Over $2.2 Billion in Retroactive Agent Orange Benefits Paid to 89,000 Vietnam Veterans
and Survivors for Presumptive Conditions
Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki announced today that more than $2.2 billion in retroactive benefits has already
been paid to approximately 89,000 Vietnam Veterans and their survivors who filed claims related to one of three new Agent
Orange presumptive conditions.
On August 31,
2010, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) amended its regulations to add ischemic heart disease, hairy cell leukemia and
other chronic B-cell leukemias, and Parkinson's disease to the list of diseases presumed to be related to exposure to Agent Orange.
President said to the American Legion yesterday, VA is committed to ensuring Veterans and their families receive the care
and benefits they have earned,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. “I encourage all potentially
eligible Veterans to apply as soon as possible to preserve the most favorable effective date for payments.”
For new claims,
VA may authorize up to one year of retroactive benefits if a Veteran can show that he or she has experienced one of those
conditions since the date of the regulatory change.
VA has reviewed,
and continues to review, thousands of previously filed claims that may qualify for retroactive benefits under a long-standing
court order of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in Nehmer vs. U.S. Veterans Administration.
survivors of Veterans whose death may be due to one of the three diseases to file a claim for dependency and indemnity compensation,”
added Under Secretary for Benefits Allison A. Hickey.
decision to add these conditions to the list of Agent Orange presumptive conditions was based on a study by the Institute of Medicine, which indicated a positive association between exposure to certain herbicides
and the subsequent development of one or more of the three conditions.
Veterans include those who were exposed based on duty or visitation in Vietnam or on its inland waterways between January
9, 1962, and May 7, 1975; exposed along the demilitarized zone in Korea between April 1, 1968, and August 31, 1971; or exposed
due to herbicide tests and storage at military bases within and outside of the United States.
about Agent Orange, Veterans may call VA’s Special Issues Helpline at 1-800-749-8387.
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