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Agent Orange Veterans Disability Claims

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Chicago Agent Orange Lawyer (38 CFR 3.307 & 3.309 & 3.816)

While many veterans were exposed to Agent Orange during the Vietnam War, the government long denied the connection between Agent Orange and serious illnesses suffered by veterans. While the government now recognizes the harmful health effects of Agent Orange, it can still be challenging to obtain benefits based on an Agent Orange-related disability. If you need assistance with a veterans disability claim, please seek assistance from skilled veterans disability benefits lawyer today.

Do You Qualify For Agent Orange Benefits?

There are many things you must prove in order to be approved for VA benefits for an Agent Orange-related disease. The following are brief descriptions of the qualifications:

Service – You must not only prove that you served in the Vietnam War but that you actually walked on land in Vietnam or traveled the waterways inland. If you only ever flew over the country, you will not be able to prove a connection to Agent Orange. There are some special exceptions for veterans who were stationed on ships offshore, who are known as “blue water veterans,” based on certain diagnoses. If you are unsure whether your water-based service qualifies, you can search for your ship on the VA website.

Discharge – You must prove that you were not dishonorably discharged from service.

Diagnosis – You must demonstrate that you have been currently diagnosed with a disease that has been linked to Agent Orange exposure. These can include the following:

  • Soft tissue sarcomas;
  • Ischemic heart disease;
  • Chronic B-cell leukemias;
  • Prostate cancer;
  • Multiple myeloma;
  • Parkinson’s disease;
  • Hodgkin’s disease;
  • Chronic lymphocytic leukemia;
  • Small-cell lymphocytic lymphoma;
  • Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma;
  • Many other diseases and forms of cancer.

Chronic lymphocytic leukemia, small-cell lymphocytic lymphoma, and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma will qualify blue water veterans for benefits without proving they served on land. In addition, if you have a condition that is not specifically designated by the VA, you may still be able to qualify for benefits if you can present medical evidence linking your disease to Agent Orange chemicals.

Agent Orange FAQ’s

What is agent orange?

Agent Orange is a type of herbicide used by the military during the Vietnam and Korean Wars. Named for the orange band on the outside of their storage barrels, Agent Orange was sprayed over thousands of acres of trees and vegetation between 1962 and 1975 in Vietnam. Although used to clear plants and trees, it was later discovered that this chemical was extremely dangerous to those who were exposed to it and could cause devastating illnesses. For this reason, veterans who served in Vietnam, the Korean Demilitarized Zone, Thai Air Force bases, or on C-123 Aircrafts and who suffer from certain illnesses can qualify for disability benefits.

What Diseases Have Been Linked to Exposure to Agent Orange?

Before a veteran can begin collecting disability benefits, that individual must be able to establish that he or she served on the ground in Vietnam, or near one of its rivers and is suffering from a covered illness. These illnesses are included in a list of presumptive diseases that the VA assumes are related to a veteran’s military service in Vietnam. The presumptive diseases most commonly diagnosed in veterans who were exposed to Agent Orange include:

  • AL amyloidosis;
  • Chronic B-cell leukemia;
  • Type 2 diabetes;
  • Hodgkin’s disease;
  • Multiple myeloma;
  • Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma;
  • Parkinson’s disease;
  • Peripheral neuropathy;
  • Chloracne;
  • Ischemic heart disease;
  • Porphyria cutanea tarda;
  • Lung, bronchus, larynx, and trachea cancer; 
  • Prostate cancer; and
  • Soft tissue sarcomas.

If I Suffer From a Non-Listed Disease, can I Collect Benefits for Exposure to Agent Orange?

Many other illnesses that have been linked through recent research to exposure to Agent Orange are not yet recognized by the VA and so remain non-compensable through disability benefits.

Fortunately, veterans who suffer from illnesses that have not made their way to the VA’s presumptive list of Agent Orange-related conditions could still be eligible for benefits if they can:

  • Provide medical or scientific evidence that the illness is related to exposure to Agent Orange; or
  • Demonstrate that their illness began or worsened because of their military service. 

Scientific proof could include articles from medical journals, as well as published research studies. However, veterans applying for benefits will also need to provide medical records demonstrating that they have a current disability and that there is a connection between their exposure and their illness. 

Assisting With The Benefits Process

There are different options for applying for benefits connected to Agent Orange depending on the specific disease that you have. Our office can review your situation and advise you on the best application method for your situation. If you are eligible, you can receive free registry examinations and a wide range of medical treatments for your disability. You can also receive monthly monetary benefits to help support yourself due to limitations caused by your disease. If you have children with birth defects from your Agent Orange exposure, they may be eligible for benefits, as well.

Contact a Chicago VA Disability Benefits Attorney For Help

If you have an illness that you believe stems from your exposure to Agent Orange in the Vietnam War, you should not hesitate to discuss your case with a highly experienced veterans benefits lawyer as soon as possible. At the Comerford Law Office, attorney James R. Comerford is committed to advocating for veteran rights and truly believes in the difficulties that can stem from Agent Orange and other conditions of war. If you need help obtaining benefits, please call our office for more information about how we can provide help in your situation.

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