Agent Orange VA Disability Questions Answered

Agent Orange VA Disability Questions Answered

Donnel Beckles, Managing VA Advocate, Veterans Help Group

Donnel Beckles is one of the country’s leading Veterans Advocates. HIs vast knowledge of and experience in VA Disability law has allowed him to serve thousands of disabled veterans at both the application and appeals stage of the veterans disability process. Since 2016, he has helped secure tens of millions of dollars in benefits. 

In this post, he answers some commonly-asked questions about Agent Orange exposure and related benefits. 

Common Questions about Agent Orange

What is Agent Orange? 

Agent Orange is a herbicide that was used by the U.S. government in Vietnam. Exposure to Agent Orange caused a wide variety of medical issues, including cancers and birth defects. 

Who Was Exposed to Agent Orange? 

Veterans are presumed to have been exposed to Agent Orange if they served in the Republic of Vietnam, on a military vessel that operated in inland waterways of Vietnam, or on a ship within 12 nautical miles seaward from the demarcation line between Vietnam and Cambodia between January 9, 1962, and May 7, 1975. 

In 2022, the PACT Act added the following locations and service dates: 

  • On the United States or Royal Thai military base in Thailand between January 9, 1962, and June 30, 1976
  • In Laos between December 1, 1965, and September 30, 1969
  • In Cambodia at Mimot or Krek, Kampong Cham Province between April 16, 1969 and April 30, 1969
  • In Guam or American Samoa, or in the territorial waters off of either, between January 9, 1962, and July 31, 1980
  • At Johnston Atoll or on a ship that called there between January 1, 1972, and September 30, 1977

A veteran is also presumed to have been exposed if they: 

  • Served in or near the Korean DMZ between September 1, 1967, and August 31, 1971
  • Were on active duty in a regular Air Force unit location where a C-123 aircraft with traces of Agent Orange was assigned, and had repeated contact with this aircraft due to flight, ground, or medical duties
  • Were involved in transporting, testing, storing, or other uses of Agent Orange during their military service
  • Were assigned as a Reservist to certain flight, ground, or medical crew duties at Lockbourne/Rickenbacker Air Force base between 1969 and 1986, Westover Air Force Base between 1972 and 1982, or Pittsburgh International Airport between 1972 and 1982

What Conditions Have Been Connected to Agent Orange Exposure? 

A number of medical conditions are presumptively connected to Agent Orange exposure. These include several types of cancers, such as: 

  • Bladder cancer
  • Prostate cancer
  • Respiratory cancers
  • Hodgkin’s disease
  • Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Chronic B-cell leukemia
  • Certain soft-tissue sarcomas

Other diseases and conditions presumed connected include: 

  • Hypothyroidism
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • AL amyloidosis
  • Chloracne
  • Type II diabetes
  • Ischemic heart disease
  • Monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance
  • Parkinsonism
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Peripheral neuropathy (early onset)
  • Porphyria cutanea tarda

If your condition isn’t listed, it may still be possible to establish a service connection.

How Do I Pursue VA Disability Benefits for Agent Orange Exposure? 

If you believe you may be entitled to veterans disability benefits due to a medical condition caused by Agent Orange exposure, your best next step is to talk to a seasoned disability benefits advocate. To learn more, call (855) 855-8992 right now, or fill out the contact us here.

Donnel Beckles has been a leading voice for the disabled veteran community since 2011 and has led one of the nation’s most successful VA disability advocacy organizations (Veterans Help Group) since 2016. He is a proud member of the National Organization for Veterans Advocates (NOVA) and is accredited to practice VA law by the Department of Veterans Affairs. Learn more about Donnel here.

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