What Do Blue Water Navy Veterans Need to Know About Agent Orange?

Are you a veteran of the United States Armed Forces? Did you serve overseas? Specifically, the VA is asking veterans if they served “on a Blue Water Navy vessel offshore of the Republic of Vietnam, or on another U.S. Navy or Coast Guard ship operating in the coastal waterways of Vietnam, between January 9, 1962, and May 7, 1975?”  If the answer is yes, there is information you need to know.

According to the Department of Veterans Affairs,

“Blue Water Navy Veterans are now entitled to a presumption of service connection for illnesses related to Agent Orange exposure. This is a result of Public Law 116-23, the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2019. The law was signed on June 25, 2019, and takes effect on January 1, 2020.”

When it comes to presumptive disability benefits, the VA shares that it “presumes that certain disabilities were caused by military service. This is because of the unique circumstances of a specific Veteran’s military service. If a presumed condition is diagnosed in a Veteran in a certain group, they can be awarded disability Compensation.” Further, the VA shares that if you “are diagnosed with a chronic disease within one year of active duty release, you should apply for disability compensation. Examples of chronic disease include: arthritis, diabetes or hypertension.”

Presumptive disability benefits may be much easier to prove based on the veteran’s military service, disability diagnosis, and other aspects related to where the veteran served his or her active military service, such as:

  • Exposure to Agent Orange,
  • Certain cancers and long-lasting, debilitating conditions,
  • Parkinson’s Disease and related debilitating issues, or
  • Certain periods and locations of active military service such as Camp Lejeune past water contamination.

We help veterans and their dependents deal with challenges like these every day.

We encourage you to talk to our law office about how to obtain coverage. There is a process that needs to be followed throughout your claim for benefits that our firm will be able to help you with. Whether you are filing for the first time or appealing a denial or low award, do not wait to contact us to help you and your loved ones.