Type 2 diabetes, also known as adult-onset diabetes, is the most common form of diabetes in US. Most people think of obesity as the main cause of type 2 diabetes, which is technically true. However, other things may lead to type 2 diabetes, including exposure to harmful chemicals like Agent Orange. Veterans who were exposed to Agent Orange and later diagnosed with type 2 diabetes are entitled to disability benefits for the chronic condition.
What is Type 2 Diabetes?
Mayo clinic defines type 2 diabetes as a chronic illness that changes the way your body metabolizes sugar. Individuals suffering from type 2 diabetes resist the normal effects of insulin. This causes the pancreas to make extra insulin to keep a normal blood sugar level, which could eventually lead to pancreas failure.
Typically, diet and exercise can help negate the effects of type 2 diabetes. If diet and exercise are not enough, you may need medication or insulin therapy.
Type 2 Diabetes Symptoms
The symptoms associated with type 2 diabetes may go undetected for years and are slow to develop. Mayo clinic, a nonprofit academic medical center, lists a variety of different symptoms associated with type 2 diabetes, including:
- Frequent Thirst
- Increased Urination
- Unexplained weight loss
- Chronic fatigue
- Blurred vision
- Slow healing injuries
- Darkened skin on the armpits and neck
- Frequent infections
What Causes Type II Diabetes?
As previously mentioned, obesity is the number 1 cause of diabetes in the world. However, many other risk factors could increase the chance of developing type 2 diabetes, including:
- Polycystic ovarian syndrome
- Exposure to harmful chemicals
Vietnam Veterans and other Veterans exposed to Agent Orange can likely attribute a type 2 diabetes diagnosis to Agent Orange.
How Do I Get Disability Compensation for Type 2 Diabetes from Agent Orange?
Veterans with type 2 diabetes due to Agent Orange exposure are entitled to disability compensation. Normally, a Veteran will need to prove 3 things to receive service connection from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA):
- A current medical diagnosis
- An in-service event
- A medical opinion stating the event was “as likely as not” to cause the disability
However, Veterans who were exposed to Agent Orange and later diagnosed with type 2 diabetes do not need to prove this. Instead, they only need to show they were exposed to the herbicide and have a current medical diagnosis. Why? This is because type 2 diabetes is a presumptive condition for Agent Orange exposure.
Presumptive Service Connection for Type 2 Diabetes
A presumptive condition is a disability or injury the VA presumes was caused by service. Multiple studies have shown that the chemical exfoliant Agent Orange can lead to a variety of diseases. The VA now lists multiple disabilities that are presumed to be caused by Agent Orange exposure. One of the illnesses they VA presumes is caused by Agent Orange exposure is type 2 diabetes.
Veterans Disability Lawyers
The VA frequently denies Veterans disability compensation for injuries or illnesses, especially those related to Agent Orange. Veterans who were exposed to Agent Orange and denied disability benefits by the Department of Veterans Affairs have the right to appeal.
Berry Law has assisted thousands of Veterans with disability claim appeals, and we have successfully recovered over $200 million in back pay awards for fellow Veterans. If you need help appealing your VA claim, contact Berry Law for a free case evaluation.