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VA Presumptive Benefits for Vietnam Veterans


Vietnam veterans who were exposed to Agent Orange during their service are eligible for benefits under the VA’s presumptive conditions policy. This policy recognizes certain diseases as being directly related to herbicide exposure, making it easier for veterans to obtain the benefits they need without having to prove the direct cause of their condition. The recognized conditions include various types of cancers, diabetes mellitus type 2, ischemic heart disease, Parkinson’s disease, and more. Veterans should gather comprehensive medical records and submit claims that clearly document their service and health issues.

Navigating the process of filing a claim for Agent Orange-related conditions can be complex, but accredited VA disability advocates and representatives are available to assist. These professionals can help ensure that all necessary documentation is submitted correctly and that the claim is thoroughly supported. They can provide guidance on how to effectively appeal a denied claim and ensure that veterans receive the benefits to which they are entitled. Working with an accredited advocate can significantly enhance the likelihood of a successful claim.

Vietnam War veterans exposed to Agent Orange and other toxic substances are eligible to file a claim based on their service in the following locations:

  • Republic of Vietnam: Including inland waterways and offshore waters within 12 nautical miles of Vietnam between January 9, 1962, and May 7, 1975.

  • Thailand: Veterans who served on or near the perimeters of military bases in Thailand between January 9, 1962, and May 7, 1975.

  • Laos: Veterans who served in Laos between December 1, 1965, and September 30, 1969.

  • Cambodia: Veterans who served at Mimot or Krek, Kampong Cham Province, between April 16, 1969, and April 30, 1969.

  • Guam or American Samoa: Veterans who served in Guam or American Samoa, or in the territorial waters thereof, between January 9, 1962, and July 31, 1980.

  • Johnston Atoll: Veterans who served on Johnston Atoll or on a ship that called at Johnston Atoll between January 1, 1972, and September 30, 1977.

  • Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ): Veterans who served in or near the Korean DMZ between September 1, 1967, and August 31, 1971.

Veterans who served in these locations during the specified periods are presumed to have been exposed to Agent Orange and may file claims for presumptive conditions associated with this exposure.

Eligibility for VA Agent Orange Presumptive


Veterans eligible for the VA Blue Water Benefit Program are those who served on ships in the offshore waters of Vietnam between January 9, 1962, and May 7, 1975. These Veterans, known as Blue Water Navy Veterans, must have served not more than 12 nautical miles seaward from the demarcation line of waters of Vietnam and Cambodia. To qualify, they must have been discharged under conditions other than dishonorable.

These Veterans are presumed to have been exposed to herbicides like Agent Orange and can apply for disability compensation for a range of presumptive conditions. These conditions include various cancers, diabetes mellitus type 2, and Parkinson's disease, among others. Additionally, secondary conditions resulting from these primary diseases may also be covered. To apply for these benefits, Veterans must submit VA Form 21-526EZ along with their service and medical records. The VA provides extensive resources and support to help Veterans navigate the application process and receive the benefits they are entitled to for their service and sacrifices.


Presumptive Conditions

Presumptive conditions are specific health issues that the VA automatically considers to be related to a Veteran's military service. This presumption is based on the Veteran having served in certain locations or during specific time periods associated with increased risk of exposure to hazardous substances, such as Agent Orange, burn pits, or contaminated water supplies. Veterans with presumptive conditions do not need to provide evidence that the condition was directly caused by their service, which simplifies and expedites the claims process. Examples of presumptive conditions include various cancers, respiratory diseases, diabetes mellitus type 2, and Parkinson’s disease. This designation ensures that Veterans receive timely access to the health care and disability benefits they need.


Secondary Conditions

Secondary conditions are health issues that develop as a direct result of an already service-connected condition. When a primary service-connected condition leads to additional health problems, these secondary conditions can also be considered service-connected. For instance, a Veteran with diabetes mellitus type 2 (a presumptive condition) might develop peripheral neuropathy or kidney disease as a result of their diabetes. These secondary conditions can be claimed for additional VA disability benefits, providing comprehensive coverage for all health issues related to the Veteran's service. When filing their claims, veterans must provide medical evidence showing the link between the primary and secondary service-connected conditions.

Agent Orange Registry

The Agent Orange Registry is a program designed to help Vietnam War veterans document their exposure to herbicides and related health conditions. By participating in the registry, veterans receive a free health exam, including lab tests if necessary, and have the opportunity to discuss any health concerns related to Agent Orange exposure with a healthcare provider. This registry helps the VA gather data on the health effects of herbicide exposure, which in turn aids in addressing the needs of affected veterans. Registration can be completed online, by phone, or in person at a VA medical center, and it does not affect the veteran's eligibility for other VA benefits.


Reasons to Participate:

  1. Health Monitoring: Helps the VA track and manage health conditions related to service.

  2. Enhanced Research: Supports studies on the impact of herbicide exposure, leading to better treatments.

  3. Informed Care: Allows the VA to provide tailored health care based on specific needs.

  4. Advocacy and Policy: Aids in developing policies and programs to support affected Veterans.


How to Register:

  • Online: Visit the VA's Agent Orange Registry webpage and complete the online form.

  • By Phone: Call the VA Benefits Hotline at 800-827-1000.

  • In-Person: Visit a local VA medical center or clinic.

  • By Mail: Contact the VA for the necessary forms and submit them by mail.



The Agent Orange Registry program is separate from the process of filing a VA benefits claim. Participation in the registry, which includes a free health exam and documentation of herbicide exposure, does not impact your ability to file a claim or affect the outcome of any claims submitted for VA benefits.

Presumptive Conditions for Vietnam War Veterans and Their Secondary Conditions:

1. AL Amyloidosis

  • Secondary Conditions:

    • Heart disease

    • Kidney failure

    • Liver damage

2. Chronic B-cell Leukemias

  • Secondary Conditions:

    • Infections (due to a weakened immune system)

    • Anemia

    • Lymph node enlargement

3. Chloracne (or similar acneform disease)

  • Secondary Conditions:

    • Skin infections

    • Scarring

4. Diabetes Mellitus Type 2

  • Secondary Conditions:

    • Peripheral neuropathy (nerve damage in the extremities)

    • Diabetic retinopathy (eye damage)

    • Kidney disease

    • Cardiovascular diseases (heart attack or stroke)

5. Hodgkin's Disease

  • Secondary Conditions:

    • Secondary cancers (such as leukemia or lung cancer)

    • Thyroid disorders

    • Heart disease

6. Ischemic Heart Disease

  • Secondary Conditions:

    • Heart failure

    • Arrhythmias (irregular heartbeats)

    • Stroke

7. Multiple Myeloma

  • Secondary Conditions:

    • Bone fractures

    • Kidney dysfunction

    • Infections

8. Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma

  • Secondary Conditions:

    • Secondary cancers

    • Heart disease

    • Infections

9. Parkinson's Disease

  • Secondary Conditions:

    • Depression

    • Dementia

    • Autonomic dysfunction (problems with blood pressure regulation, digestion, etc.)

10. Peripheral Neuropathy, Early-Onset

  • Secondary Conditions:

    • Chronic pain

    • Infections

    • Mobility issues

11. Porphyria Cutanea Tarda

  • Secondary Conditions:

    • Liver disease

    • Chronic skin conditions

12. Prostate Cancer

  • Secondary Conditions:

    • Bone metastasis (cancer spreading to the bones)

    • Urinary incontinence

    • Erectile dysfunction

13. Respiratory Cancers (including lung, bronchus, larynx, and trachea)

  • Secondary Conditions:

    • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)

    • Pulmonary fibrosis

    • Secondary cancers

14. Soft Tissue Sarcomas

  • Secondary Conditions:

    • Lymphedema (swelling due to lymphatic system blockage)

    • Secondary cancers

    • Chronic pain

Vietnam War Veterans Eligibility for PACT Act Conditions 

The PACT Act (Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics Act) of 2022 has significantly expanded the benefits and presumptive conditions for Vietnam War veterans exposed to toxic substances like Agent Orange. This legislation acknowledges the harmful effects of various chemicals and ensures that veterans who served in the Republic of Vietnam and surrounding areas during the war are covered. The PACT Act has added new conditions to the list of presumptive illnesses, including bladder cancer, hypothyroidism, and Parkinsonism, making it easier for veterans to receive the compensation and healthcare they deserve without having to prove a direct service connection.

With the PACT Act in place, Vietnam War veterans now have greater access to benefits and support for a broader range of health issues related to their service. Accredited VA disability advocates and representatives can assist veterans in understanding these new provisions and help them navigate the claims process. Whether filing an initial claim or appealing a previous denial, these professionals are equipped to ensure that veterans fully benefit from the expanded presumptive conditions and other provisions of the PACT Act. This support is crucial in obtaining the healthcare and compensation veterans need to address their service-related health conditions.

Advice for Veterans on Filing Claims

Vietnam War veterans exposed to Agent Orange should gather comprehensive medical records and documentation of their service in eligible locations. When filing a claim, it's crucial to clearly state the specific conditions being claimed and provide evidence of their diagnosis and service connection. Veterans should participate in the Agent Orange Registry to document their exposure, although this is separate from the claims process.


For best results, veterans should seek assistance from accredited VA disability advocates and representatives who can guide them through the claims process, ensure all necessary documentation is submitted, and help appeal any denied claims. Regularly updating and maintaining medical records and staying informed about legislative changes, like the PACT Act, can also enhance the chances of a successful claim.

The VA Disability Advocates Main Office is Located in Las Vegas, NV. We Represent Veterans throughout the United States. 702-92-4883 

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