Final Regulation to Aid Korean War Veterans Exposed to Agent Orange
Provide Easier Path to Health Care and Benefits
WASHINGTON – Veterans exposed to herbicides while serving along the demilitarized zone (DMZ) in
Korea will have an easier path to access quality health care and benefits under a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) final
regulation that will expand the dates when illnesses caused by herbicide exposure can be presumed
to be related to Agent Orange.
“VA’s primary mission is to be an advocate for Veterans,” said Secretary of Veterans
Affairs Eric K. Shinseki “With this new regulation VA has cleared a path for more Veterans who served in the demilitarized
zone in Korea to receive access to our quality health care and disability benefits for exposure to Agent Orange.”
Under the final regulation published today in the Federal Register, VA will presume herbicide
exposure for any Veteran who served between April 1, 1968, and Aug. 31, 1971, in a unit determined by VA
and the Department of Defense (DoD) to have operated in an area in or near the Korean DMZ in which herbicides were applied.
Previously, VA recognized that Agent Orange exposure could only be conceded to Veterans who served in certain units along the Korean DMZ between April 1968 and July
In practical terms, eligible Veterans who have specific illnesses VA presumes to be associated with herbicide
exposure do not have to prove an association between their illness and their military service. This “presumption” simplifies and speeds up the application process for benefits and ensures that Veterans receive the benefits they
deserve. VA encourages Veterans with covered service in Korea who have medical conditions that may be related to Agent Orange to submit their applications for access to VA health care and compensation as soon as possible so the agency can begin processing
Individuals can visit a local Veteran Service Officer (VSO) to get a more
complete understanding of how to file a claim for presumptive conditions related to herbicide exposure, as well as what evidence is needed by VA to make a decision about disability compensation
or survivors benefits. Additional information about Agent Orange and VA’s services for Veterans exposed to the chemical is available at Agent Orange Compensation.
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