Agent Orange and Its Three New Presumptive Conditions

Ultimate Guide to Understanding Agent Orange and Presumptive Conditions

Three new conditions were just added to the list of presumptive conditions to apply for VA benefits, in addition to the PACT ACT.

These certain additional conditions are:

  1. Bladder cancer
  2. Hypothyroidism
  3. Parkinsonism.

The Department of Veterans Affairs uses these presumptive diseases to establish eligibility to provide health services to Vietnam War veterans exposed to a chemical herbicide.

As a result, many veterans, including Thailand veterans and Vietnam veterans, now qualify for VA disability compensation if their exposure to the dangerous Agent Orange led to bladder cancer, hypothyroidism, or symptoms such as Parkinson’s Disease.

The fact that Congress, not the VA, added these conditions to the Agent Orange presumptive list makes a move exceptional. Hypothetical conditions are typically established by the VA based on a substantial amount of supporting data from scientific investigations. Agent Orange’s presumptive conditions are included in this list as a part of a measure contained in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

If you served in Vietnam or inside of Thailand, close to the Korean DMZ, during certain time periods, you might be entitled to special protections and compensation. Vietnam War-era Veterans and others previously denied benefits for these presumptive conditions will reportedly have their cases automatically reviewed “without the need to refile a claim,” and “VA will send letters to impacted Veterans and survivors.”

Does your child have spina bifida or other birth defects? Did you know in some cases, even offspring may qualify for certain disability benefits? Vietnam War Veterans with health issues, especially caused by Agent Orange exposure, also have less than two years to file a claim. Learn about these conditions and what to do next to take for the presumptive health conditions caused by Agent Orange under this new law!

Why Does the Three Conditions Move Help Vietnam-era Veterans?

To kill its enemy’s crops during the Vietnam War, the United States employed a number of herbicides as chemical weapons. They intended to cut off their food supply and burn the jungle’s vegetation down to improve visibility and ward off ambush attempts.

Agent Orange was one of these chemical weapons and is arguably the most well-known of the “rainbow herbicides” used in the war. It had a mixture of two herbicide agents and a highly toxic dioxin contaminant.

As a result, veterans developed severe health conditions. However, they were denied benefits for several illnesses. These new presumptive conditions, added alongside Parkinsonism, are some of the most common cancers and sicknesses for vets.

So this is HUGE for thousands of families across the US, and we applaud lawmakers for passing this bill further compensated for service in Vietnam and its affects on adults and children.

What’s VA’s Presumption of Agent Orange Exposure?

The Agent Orange Act, established in 1991, was passed in response to the numerous Vietnam-era heroes who had health issues due to herbicide exposure. Under the presumption of exposure, the VA must presume that those who served during specific time periods in specific areas were exposed, in one way or another, to the dangerous substance.

The presumption of exposure replaced the service connection requirement, so they don’t have to prove the in-service event or injury.

Instead, any veteran who served in these locations and timeframes can get VA health care:

  • The Republic of Vietnam (January 9, 1962 – May 7, 1975)
  • Thailand (January 9, 1962 – June 30, 1976)
  • Laos (December 1, 1965 – September 30, 1969)
  • Cambodia’s Mimot or Kreak, Kampong Cham Province (April 16, 1969- April 30, 1969)
  • Guam or American Samoa (January 9, 1962 – July 30, 1980)
  • Johnston Atoll (January 1, 1972 – September 30, 1977)
  • Korean demilitarized zone or DMZ (September 1, 1967 – August 31, 1971.).

Presumptive Service Connection for Conditions related to Agent Orange Exposure

The Agent Orange Act then established a presumption of service connection. Those who claim a presumptive service connection do not need to provide medical evidence linking their ailment to their military service to get disability benefits.

The VA will approve the service connection if the service fits one of the above mentioned conditions. The Act also granted the Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs the authority to add more illnesses to this list gradually.

VA Disability Benefits that Apply in Cases for Exposition to Agent Orange

If the VA presumed service connection, it could benefit people with these Agent Orange Exposure-related medical conditions:

  • Amyloidosis
  • Chronic B-cell Leukemias
  • Chloracne
  • Diabetes Mellitus Type 2 (high blood sugar levels)
  • Diseases associated with white blood cells
  • Hodgkin’s disease
  • Hypertension
  • Ischemic Heart Disease
  • Monoclonal Gammopathy of Undetermined Significance
  • Multiple Myeloma
  • Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Peripheral Neuropathy
  • Porphyria Cutanea Tarda
  • Prostate Cancer
  • Respiratory Cancer
  • Soft Tissue Sarcomas.

New Presumptive Conditions Added to the VA’s List

Approving the 2021 NDAA indicates that Congress has bypassed VA and established the connection between three new medical problems and exposure to Agent Orange by statute.

The following THREE NEW conditions are now included in the list of presumptive conditions and are subject to VA benefits:

  • Bladder cancer
  • Hypothyroidism: It’s a medical condition that defines when a thyroid gland does not produce the right amount of certain hormones.
  • Parkinson’s-like symptoms: A progressive disorder that can permanently affect people’s lives and cause tremors, impaired speech, and muscle movement.

More Locations and Conditions Added to the VA’s Presumptive List

Besides the 2021 NDAA, the Honoring Our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics Act (PACT Act) 0f 2021 was enacted this July, expanding the Agent Orange presumptions to add more time periods, locations, and conditions.

The new conditions include in the presumptive list:

  • Hypertension or high blood pressure
  • Monoclonal Gammopathy of Undetermined Significance (MGUS): A condition that defines when there’s abnormal protein in the blood

The new locations include:

  • C-123 aircraft. It applies to any veteran or reservist personnel who often had contact with them.

Eligibility for Agent Orange Benefits

Unfortunately, being terminally ill or suffering a condition added to the Agent Orange presumptive list isn’t enough. A Vietnam veteran, for example, must also demonstrate they meet the eligibility criteria with proper documents, including their medical record.

Moreover, applicants will be asked to prove that they are veterans of the military of Vietnam who served at a particular Thai Air Force base. In other words, they must show other eligibility requirements to validate that the physical or psychological conditions occurred during active duty service or while in service aboard a US military vessel.

However, a qualified lawyer can assist all Vietnam veterans in understanding the eligibility criteria and handling the complicated process behind these cases.

What Can Ehline Law Do for Veterans Exposed to Agent Orange?

When seeking compensation to cover medical costs after being exposed to Agent Orange while serving in the military, Ehline Law can be Vietnam-era veterans’ best ally. Are you a veteran who suffered exposure to Agent Orange and want to get benefits under the Agent Orange presumptive list? It would help if you managed a lot of paperwork and records.

Thankfully, we’re here to help you understand the PACT ACT regulations if you were stationed in Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Guam, American Samoa, and even the Johnston Atoll! For many Vietnam vets stationed outside of Vietnam yet became “toxic-exposed” to Agent Orange, this is long overdue justice!

Schedule a Free Consultation with Serious Injury Lawyers in Los Angeles

Don’t hesitate to call us and set up a free consultation if you are exposed to toxic chemicals. Our law firm is ready to help you file that Agent Orange claims to get the compensation you deserve if you have been affected by herbicide exposure. You only need determination and your medical records!

Thanks to the PACT ACT, you may be eligible for benefits far beyond what would make you eligible for VA disability. The presumptive condition list is what vets have been looking for, so it’s not just about to burn pits, and Agent Orange has seriously damaged millions of people.

What we learn about your conditions can result in long-term success in your claim for damages. So contact us today at (213) 596-9642 for a free legal consultation and to discuss forming an attorney-client relationship.


Michael Ehline

Michael Ehline is an inactive U.S. Marine and world famous legal historian. Michael helped draft the Cruise Ship Safety Act and has won some of the largest motorcycle accident settlements in U.S. History. Together with his legal team, Michael and the Ehline Law Firm collect damages on behalf of clients. We pride ourselves in being available to answer your most pressing and difficult questions 24/7. We are proud sponsors of the Paul Ehline Memorial Motorcycle Ride, and a a Service Disabled Veteran Operated Business. (SDVOB.) We are ready to fight.

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