VA Begins to Process Agent Orange Presumptive Illnesses Claims

Post date: May 4, 2011 10:31:34 PM

December 23, 2010 - Vietnam Veterans suffering specific presumptive illnesses related to their Agent Orange exposure while in service began filing their disability claims approximately 6 weeks ago. In that time period, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) processed and resolved over 28,000 claims.

VA Sec. Eric Shinseki credited the VA's ability to process so many disability claims so quickly to improved technology. At the same time, he cited the continuous improving and streamlining of the disability claims process. According to Sec. Shinseki, the VA is also aggressively reaching out to Vietnam veterans and pushing them to put in their disability claims and take advantage of the earned benefits.

This new Agent Orange presumptive disease list allows Vietnam veterans diagnosed with the following illnesses to collect disability benefits as well as be eligible for health care:

  • Parkinson's Disease;
  • Ischemic heart disease; or
  • B-cell (hairy cell) leukemia.

All Vietnam veterans suffering from an illness listed on the VA's presumptive list can file for disability compensation. Because of the number of claims the VA anticipated would be filed when they updated their presumptive illness, these claims are the first to utilize the VA's automated claims processing system.

Veterans can also be treated for their service-related presumptive illnesses through non-VA physicians. These claims can also be filed as long as they are accompanied with the correct paperwork.