Disability Benefits Expanded for Air Force Vets Exposed to Contaminated Aircraft

Vietnam War era veterans stationed in areas and positions that likely exposed them to Agent Orange are often awarded disability benefits under the presumptive diseases provision. In the decades since the Vietnam War, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has identified the numerous health conditions caused by Agent Orange exposure and listed them in a special category of disabilities called presumptive diseases.

Currently, the following Vietnam-era veterans are presumed to have been exposed to Agent Orange if they have developed any of the presumptive diseases.

  • Veterans who served in Vietnam between January 9, 1962 and May 7, 1975.
  • Veterans who served in or near the Korean demilitarized zone between April 1, 1968 and August 31, 1971.
  • Veterans who served on or near the perimeter of Thailand military bases during the Vietnam War era.
  • Veterans who served at testing and storage facilities where herbicides were known to be present.
  • Veterans associated with the Department of Defense’s herbicide testing, disposal, or storage projects at U.S. military facilities.

Now, a new report on the potential contamination of aircraft used in the Vietnam War shows that additional Air Force personnel could have been exposed to Agent Orange.

The National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine published a report, “Post-Vietnam Dioxin Exposure in Agent Orange-Contaminated C-123 Aircraft,” reporting that as many as 1,500 to 2,100 Air Force servicemembers who served as flight, medical, and ground maintenance crew members could have been exposed to Agent Orange residue on the planes. This residue could have lasted well after the Vietnam War, as late as 1986.

The VA is encouraging Air Force or Air Force Reserves veterans who served between 1969 and 1986 to assess their medical history to see if they were diagnosed with any of the presumptive diseases. The following locations have a known risk of Agent Orange exposure.

  • Lockbourne/Rickenbacker Air Force Base in Ohio (906th and 907th Tactical Air Groups or 355th and 356th Tactical Airlift Squadron)
  • Westover Air Force Base in Massachusetts (731st Tactical Air Squadron and 74th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron)
  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, International Airport ( 758th Airlift Squadron)

Agent Orange can cause skin conditions, certain types of cancers, diabetes, and many other health conditions in both veterans and their offspring. If you or a loved one suffers from a condition listed as a presumptive disease, and served during the periods where Agent Orange was known to be used, you may qualify for veterans disability benefits.

Contact Veterans Help Group® if your disability claim is denied. We can help you with your veterans disability benefits appeal. Call today – 1-855-855-8992.