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Agent Orange Exposure & VA Disability Compensation

You may be entitled to compensation if:

• You have an illness caused by exposure to Agent Orange during military service
• Served in a location that exposed you to Agent Orange

Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2019

Those who served aboard ships in the open waters off the coast of Vietnam during the Vietnam War are now presumed to be exposed to Agent Orange. If we denied your claim in the past, you can file a new claim based on Public Law 116-23.

Full Eligibility Requirements

Presumptive Diseases - Assume that certain cancers and other illnesses are caused by Agent Orange.

Presumptive Exposure - Assume that Veterans who served in certain locations were exposed to Agent Orange.

Cancers Caused by Agent Orange Exposure

Chronic B-Cell Leukemia: A type of cancer that affects white blood cells. These are cells in the body’s immune system that help to fight off illnesses and infections.

Hodgkin’s Disease: A type of malignant lymphoma (cancer) that causes the lymph nodes, liver, and spleen to grow progressively larger. It also causes red blood cells to decrease more and more over time (called anemia).

Multiple Myeloma: A type of cancer that affects the plasma cells. These are a type of white blood cells made in the bone marrow that help to fight infection.

Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma: A group of cancers that affect the lymph glands and other lymphatic tissue. These are parts of the immune system that help to fight infection and illness.

Prostate Cancer: Cancer of the prostate and one of the most common cancers among men

Respiratory Cancers (Including Lung Cancer): Cancers of the organs involved in breathing. These include cancers of the lungs, larynx, trachea, and bronchus.

Some Soft Tissue Sarcomas: A group of different types of cancers in body tissues such as muscle, fat, blood and lymph vessels, and connective tissues. We don’t include osteosarcoma, chondrosarcoma, Kaposi’s sarcoma, or mesothelioma on our list of presumptive diseases.

Other Illnesses Caused by Agent Orange Exposure

AL Amyloidosis: A rare illness that happens when an abnormal protein (called amyloid) enters the body’s tissues or organs. These include the organs like the heart, kidneys, or liver.

Chloracne (or Other Types of Acneiform Disease): A skin condition that happens soon after exposure to chemicals. It looks like common forms of acne often seen in teenagers. Under our rating regulations, this condition must be at least 10% disabling within 1 year of herbicide exposure.

Diabetes Mellitus Type 2: An illness that happens when the body can’t respond to the hormone insulin the way it should. This leads to high blood sugar levels.

Ischemic Heart Disease: A type of heart disease that happens when the heart doesn’t get enough blood. This leads to chest pain.

Parkinson’s Disease: A progressive disorder of the nervous system that affects muscle movement—and often worsens over time. The nervous system is the network of nerves and fibers that send messages between the brain and spinal cord and other areas of the body.

Peripheral Neuropathy, Early Onset: An illness of the nervous system that causes numbness, tingling, and motor (or muscle) weakness. Under our rating regulations, this condition must be at least 10% disabling within 1 year of herbicide exposure.

Porphyria Cutanea Tarda: A rare illness that can make the liver stop working the way it should. It can also cause the skin to thin and blister when exposed to the sun. Under our rating regulations, this condition must be at least 10% disabling within 1 year of herbicide exposure.

Presumption of Exposure Between January 9, 1962, and May 7, 1975, you served for any length of time in at least one of these locations:

• In the Republic of Vietnam, or

• Aboard a U.S. military vessel that operated in the inland waterways of Vietnam, or

• On a vessel operating not more than 12 nautical miles seaward from the demarcation line of the waters of Vietnam and Cambodia, or

• On regular perimeter duty on the fenced-in perimeters of a U.S. Army installation in Thailand or a Royal Thai Air Force base. These bases include U-Tapao, Ubon, Nakhon Phanom, Udorn, Takhli, Korat, or Don Muang.

Presumption of Exposure or at Least One of These Must Be True:

• Served in or near the Korean DMZ for any length of time between September 1, 1967, and August 31, 1971, or

• Served 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 your flight, ground, or medical duties, or

• Were involved in transporting, testing, storing, or other uses of Agent Orange during your military service, or

• Were assigned as a Reservist to certain flight, ground, or medical crew duties at one of the below locations.

Presumption of Exposure Eligible Reserve Locations

Lockbourne/Rickenbacker Air Force Base in Ohio, 1969 to 1986 (906th and 907th Tactical Air Groups or 355th and 356th Tactical Airlift Squadrons)

Westover Air Force Base in Massachusetts, 1972 to 1982 (731st Tactical Air Squadron and 74th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron, or 901st Organizational Maintenance Squadron)

Pittsburgh International Airport in Pennsylvania, 1972 to 1982 (758th Airlift Squadron)

How Do I File a VA Disability Claim?

If you believe your illness was caused by Agent Orange exposure you must file a claim for VA disability benefits.

• Gather any evidence (supporting documents) you’ll submit yourself when you file your VA disability claim.
• Be sure your claim is filled out completely and you have all the supporting documents ready to send in along with your claim.
• Find out if you’ll need to turn in any additional forms with your claim

Important Contacts

Veterans Assistance Commission (VAC)
McHenry County - 815-334-4229
Lake County - 847-377-3344
DuPage County - 630-407-5655

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