Many Los Angeles veterans were exposed to the herbicide, Agent Orange in Vietnam or Korea and have received care at the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System. Most have received compensation for medical problems incurred as a result of that exposure. For those who have not received compensation, it is still possible to file a claim. On August 31, Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki announced 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. Last year, the 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. Secretary Shinseki said, “I encourage all potentially eligible Veterans to apply as soon as possible to preserve the most favorable effective date for payments.”
For new claims, the 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. The 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. “VA encourages 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. Secretary Shinseki’s 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.
Potentially eligible 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. To file a claim, click on this link.
Aid for Korean Veterans exposed to Agent Orange
New VA program for Vietnam vets exposed to Agent Orange announced