Significant changes have occurred within the Department of Veteran’s Affairs that may affect your ability to receive VA benefits if you are a Vietnam era veteran that suffers from certain conditions.
Certain diseases and conditions are now viewed as presumptive illnesses related to the conditions Agent Orange (a herbicide used during the Vietnam Conflict) exposure.
Ischmenic heart condition, Parkinson’s disease, and hairy cell and other “B” cell leukemias have now been added as presumptive to Agent Orange.
This means that if a soldier had his/her boot on the ground (or served on certain ships) at any time from January 9, 1962 thru May 7, 1975 and either has (or died of ) one of these presumptive conditions, there is a potential service connected compensation claim for the veteran or a service connected DIC claim for the surviving spouse, dependent child, or parent because the condition or death is presumed to have been caused by exposure to Agent Orange. In addtion, a soldier who served on the Korean DMZ during the Vietnam Conflict may also be eligible, even though he was not actually in the country of Vietnam.
These are all combat related conditions, which also opens up the possibility of Combat Related Special Compensation (monetary) benefits from the Department of Defense for those retired military Vietnam veterans who are suffering with these conditions.
Please remember that one can go back on prior spouses for DIC and it may also be possible for a parent of a single soldier/veteran who died service connected to file for DIC, regardless of that parent’s age or when the soldier/veteran died.
The VA is currently going back and re-opening hundreds of thousands of claims and attempting to contact both veterans and survivors to see if benefits are owed.
If you are a veteranresiding in souteast Michigan or the Metro Detroit area and suffer from conditions that are related to Agent Orange exposure, and have legal questions, please feel free to contact us.