The long-standing struggle for Blue Water Navy Veterans to receive VA Disability benefits for exposure to Agent Orange finally reached a conclusion in July, when the Blue Water Navy Veterans Act was signed into law.
The act is supported by the American Legion and extends disability benefits that cover medical conditions related to exposure to Agent Orange. It will benefit those who served on ships off the coast of Vietnam during the Vietnam War.
Presumptive conditions, or diseases presumed to be associated with Agent Orange exposure in the case of Vietnam War Veterans, include certain cancers, Parkinson’s disease and diabetes. According to the 1991 Agent Orange Act, Veterans who served on land in Vietnam and in the inland waterways were considered eligible to receive disability benefits for these conditions.
However, the Blue Water Act extends benefits to Veterans who served on any vessel that came within 12 nautical miles of the coastline during the Vietnam War between 1962 and 1975. In many cases, Veterans who fall into this category and have previously been denied benefits, or whose cases have been held pending, will now be eligible for benefits.
In addition, the spouses of some Veterans whose deaths were related to conditions caused by Agent Orange exposure will be eligible for benefits as well. That means that nearly 90,000 Veterans are now potentially eligible for benefits.
If you are a Blue Water Veteran interested in filing a claim to receive benefits, please feel free to give us a call anytime at 877.526.3457. One of our representatives will be happy to answer your questions. Or if you’d prefer to contact us online, please fill out this form.