This is the third of three blogs (Saturday, yesterday and today) on this important topic. I hope you find it helpful.
As we continue our exploration of the lengthy list of Presumptive Diseases that have been proven to be caused by exposure to Agent Orange, and the list keeps growing as time passes, we learn that it doesn’t necessarily end with those that served since the VA presumes certain birth defects in children of Vietnam and Korea veterans are associated with veterans' qualifying military service.
Eligibility Based on Vietnam or Korea Service
For the purposes of disability compensation, VA presumes that veterans were exposed to Agent Orange or other herbicides if they served:
- In Vietnam anytime between January 9, 1962 and May 7, 1975 (includes brief visits ashore or service aboard a ship that operated on the inland waterways of Vietnam). Check VA's list of U.S. Navy and Coast Guard ships that operated in Vietnam.
- In or near the Korean demilitarized zone anytime between April 1, 1968 and August 31, 1971
Veterans who served in Korea during certain Vietnam War years and now have diseases on the presumptive disease list may also be eligible for compensation.
Until 2011, veterans who served on ships in the waters off Vietnam during the war but never went ashore there were not treated similarly. However, this too has changed. Since 2011, veterans who served on certain ships in the waters off Vietnam during the war can also be rated as 100% service-connected disabled without having to prove that their disease on the presumptive list was actually caused by exposure to Agent Orange. See "VA Posts Online List of Ships Associated with Presumptive Agent Orange Exposure."
Short Note: Veterans with Lou Gehrig's Disease: VA presumes Lou Gehrig's Disease (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or ALS) diagnosed in all veterans who had 90 or more days of continuous active military service is related to their service, although ALS is not related to Agent Orange exposure.
More thorough information about the level of documentation of service is provided on the VA website at https://www.publichealth.va.gov/exposures/agentorange/disability-compensation.asp.
Our law firm is dedicated to helping veterans and their families with their estate plans and we would be honored to work with you and your family. You can learn more about this topic as well as other strategies on our website under the tab entitled: estate planning in Virginia. Be sure you also sign up for our complimentary e-newsletter so that you may be informed of all the latest issues that could affect you, your loved ones and your estate planning.