Studies have shown that children of Vietnam vets and grandchildren of veterans of the Vietnam War may have developed birth defects due to their parents’ exposure to Agent Orange. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has identified several types of birth defects related to Vietnam veterans’ deployment in Vietnam and the demilitarized zones of Korea in the 1960s and 1970s.
Children with Spina Bifida Must Establish When and Where Parents Served
The main consideration for children of Vietnam vets to qualify for VA benefits is when and where their parent(s) served in the military.
Vietnam veterans deployed in Vietnam between January 9, 1962 and May 7, 1975 are presumed to have been exposed to Agent Orange during their service. This includes “boots on ground” soldiers as well as many naval servicemembers, even if they never set foot on Vietnam soil. The VA has created a registry of naval ships known to have transported Agent Orange and may have exposed servicemembers to the toxic herbicide.
Veterans who served in the Korean demilitarized zone between September 1, 1967 and August 31, 1971 are also presumed to have been exposed to Agent Orange.
Children with Other Birth Defects May Also Qualify if Their Mother Served
The preceding timeframes apply to children with spina bifida whose father OR mother served in Vietnam or Korea during those periods. Currently, the VA recognizes that Agent Orange exposure in both male and female veterans may cause spina bifida in their offspring. However, the list of other birth defects applies only to the biological children of female veterans.
Children with other birth defects defined by the VA and whose mother served in Vietnam between February 28, 1961 and May 7, 1975 may also qualify for benefits.
Even if your parents have not applied for VA benefits due to their own service and/or exposure to Agent Orange, you still may be eligible to do so if you have suffered a documented birth defect. Children of Vietnam vets who are diagnosed with unexplained medical conditions may find it helpful to discuss your case with a disability attorney at the Law Offices of Veterans Help Group Contact our veteran’s disability firm today – 1-855-855-8992.