Contrary to what you might have read, you can and should file your compensation claim for any illnesses or diseases caused by your exposure to Agent Orange.
I suppose the date of August 30th comes from the fact that Congress had ordered the VA to complete outstanding claims by August 31th, 2011, due to the fact there are more claims expected by those serving in present wars. In response to this more employees have been hired to process claims, but as with any bureaucratic driven machine, these new employees must be trained.
I repeat, claims may be filed by a veteran at any time.
Here are the rules of retroactive benefits for those with who filed Agent Orange claims. VA publishes the retroactive benefit rules for Agent Orange claims required by the Nehmer court order.
The retroactive benefits were as a result of the case of Nehmer v. Veterans Administration of Government of United States (No. 01-15325) argued and submitted February 11, 2002 – April 01, 2002 before D.W. Nelson, Noonan, and Hawkins, Circuit Judges. Google the case number and you will find the full case report.
As of October 13, 2009, there have been three new diseases added to the list of diseases caused by Agent Orange and thus service related. These diseases or cancers are a result of exposure to Agent Orange. Presumptive diseases are those illnesses, cancers, or diseases caused by this exposure.
The three new presumptive diseases added have been Parkinson’s disease, B cell leukemias which include hairy cell leukemia, and ischemic heart disease, which is reduced blood supply to the heart (cardiac) muscle. Reduced blood supply to the heart muscle will cause myocardial infarctions (heat attacks). Consult the information site below for other diseases and illnesses that are recognized by the VA as presumptive.
Veterans who served in or visited Vietnam from January 9, 1962 to May 7, 1975 or were in certain units in Korea from April 1, 1968 to July 31, 1969 are presumed to have been exposed to Agent Orange.
Please visit this comprehensive VA site on information relating to Agent Orange Exposure for a list of all diseases and illnesses: Information regarding Agent Orange exposure.
Veterans can go to Processing Claims for Agent Orange Presumptives and access information of how to process claims for Agent Orange Presumptives. On this site is a hyperlink for processing claims and accessing medical information.
You can also apply at your regional VA office which you can locate at VA Regional Directory. Click on this to find your nearest facility. Additionally here is a website with information you will find helpful, Inquiry Routing and Information System (IRIS)
Click here to read the Press Release from August 2010 regarding Aid to Veterans Exposed to Agent Orange .
Gulf Veterans, or those who have served since 1991 should access Gulf War Veterans Illnesses.
If you prefer to use the phone there is a toll free help-line with information regarding the VA and benefits at 1-800-749-8387-prompt 3 for Agent Orange. This helpful area gives the illnesses and diseases that have been recognized as being caused by exposure to Agent Orange. If you wait, a person will take your call and answer any questions you might have. Warning, you will have prompts but they help you to get to the area you are interested in finding.
Widows or widowers of Vietnam veterans or Gulf War veterans who have died from any service connected disease may qualify for compensation. A widow or widower who feel she or he qualify for compensation should file for “Dependent Indemnity Compensation (DIC).” You will be required to furnish your deceased DD214, death certificate which lists any of the compensatory diseases, illness, or secondary illnesses or diseases, and proof of service. The VA can help you with obtaining a DD214 and proof of service. Your veteran does not need to have filed a claim before his or her death. You can claim on your own behalf.
- Resource: Veterans Learning to Code