Veterans Disability Benefits for Illnesses Caused by Agent Orange
Agent Orange is an herbicide and defoliant chemical that was used extensively by the United States military during the Vietnam war to remove dense foliage that enemy combatants used for cover. Among many other dangerous ingredients, Agent Orange contained trace amounts of dioxin, a toxic chemical that is known to cause problems with reproduction, development, and the immune system. It is also known to be carcinogenic, often leading to cancer in individuals who were exposed to it. In 1991, Congress passed the Agent Orange Act that directed the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to presume that certain diseases associated with Agent Orange were service-connected and compensable. A New York Agent Orange lawyer can help you apply for these veterans disability benefits if you believe you qualify.
Eligibility for Benefits in New York
VA benefits for Agent Orange exposure are available for veterans and qualified dependents who have an illness linked to Agent Orange exposure (known as a “presumptive disease”) who meet one or more of the following qualifications:
- Came into contact with Agent Orange while serving in the military, or
- Served in or near the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) for any length of time between September 1, 2967, and August 31, 1972, or
- Served in the Republic of Vietnam for any length of time between January 9, 1962, and May 7, 1975.
Benefits include health care, compensation payments, and an Agent Orange Registry health exam.
Diseases Related to Agent Orange
The VA maintains a list of diseases that it considers to be presumptively linked to Agent Orange exposure, including:
- Chronic B-cell leukemia
- Hodgkin’s disease
- Multiple myeloma
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
- Prostate cancer
- Respiratory cancers (including lung cancer)
- Soft tissue sarcomas (other than osteosarcoma, chondrosarcoma, Kaposi’s sarcoma, or mesothelioma)
- AL amyloidosis
- Chloracne and chloracne-related diseases
- Diabetes mellitus type 2
- Ischemic heart disease
- Parkinson’s disease
- Peripheral neuropathy, early onset
- Porphyria cutanea tarda
Individuals with disease other than those listed above may also submit a claim for compensation by providing medical evidence that the condition is related to Agent Orange or showing that the problem started during military service or was exacerbated thereby.
How to Obtain Veterans Disability Benefits for Agent Orange Exposure
When applying for Agent Orange benefits, it is important that you contact a New York Agent Orange lawyer with experience representing veterans who can evaluate your case, help you obtain all of the necessary medical and service-related documents, and put forward the strongest arguments for your case. Generally, filing for Agent Orange benefits requires the following steps:
- File an Application for Compensation (VA Form 21-526)
- Provide a copy of your DD 214 that shows you served in Vietnam or near the DMZ during the relevant time periods or were otherwise exposed to Agent Orange
- Provide medical records and any other relevant medical evidence showing that you have an Agent Orange-related illness
Once the VA receives your claim, it will begin an investigation and contact you with its decision or to obtain additional information.
Contact a New York Agent Orange Lawyer to Obtain Your Benefits
If you were exposed to Agent Orange during your military service, you may be at risk of developing significant illnesses. For more information about VA compensation for Agent Orange exposure or to file a claim, please contact a New York Agent Orange lawyer at Turley, Redmond and Rosasco by using our online form or calling us at 516-745-5666 (Garden City), 631-582-3700 (Ronkonkoma), or 631-399-0400 (Shirley).