After years of waiting, the Veteran’s Administration has finally extended Agent Orange presumption to thousands of “Blue Water” veterans.
“Blue Water” veterans are defined as individuals who served on a U.S. Military vessel that served within 12 nautical miles of the coast of Vietnam between January 9, 1962 and May 7, 1975. Previously, only “Brown Water” veterans – those that served on inland waterways of Vietnam – were deemed to have been in contact with Agent Orange and entitled to the automatic connection to benefits.
The change in law means that Blue Water veterans no longer have to prove that they were in direct contact with Agent Orange – previously a very difficult task – and automatically qualifies them for monetary compensation and medical coverage for the following conditions:
- Amyloid light-chain (AL) amyloidosis
- Chloracne, or other acne form diseases consistent with chloracne
- Chronic B-cell leukemias
- Diabetes mellitus, Type 2
- Ischemic heart disease
- Hodgkin’s lymphoma, formerly known as Hodgkin’s disease
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
- Multiple myeloma
- Parkinson’s disease
- Peripheral neuropathy, early-onset with symptoms diagnosed within one year of discharge
- Porphyria cutanea tarda
- Prostate cancer
- Respiratory cancers (lung, bronchus, larynx, or trachea)
- Soft-tissue sarcoma (other than osteosarcoma, chondrosarcoma, Kaposi’s sarcoma, or mesothelioma).
Additionally, the VA is strongly considering the addition of bladder cancer, hypothyroidism, hypertension, and Parkinson’s-like syndromes to the above list.
Even if you or a family member have applied and been denied for these benefits in the past, please contact Michael Quatrini to discuss how the new “Blue Water” law will support a new claim for benefits.