:

  • Vietnam (“boots on the ground” or “Brown Water” service) from January 9, 1962, to May 7, 1975; and
  • the Korean Demilitarized Zone from April 1, 1968, to August 31, 1971.

VA affords Vietnam and Korean DMZ veterans who have qualifying service with a presumption of exposure to Agent Orange. This means that if these veterans develop certain medical conditions that the VA acknowledges as associated with herbicide exposure, they will receive a presumptive service connection.  If you were diagnosed with a medical condition linked to Agent Orange, you should have a straightforward path to receiving a grant of disability benefits.  You may also qualify for the presumption of exposure if you flew C-123 aircraft after the Vietnam War.

Herbicides were also used on military bases in Thailand during the Vietnam War.  VA acknowledges that veterans who served on or near the perimeter of certain military bases from January 9, 1962, to May 7, 1975, may have been exposed to herbicides during their service.  However, veterans with service in Thailand are not afforded the same presumption of service connection as those who served in Vietnam.

The Issues with Agent Orange Use

Agent Orange is a defoliant. The military used Agent Orange to strip trees of their leaves in heavily forested areas. Its goal was to deprive enemy fighters of the natural cover provided by the foliage.

But what was not discovered until many years later was the high toxicity of Agent Orange to humans. The substance contained dioxin — the same harmful component also created burning trash and fossil fuels.

Because of Agent Orange’s high dioxin concentration, many veterans exposed to it later developed severe illnesses.

For Questions About Agent Orange Exposure and Your Eligibility for Disability Benefits, Call Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick LTD: 800-544-9144

The VA disability lawyers at Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick LTD may be able to help. If you believe you were exposed to Agent Orange, we may be able to help you establish service connection and receive benefits. Call 800-544-9144 for a free case evaluation with a member of our team.

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