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 at (402) 817-6550