Despite the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) allowing disability benefits to vets with Agent Orange diseases, recovering those benefits continues to be a source of frustration for many, according to several media reports. The agency acknowledges a host of health problems linked to the exposure, yet some vets are experiencing difficulty getting compensation.
One of the issues pertains to vets who never actually made landfall. Although a critical part of the Vietnam War, those on aircrafts and ships are finding it a challenge to prove they were exposed to Agent Orange. The same is true to those who served in another war that is also recognized by the VA as being a source of exposure, the Korean War.
The VA keeps a list of specific ships associated with military service during the Vietnam War on the inland waterways. This can help those seeking disability benefits determine if they may qualify, though ‘blue water sailors’ who served on open oceans continue to have trouble recovering disability benefits.
The following are some of the diseases and health problems that have been connected to Agent Orange exposure:
- birth defects;
- chronic B-cell leukemia;
- type 2 diabetes;
- ischemic heart disease;
- Parkinson’s disease; and
- cancer (respiratory, prostate).
Evidence has been mounting to show that military members who never set foot in Vietnam were also contaminated. But it continues to be an issue that prevents many veterans from receiving benefits.
Because of these and other issues, there can be a lot of confusion about one’s rights to veteran’s disability benefits. If you need help determining whether a particular ship falls under the qualifications, an attorney can help. Or if there are other uncertainties about exposure and the right to benefits, contact the Law Offices of Veterans Help Group