Among those who are drawing veterans disability or are eligible for the benefits due to being exposed to Agent Orange, are certain Naval and Coast Guard veterans. Some Naval veterans, however, are eligible to qualify for disability compensation under 14 different conditions listed on the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) presumptive disease list related to Agent Orange exposure.
The VA is now extending that eligibility to more ships that operated in and around Vietnam’s coastline between January 9, 1962, and May 7, 1975. The list includes those ships that:
- operated in inland waterways;
- docked on shore; or
- sent crewmembers ashore.
According to VA Sec. Eric Shinseki, extending the list of ships eligible for such benefits makes it easier for veterans of the Navy and Coast Guard to get their earned benefits. The VA’s presumption is any veteran that was “in-country” during Vietnam may have been exposed to toxic herbicides, such as Agent Orange. Such veterans who then develop one of the diseases on the VA’s list do not have to show a link between their service and their illness to claim veterans benefits.
The VA has been not only adding more ships to their qualifying list, but has added more presumptive diseases as well in recent history.
If you are a disabled veteran who has been denied disability compensation or have not yet applied for benefits from the VA, a South Florida disability attorney from LaVan & Neidenberg is ready to help. To learn if you are entitled to certain programs and benefits contact our veterans disability rights firm today – 1-888-234-5758.