VA Faces Tough Decisions About Agent Orange Benefits for Vietnam Veterans

Legal Help for Veterans is a law firm helping veterans get the benefits they deserve.

Northville, MI (Law Firm Newswire) February 7, 2017 – The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) must tackle a long list of decisions about the effects of Agent Orange and veterans’ eligibility for benefits. A key issue is whether the department will add new conditions to its list of diseases and health problems presumed to be linked to the pesticide.

Agent Orange was sprayed to destroy vegetation used as cover by Vietnamese troops during the Vietnam War. ProPublica and The Virginian-Pilot have joined forces to investigate the toxic chemical’s effects on Vietnam veterans and their families, as well as their struggles to obtain VA benefits.

“Rather than waiting for the problem to simply disappear, the VA should pay close attention to the vast research that has been conducted about the devastating effects of Agent Orange,” said Jim Fausone, a Michigan veterans attorney. “It is likely that the exposure could have also impacted the descendants of service members. Seeking benefits from the VA should not be this difficult for affected veterans and their families.”

Many Vietnam veterans are fighting the VA for compensation for medical conditions believed to be linked to Agent Orange exposure. However, proving exposure and harm has been challenging for veterans and their widows. Many widows do not have access to their husbands’ full service histories or experience dealing with the VA.

Currently, a veteran can gain eligibility for VA disability payments by proving their service in Vietnam and showing they have one of the 14 ailments linked to Agent Orange exposure, including cancer, diabetes and heart disease. In March 2016, a panel of federal researchers claimed there is enough evidence to connect Agent Orange exposure to several conditions not on the VA’s list. These include hypothyroidism, stroke, bladder cancer, hypertension and other Parkinson’s Disease-like neurological diseases.

However, the VA may be reluctant to include the additional illnesses to its list of Agent Orange exposure-related medical conditions due to the potential expenses involved. For example, the chances of hypertension increase with age, and anyone with the ailment who entered Vietnam could become eligible for VA benefits.

Learn more at http://www.legalhelpforveterans.com

Legal Help for Veterans, PLLC
41700 West Six Mile Road, Suite 101
Northville, MI 48168
Toll Free Phone: 800.693.4800

  • Free mental health clinics aim to offer alternative to VA care
    A new series of mental health clinics for veterans have opened in an effort to fill a perceived gap in the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) system. Over the past three years, the VA has been criticized for long appointment wait times for veterans seeking care and other shortfalls. The new network of clinics seeks […]
  • Unsterilized VA dental tools expose veterans to infection risk
    Around 600 veterans were told they may have been exposed to hepatitis or HIV while receiving dental care at the Tomah VA Medical Center in Wisconsin. According to Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) officials, a VA dentist at the facility failed to properly sterilize his equipment. He re-used his own dental tools instead of following […]
  • Ecstasy moves closer to getting approved as PTSD treatment
    Veterans struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may soon have another form of treatment to turn to for relief when traditional therapies fail to work. The Food and Drug Administration on November 29 authorized large-scale phase three clinical trials of MDMA after promising results from earlier studies. The trial could help open doors to more […]
  • Restaurant apologizes to veteran for denying free meal on Veterans Day
    Chili’s Grill & Bar apologized to an Army veteran who was humiliated by a restaurant manager when he doubted his military service and confiscated his free meal on Veterans Day. Ernest Walker, 47, ordered food at a Chili’s eatery in Cedar Hill, Texas, on November 11. The Tex-Mex chain is among several restaurants that offer complimentary […]