Northville, MI (Law Firm Newswire) March 31, 2021 – Tens of thousands of Vietnam War veterans will be newly eligible for benefits and compensation from the Department of Veterans Affairs for three conditions newly deemed related to Agent Orange exposure. Beginning January 1, 2021, bladder cancer, hypothyroidism and Parkinson’s Disease-like conditions have been added to the list of conditions with a presumed service-connection.
A presumption of service connection replaces the VA’s typically stringent requirement that veterans prove that an event, illness or injury experienced while serving in the military contributed to a current disability. The VA assumes that anyone who served under certain circumstances, in this case during the Vietnam War in specific locations, was exposed to Agent Orange and that their subsequent disabilities are a result.
“With the addition of just these three new conditions to the presumptive list, more than 34,000 Vietnam veterans and their families will be able to qualify for the benefits that they deserve,” said James G. Fausone, lead attorney at Legal Help for Veterans in Northville, Michigan. “This is going to help many people who are or were living with one of these debilitating diseases.”
Agent Orange was a chemical herbicide widely used during the Vietnam War to destroy enemy crops and reduce tree cover in the jungle to prevent ambushes on American troops. Agent Orange’s byproduct was extremely toxic and is responsible for many serious health complications for those exposed to it. The new conditions are added to the presumptive list that includes 14 others that studies have linked to Agent Orange exposure.
This new expansion of the presumptive conditions list is unique because it came from Congress, not the Department of Veterans Affairs. It was included in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA,) an annual national defense policy and budget bill. Former President Trump initially vetoed the 2021 NDAA, but Congress overrode that veto. Also included in the NDAA was a 3 percent pay increase for members of the armed services and other policy updates.
Anyone exposed to Agent Orange and was previously denied VA benefits for bladder cancer, hypothyroidism or Parkinson’s Disease-like conditions is encouraged to apply again. For more information on applying for VA disability benefits for one of these conditions or another, visit Legal Help for Veterans at https://www.legalhelpforveterans.com/.
Legal Help for Veterans, PLLC
41700 West Six Mile Road, Suite 101
Northville, MI 48168
Toll Free Phone: 800.693.4800