VA Expands Fast Track Availability for Agent Orange Victims

The Department of Veterans Affairs (also known as the VA) has announced that it is expanding the list of countries where people may benefit from fast-tracking their claims due to presumed Agent Orange exposure. Now, veterans who served in the United States, Canada and India will also gain the same presumption that veterans who served in other countries already gain. That way, they can more easily obtain disability benefits for harm they suffered due to Agent Orange exposure.

Expanding the List of Presumptive Exposure

In the new announcement, the VA has announced that the US, Canada and India will be added to the list of countries where veterans who served will receive presumptive status for exposure to Agent Orange. This will join other countries already on the list, including Vietnam, Cambodia, Johnston Atoll, Guam, American Samoa, Korea, Laos and Thailand. As a result, more veterans will be able to benefit from this presumptive status and get disability benefits more easily.

The Impact of Agent Orange Exposure

Agent Orange is one of several so-called “rainbow agents,” which were used as chemical defoliants during the Vietnam War. However, it was later found that exposure to the chemical could cause a number of severe health problems, including organ damage, suppressing immune system response, and increasing the risk of several types of cancer. It has also been linked to a number of birth defects in babies that were exposed to Agent Orange in utero.

The Benefits of Presumptive Exposure

By adding these veterans to the list of people who are presumed to have been exposed to Agent Orange, veterans suffering from associated health conditions can more easily obtain benefits. This is because people on the presumed list do not need to prove their medical conditions were related to their service. This avoids much of the legal struggle that can delay or prevent people from getting the benefits they deserve.

How This Could Affect You

If you are a veteran who served in one of the countries on the list of presumed exposure and you are suffering a medical condition associated with Agent Orange exposure, you may have an easier time obtaining benefits. However, to know if you might be affected, you should speak to a lawyer with experience handling veterans disability benefits cases. They can review your circumstances and ensure you get the benefits you deserve.

The attorneys of Sullivan & Kehoe place a special focus on assisting disabled veterans. Our veterans’ disability lawyers are still available for remote consultation on your legal issues. Call our office at (800) 395-7830 to schedule a consultation in our New York City, Garden City, Kings Park, Riverhead, or White Plains office, or visit our contact page.

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