Many Veterans who served in Vietnam or the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) now suffer from medical conditions from exposure to the tactical herbicide Agent Orange.
To help Veterans cope with long term injury, the Department of Veterans Affairs offers compensation for Vietnam or Korean War veterans who developed disabilities as a result of Agent Orange exposure. However, proving the link between Agent Orange exposure and your medical condition can be a difficult task.
If Agent Orange exposure during your service in Vietnam or Southeast Asia has caused you to develop a serious medical condition, we may be able to help you appeal your case to the VA. Berry Law has been helping veterans with their disability appeals for 50 years. With attorneys from the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force on our staff, we always work relentlessly to get our fellow Veterans the compensation they deserve.
Call or email Berry Law today for more information about Agent Orange compensation. Your initial consultation and information request are free.
What Is Agent Orange?
Agent Orange is a powerful tactical herbicide that military personnel used during the Vietnam War. The United States military used Agent Orange in Vietnam, Korea, and Thailand between 1961 and 1971. The herbicide was used as part of the exfoliation program “Operation Ranch Hand.” The substance is made up of many different chemicals. Its main use was to clear leaves, trees, and other vegetation that provided enemy cover.
Exposure to Agent Orange has caused severe medical conditions in Veterans, civilians, and the chemists related to developing the substance. The health impacts of this herbicide mainly come from the traces of dioxin, an extremely toxic chemical found in the substance.
The U.S. government initially told military personnel that Agent Orange was harmless. However, medical research has since linked the herbicide to a variety of serious diseases. Service personnel exposed to Agent Orange may not experience health problems until decades after their exposure. Agent Orange exposure has also led to birth defects in the children of military personnel.
Those exposed to Agent Orange who have received a diagnosis of a serious medical condition may be entitled to compensation. You may be entitled to up to 100% VA disability compensation.
What Are The 14 Diseases Associated with Agent Orange?
There are 14 diseases linked to Agent Orange exposure, including:
- AL Amyloidosis
- Chronic B-Cell Leukemia
- Hodgkin’s Disease
- Ischemic Heart Disease
- Multiple Myeloma
- Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Peripheral Neuropathy
- Porphyria Cutanea Tarda
- Prostate Cancer
- Respiratory Cancers
- Soft Tissue Sarcomas
- Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus
Medical professionals continue to discover new information about the effects of exposure to Agent Orange by Vietnam veterans. As a result, the list could expand in the years to come.
How to Receive Compensation for Agent Orange Exposure
To qualify for Agent Orange compensation, veterans must:
- Be diagnosed with any of the 14 diseases listed above, AND
- Have served in a location exposed to Agent Orange
The VA follows a “presumptive” policy. If both qualifications above are true, they can presume that Agent Orange exposure caused the Veteran’s disease.
Medical Evidence for Agent Orange Exposure
The 14 diseases listed above are part of the VA’s “presumptive diseases” list. If Veterans have verified medical evidence of any of these conditions, the VA can assume that their exposure to Agent Orange caused the disease if the Veteran can prove they were in an exposure area.
If veterans have contracted another disease that is not on this list, they can still apply for VA disability benefits. However, it may be more difficult to prove their connection to Agent Orange. Berry Law may be able to help you prove the origin of your disease to the VA.
Agent Orange Exposure Locations
To receive disability benefits, Veterans must be able to prove that their military service stationed them in an area exposed to Agent Orange. This means that they must have served in one or more of these locations between January 9, 1962, and May 7, 1975:
- The Republic of Vietnam
- On a military vessel in the inland waterways of Vietnam
- On a military vessel up to 12 miles away from the inland waterways of Vietnam and Cambodia
- In a U.S. Army installation in Thailand or the Royal Thai Air Force base.
There are some exceptions to these locations that may qualify Veterans for benefits as well. Veterans may also be eligible for benefits if these statements apply:
- Veterans who served in or around the Korean DMZ for any period between September 1, 1967, and August 31, 1971
- Veterans who served in a regular Air Force location with frequent use or contact with a C-123 aircraft containing traces of Agent Orange
- Veterans who helped transfer, test, or store Agent Orange during their military service
Veterans may also claim to qualify if they served as Reservists at any of these related locations during these years:
- Lockbourne/Rickenbacker Air Force Base in Ohio between 1969 and 1986
- Westover Air Force Base in Massachusetts between 1972 and 1982
- Pittsburgh International Airport in Pennsylvania between 1972 and 1982
The VA considers each of these locations “presumptive locations.” Proving military service at any of these locations at the indicated time is enough evidence to connect a veteran’s presumptive illness to Agent Orange.
Our team will help piece together any information about your military service that will help prove your case to the VA.
How to File for Disability Benefits
If a Veteran can connect their illness to Agent Orange exposure, the VA will provide them with benefits. These benefits help cover their medical costs and their inability to work. To receive these VA benefits, Veterans will need to file a claim for disability benefits with the VA, and submit evidence to prove their exposure. They will need:
- Medical records that show they have an Agent Orange-related illness, AND
- Military records that indicate their military service at one of the above locations during the indicated period
Periodically, a veteran will have a disease that is not part of the VA’s presumptive diseases list. Veterans will need to provide additional evidence to prove the connection of their disease to Agent Orange.
We can help you gather the evidence you need to present your case to the VA.
Agent Orange Disability Percentage
Once a Veteran has proven their Agent Orange exposure and resultant disease to the VA, the Veteran will be assigned a disability percentage. The percentage determines how much compensation to award them. Ratings range from 10% to 100%, and the level of compensation veterans receive directly correlates to their rating.
To determine a Veteran’s disability percentage, the VA will look at key factors. The severity of a Veteran’s illness, the limiting factor it has had on their life, and the longevity of their symptoms are all evaluated.
If Veterans have other service-connected medical conditions, the VA will factor these conditions into the percentage as well. Many Agent Orange-related diseases will automatically constitute a 100% disability rating.
How Much is Agent Orange Compensation?
The amount of compensation each veteran receives for Agent Orange exposure correlates to the severity of their medical condition. Compensation can vary according to the number of dependents they have. At 2020 rates, they can expect to receive up to $3,106.04 each month for the maximum level of compensation. Having a 90% disability rating will get them about $1,826.96, and an 80% disability rating qualifies them for $1,657.80 each month.
Along with monetary benefits, veterans can also receive free VA healthcare benefits, recreational and insurance benefits, and more.
At Berry Law, we work hard to help our clients that qualify for disability get the benefits they deserve. Learn more about how to Increase Your VA Disability Benefits and Compensation.
Veterans Helping Veterans Get Agent Orange Disability Compensation
Berry Law is a Veteran-owned law firm founded by a Vietnam Veteran (3 tours). Our service specializes in helping our fellow Veterans get the money the VA owes them. We understand the struggles that our clients face every day. Therefore, we always bring the legal firepower to get the best outcomes for every client.
Navigating the demands of the VA can be a tedious, frustrating process. It is best to have a skilled legal team on your side to present your claim accurately and convincingly. With over 50 years of service, our goal-oriented attorneys work relentlessly to win cases for our clients.
Contact Berry Law today to set up a free consultation and begin the process of receiving Agent Orange-related compensation. If you were exposed to Agent Orange in Vietnam, please email or contact us for more information. Our website is also home to resources and other information. Our initial consultation time is free and you don’t pay anything unless we win your case.
Contact us today to review your Agent Orange claim for you. We will seek any money you are due. We will not charge you a fee unless the we obtain the benefits you earned.