Veterans Exposed to Agent Orange May Qualify for VA Presumptive Disability

As a veteran of a foreign war, you have no doubt that your disability was caused during military service. You didn’t suffer as badly as many of your fellow soldiers—and you made it home alive—but now you’re suffering from the long-term effects of chemical exposure from overseas. Will the VA still allow you to collect benefits for disability even if you were stationed out of the country over several decade ago?

Compensation for Veterans Who Suffered Due to Agent Orange Exposure

VA assumes that certain diseases, cancers, and other health problems are likely caused by exposure to Agent Orange. These are considered "presumptive diseases," meaning that if one of these conditions is diagnosed in a veteran who was exposed to Agent Orange, the VA accepts the likelihood that the victim’s military service caused the condition. A veteran, a surviving spouse, or the veteran’s children can qualify for disability compensation and health care benefits for these conditions without the burden of proving that the condition was caused during military service.

The following conditions may qualify for VA presumptive disability for Agent Orange exposure:

  • Diabetes. Veterans who have been diagnosed with early-onset type 2 diabetes and are experiencing difficulty controlling blood sugar levels may qualify for benefits. This includes those who are suffering from peripheral neuropathy (tingling, loss of feeling, or weakness in the hands and feet).
     
  • Cancers. Many cancers have been linked to chemical exposure, including Hodgkin’s Disease (malignant lymphoma), chronic B-cell leukemia (cancer of the white blood cells), multiple myeloma (cancer in bone marrow plasma cells), non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (cancer in the lymphatic system), prostate cancer, respiratory cancer (including lung, trachea, or larynx), and soft tissue sarcomas (cancers in muscles, fat, blood, and other bodily tissues).
     
  • Ischemic heart disease. As of 2010, the VA recognizes the likelihood of Agent Orange to cause heart disease and chest pain due to inadequate blood supply to the heart.
     
  • Parkinson’s disease. The VA has acknowledged the possibility that Agent Orange can cause Parkinson’s disease, and progressive neurological disorder that attacks the nervous system and causes erratic or uncontrollable muscle movements.

Our attorneys can help you get the full amount of compensation you deserve for your condition. Contact Cuddigan Law today or download a free copy of our book, The Essential Guide to VA Disability Claims, to begin building your case.

 

Sean D. Cuddigan
SSA and VA Disability Attorney in Omaha, Nebraska