Once again, the VA has said that it would continue to limit benefits related
to Agent Orange exposure to veterans who have set foot in Vietnam or its
inland waterways. A recent court opinion,
Gray v. McDonald, held that the Veterans Administration was required to determine whether
those on board ships were close enough to the shoreline to qualify for
presumptive Agent Orange exposure. The court ordered the VA to review
its policy regarding blue water Navy veterans, but it has decided to stick
by the old policy, in spite of evidence that indicates blue water Navy
vets have been exposed to Agent Orange.
There is still a possibility that blue water Navy veterans could receive
compensation. Senator Richard Blumenthal is still pushing a bill that
would provide presumptive service connection for blue water Nay veterans
presumptive service connection for Agent Orange related conditions.
Presumptive service connection isn’t the only way to receive benefits
for Agent Orange related conditions. If you can demonstrate that you set
foot in Vietnam or its inland waterways, or if you can demonstrate that
you were close to the shores of Vietnam, you can be service connected
for Agent Orange conditions. Statements and letters from those you served
with, pictures, medals and awards, and letters you wrote while stationed
overseas can all be used to show that you set foot in Vietnam.
If you have any questions about applying for benefits, or think that you
are entitled to benefits you’re not receiving, please contact us