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.
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:
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.
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:
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:
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.
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.
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.
Retroactive pay regarding the failure to account for all the veteran’s medical conditions.
Military Sexual Trauma case
Disability associated with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Retroactive pay regarding a PTSD misdiagnosis.
PTSD resulting in Unemployability
Traumatic brain injury case
Wrongfully denied SSA claim
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Non-presumptive cardiac impairment linked to Agent Orange
Agent Orange exposure case that led to Parkison’s disease.
ERISA long term disability benefits.
What I liked about Jim Comerford from the start was that his Dad was a Vietnam veteran. He understood more than the average person. Jim took over my case well before bladder cancer was on the presumptive list. He stayed with me the entire time via two claim rejections, my final hearing, a VES interview, and whatever else the VA threw our way. He handled all the details. Telephones were always answered by a real person (Jim) and answers didn’t…
Comerford law puts 110% into getting what his VA clients sacrificed so much for and gets results. I give Comerford law a 5 star review.
From the start, Mr Comerford was prompt, matter of fact and yet empathetic. WHen we first spoke on the phone, Mr Comerford took the time to listen to my military history and then to help formulate a plan based on my circumstances. I had access to Mr Comerford by both email and phone. I was never denied time or a call. I am convinced that by using Mr Comerford's services, I received the best rating based on my circumstances. As…
Jim is very thorough. I have been getting the run around by the VA since I initially filed in 2014 and just had my BVA hearing so I have not yet received a decision from the judge. I previously had the American Legion and then the DAV as representatives and they truly dropped the ball. Jim was able to show and explain to me where mistakes had been made and he also helped me to retrieve documents I thought had…
My lawyer James Comerford did an awesome job for me and my wife for my disability case. And we did win my disability case after fighting the system. I would want him on my side. I would like to thank him he is a great guy.
My husband a Vietnam Vet filed a claim for an increased rating due to his PTSD, depression and other issues. in 2011. If the Veteran approved a claim it was one that stated we agree the claim condition exists but it is non-compensable. For many years we had someone else working with us and was disappointed with their ability to help us. Many times I filed the paperwork myself. It reached the point where I almost gave up hope. Then…
Mr. Comerford is a brilliant lawyer who assisted me with my VA disability case. I had been denied in the past, and he knew exactly what to do. Thankfully, he resolved my issue with the VA, getting me the rating I deserved. I am very happy and pleased with his service. I highly recommend Mr. Comerford for your disability needs if you are having problems. He is professional and responds very quickly whenever you may have questions or concerns.
Jim has been unbelievable in my VA disability case. He is down to earth, compassionate, realistic, and knowledgeable. Jim explains everything so you can understand and treats you with the utmost respect. I greatly appreciate is his rapid response to calls and emails. If he is unable to take your call he gets back to you very fast. Jim helped me get the rating I deserved and kept me informed along the way. He even found increased ratings where I…
I emailed Mr. Comerford concerning my son, a Gulf War era vet with a disability incurred during a deployment. My son was later denied VA disability benefits and I was inquiring with Mr. Comerford about an appeal. My son was and is currently treated by the VA’s medical professionals monthly. I have great respect and sincere appreciation for all that these folks have done, and will do, in order to help my boy live as normal of a life as…
More than a decade of fighting the VA for benefits and traveling through the delays and denials. I concluded that I was in need of someone who really who really cares in helping a veteran. After having various service officers I was still feeling left behind. I made the decision in retaining someone who new how to drive through the roads of delay and denials and that someone you should know is James Comerford.
I approached The Comerford Law Office because I had been working on my VA claim for over 5 years with little progress. Jim Comerford helped me by compiling the necessary documents and professional opinions needed for my claim. The result was that I finally received the hearing I had been waiting years for. Not only did I get my hearing, but Jim was there to represent me and give the correct, relevant information that was vital to my claim being…
He assisted me with my case and did an outstanding job. I am very thankful!
I was on full disability in 2005 i gave it up because i thout i could wor 3 yrs later i was back where i started, I found Mr. Comerford by accident, let me tell you he went to bat for me, he worked for a large law firm where everyone was just a file/number, he opened his own practice, small but knows everyone personally and by name, when I was down he didn't quit, when the judge denied me…
I contacted Jim after my first denial for SS Disability. He was referred to me by a good friend who had retained him for her Disability odyssey as well. My Disability case was somewhat difficult because I didn’t have a nice, large cache of medical documentation to back up my claim. Despite this and other complications Jim helped me get through my hearing and I received a fully favorable decision from the Judge and now I am just waiting to…
James is an absolutely great lawyer. He fully understands his area of expertise, he’s quick to answer any questions with clear, concise directions on how to proceed. His insight into understanding how to navigate with many case laws and government agencies helped me as his client better understand the case law and it’s ways. James is quick to answer emails and phone calls, and made me feel very comfortable. I highly, highly recommended James for his case law specialties. A…
Jim is absolutely one of the nicest, most compassionate, and intelligent lawyers out there. He is fast to answer any question with clear, concise direction. His insight into understanding how to navigate with many government agencies helps his clients in many ways. Jim is quick to answer emails and calls, and makes his clients feel very comfortable. Highly, highly recommended.
Jim is a good lawyer that helped us through a difficult purchase of our home(he also was the lawyer for the sale of our previous home). We had quite a few issues with the details of the purchase with both the bank and the seller that James made sure were resolved as quickly as possible. When the selling lawyer would not respond to phone calls/emails Jim physically went to the lawyer’s office and made sure that the final details were…
I had gone on disability before and got better so I went back to work again. When I got bad again and applied for disability, it was unbelievable. IT was hell. I got hooked up with Jim, and he was an incredible human being as well as a wonderful lawyer. I definitely recommend anyone who needs a disability lawyer to use Jim.
Jim has been representing me through my Social Security Disability adventure for 6 years. I knew my case would not be easy because of my disabilities. I contacted Jim after I initially applied for SSDI. My SSDI case was denied the first time through. Unfortunately, the Rheumatologist I had been seeing for 17 years kept horrible records, barely recording any medical history. After reviewing them, Jim knew this was going to be an uphill battle, but battle on he did.…
I was referred to Jim after my SSDI Request for Redetermination was denied. My original disability claim had been filed by a company claiming to specialize in disability---yet I was never allowed to speak with an actual attorney and I did everything except the original electronic submission of the claim---which was compiled by a low-level intake person. I dismissed them after my original claim was denied. I was immediately delighted to have found Jim. My first call was with Jim…