Diabetes, Agent Orange, and your VA disability claim.

Diabetes is a condition in which the body is unable to regulate blood sugar. Type 2 Diabetes—sometimes called “adult onset diabetes”—is considered to be presumptively service-connected for disability compensation for veterans exposed to Agent Orange. Agent Orange was a defoliant used primarily in Viet Nam to clear the jungle. Exposure to Agent Orange causes a number of health conditions in veterans. Due to the association between exposure to Agent Orange and the development of a number of medical conditions, the Veterans Administration created regulations which establish a presumptive service-connection. That is, a veteran who was exposed to Agent Orange and is later diagnosed with diabetes is presumed to have a service connected disability, no matter when the condition first appears.

In addition, the veteran may be eligible for compensation for a number of conditions that are judged as secondary to Type 2 diabetes such as diabetic neuropathy, coronary artery disease, hypertension and a list of other conditions. These conditions are all eligible for benefits starting when the disease first occurs. For the most part the VA does not attempt to prove that the diabetes was caused by some other condition.

The amount of compensation a veteran receives under the rating schedule for diabetes varies based on the severity of the symptoms and whether the diabetes is manageable by a restricted diet or if insulin or other medication is necessary. To be awarded a 100 percent rating requires episodes of ketoacidosis requiring multiple hospitalizations per year and additional complications.

For most Viet Nam veterans, the fight is not whether their diabetes is as a result of exposure to Agent Orange, the fight is over the VA’s rating of their disability from diabetes. We can review your rating decision and medical records to determine if the proper rating was made. In addition, we can determine whether you are entitled to additional compensation for conditions secondary to the type 2 diabetes.

At Cuddigan Law our accredited VA disability attorneys are here to help you. If you have been denied the proper veterans’ disability compensation 
Sean D. Cuddigan
SSA and VA Disability Attorney in Omaha, Nebraska