VA Extends Agent Orange Presumption to “Blue Water Navy” Veterans

The Veterans Administration recently announced that it would extend the presumption of Agent Orange exposure to “Blue Water Navy” veterans for the first time, according to a press release on the Department of Veterans Affairs website. These veterans include those who served offshore of the Republic of Vietnam between Jan. 9, 1962, and May 7, 1975, no more than twelve nautical miles seaward of demarcation line between Vietnam and Cambodia. This new ruling is estimated to affect between 420,000 and 560,000 Vietnam-era veterans.

Previously, access to funds for aid those suffering from Agent Orange exposure were limited to certain Navy veterans, who had to go to extra effort to prove their medical conditions were a result of being exposed to the toxic defoliant. However, with this new policy change, these veterans will have a legal presumption of Agent Orange exposure and will be able to access the related benefits without needing to go to extra lengths to prove that exposure.

Conditions caused by exposure to Agent Orange include the following:

  • AL amyloidosis
  • chloracne (or similar acneform disease)
  • chronic B-cell leukemias
  • type 2 diabetes
  • Hodgkin and Non-Hodgkin lymphoma
  • ischemic heart disease
  • multiple myeloma
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • peripheral neuropathy
  • early-onset porphyria cutanea tarda
  • prostate cancer
  • respiratory cancers (lung, bronchus, larynx or trachea)
  • soft-tissue sarcoma (other than osteosarcoma, chondrosarcoma, Kaposi’s sarcoma or mesothelioma).

If you are suffering from any of these ailments, and you believe you have been exposed to Agent Orange, please give Sullivan and Kehoe a call. The attorneys of Sullivan & Kehoe place a special focus on veteran disability law. With over 50 years of combined experience between its lawyers, our attorneys may be able to assist you or a loved one in obtaining VA disability benefits. 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.

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