During the Vietnam War, the military of the United States conducted the Operation Ranch Hand. This program developed the use of herbicides and defoliants for the war – the most widely known of which is Agent Orange. Aircraft were fitted with special sprayers vaporizing the chemicals, enabling them to spread the herbicides over large areas.
Agent Orange did not only affect the people in areas where it was sprayed on, though. It also affected the personnel who piloted and operated the aircraft used to spread it during the war. Even those who used, maintained, and served onboard certain aircraft at a later time were also exposed to chemical remains and suffered from the effects. Claims related to these are among the cases handled by a veterans disability lawyer.
With this, the U.S. government continues to make more veterans eligible for disability benefits related to Agent Orange exposure. The Christian Science Monitor reports that the government amended the regulations in order for over 2,000 veterans and reservists of the Air Force to get disability benefits if they are determined to have been exposed to Agent Orange while serving on a contaminated aircraft. The expanded regulation became effective on June 19, 2015.
The expansion to the rule was decided based on the results of a new research conducted by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) in the National Academy of Science. Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary Robert McDonald thanked the IOM, stating that the review provided the necessary supporting evidence for them to ensure full compensation of the concerned veterans.
Agent Orange: Associated Diseases
A number of diseases are recognized by the VA as “presumptive diseases” connected to Agent Orange exposure. They are:
If you are a veteran, or if you know a veteran who has contracted any of the diseases listed above, you may want to look into eligibility for disability benefits. Since the benefit claim process may be a bit daunting, assistance from veterans disability lawyers is valuable. To ensure you get the best chances, contact law firms that specifically handle veterans benefits, like Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law, to know how they can assist you.
(Agent Orange: US makes more veterans eligible for disability benefits, Christian Science Monitor, Jun. 19, 2015)