Agent Orange, Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, and other Presumptive Conditions

Agent Orange was a chemical defoliant used most famously in the Vietnam War, but also found use in Korea along the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ). A long-overdue act of Congress, the Agent Orange Act of 1991, created a presumption of service connection for certain conditions if the veteran served in an area where Agent Orange was sprayed.

Currently, the areas of service that qualify for the presumption include the land and inland waterways of Vietnam. This area has recently been expanded to include the territorial waters of Vietnam as well. For veterans who served in Korea, a veteran must show that their unit was at or near the DMZ before the VA will presume Agent Orange exposure. When a veteran applies for service connection for these conditions, the VA will determine whether the veteran’s service qualifies for the presumption based on location.

Presumptive Conditions

VA regulations have listed fourteen (14) different conditions which the VA will grant presumptive service connection once the veteran can show they served in an area where Agent Orange was used. These conditions are:

  • Amyloid light-chain (AL) amyloidosis
  • Chloracne or other acneform disease consistent with chloracne
  • Type 2 diabetes (also known as Type II diabetes mellitus or adult-onset diabetes)
  • Hodgkin’s disease
  • Ischemic heart disease (including, but not limited to, acute, subacute, and old myocardial infarction; atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease including coronary artery disease; coronary bypass surgery; and stable/unstable Prizmetal’s angina)
  • All chronic B-cell leukemia (including, but not limited to, hairy-cell leukemia and chronic lymphocytic leukemia)
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Non-Hodgkin’s disease
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Early-onset peripheral neuropathy
  • Porphyria cutanea tarda
  • Prostate cancer
  • Respiratory cancers (cancer of the lung, bronchus, larynx, or trachea)
  • Soft-tissue sarcoma (other than osteosarcoma, chondrosarcoma, Kaposi’s sarcoma, or mesothelioma)

What if My Condition isn’t Listed?

If your condition is not one of the fourteen listed in VA regulations that qualifies for presumptive service connection, you may still be able to get your condition service connected. Oftentimes, the VA will deny a claim based upon a lack of connection between the condition and military service, otherwise known as a nexus. Depending upon the condition, your doctor may be able to provide an opinion letter stating that Agent Orange exposure caused or aggravated your condition in their professional opinion. Otherwise, new research is continuing to be published connecting Agent Orange exposure to a number of diseases. These studies may be able to show a medical connection between your condition and Agent Orange.

VA Disability Attorneys

If your claim for VA disability benefits has ben denied, your fight is not over. At Berry Law, our team helps Veterans appeal unsatisfactory rating decisions. We are committed to helping Veterans receive the disability compensation they are entitled to because we are a team of Veterans. Our firm features attorneys from all 4 branches of the military, and we understand the difficulties veterans have when they return from service. If you would like to appeal your VA rating decision, please contact our team today.