Conditions Linked to Agent Orange Exposure

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Conditions Linked to Agent Orange Exposure

It can be very difficult to “prove” that a medical condition is related to a specific event. For example, the tobacco companies would routinely question plaintiffs concerning their jobs, exposure to powerlines, or family histories of cancer, even when it was well-established that smoking causes cancer. Since there is no way to be medically certain that a specific toxin was the sole cause of cancer, scientists use statistics to determine the rate of cancer among those who smoke against those who do not.

The same is true of Agent Orange. Those exposed to the toxic herbicide known as Agent Orange during the Vietnam or Korean War are more likely to have certain types of cancers or other ailments than the general public. For that reason, if you are a veteran with one of these ailments and you can prove Agent Orange exposure, the VA may conclude that Agent Orange is the cause and award benefits on that basis.

Conditions Associated With Agent Orange Exposure

The VA will assume that specific conditions are linked to a veteran’s service for certain disability claims. These are known as presumptive claims. In other words, all that is required is to show that you were exposed to Agent Orange and now have a particular condition. The conditions listed below are currently associated with presumptive claims for Agent Orange exposure.

Cancers Associated With Agent Orange Exposure

  • Bladder cancer 
  • Chronic B-cell leukemias
  • Multiple myeloma 
  • Prostate cancer
  • Hodgkin’s Disease
  • Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  • Respiratory/lung cancer
  • Soft tissue sarcomas

Non-Cancers Associated With Agent Orange Exposure

  • AL amyloidosis 
  • Chloracne
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Ischemic heart disease
  • Lou Gherig’s disease (ALS)
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Early-onset peripheral neuropathy
  • Porphyria cutanea tarda

Other conditions may also be related to Agent Orange exposure but are not considered “presumptive.” You would have to establish medical evidence for a link between the condition and Agent Orange exposure. However, just because your condition is not on the VA’s list of presumptive Agent Orange-linked disorders, it does not mean you cannot recover benefits.

Special Considerations

Agent Orange is a known risk factor for birth defects. A child born to a former soldier exposed to Agent Orange may be able to recover benefits based on any birth defects they suffered as a result of their parent’s exposure. Spina bifida is a common complication of children born to military families that served in Vietnam or the Korean war. 

If the VA does not list your current disability as a possible complication of Agent Orange exposure, you should still consider filing a claim. Each year, new conditions are being approved that may have been denied in the past. We know that Agent Orange does considerable damage to the human body, and the way that damage manifests can be unpredictable. 

Talk to a Chicago VA Disability Benefits Attorney Today

The Comerford Law Office, LLC has decades of experience helping U.S. veterans prove their Agent Orange exposure claims. Call today to schedule an appointment and we can begin discussing your options immediately.

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