Expanded Agent Orange Presumption for Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans

by Casaundra Johnson | Feb 18, 2020 | Social Security and Disability Compensation

The Blue Water Navy (BWN) Vietnam Veterans Act of 2019 went into effect on January 1, 2020, and extended the presumption of herbicide exposure to Veterans who served in the offshore waters of the Republic of Vietnam and Cambodia, or in the Korean Demilitarized zone (DMZ). This means Veterans who served in these areas may be entitled to disability compensation for conditions related to herbicide exposure, including Agent Orange, even if their previous applications for disability compensation were denied. Under the law, a child born with spina bifida whose parent was a BWN Veteran with verified herbicide exposure may be entitled to benefits as well.

To be eligible for disability compensation under the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2019, Veterans must meet the following criteria:

A. Served in the Republic of Vietnam, aboard a vessel on the inland waterways, or aboard a vessel operating within 12 nautical miles from the shore of the Vietnam and Cambodia between January 9, 1962 and May 7, 1975; OR

B. Served in or near the Korean Demilitarized zone between September 1, 1967 and August 31, 1971; AND

C. Have one or more of the following conditions (listed in 38 C.F.R. 3.309(e)):

1. Amyloid light-chain (AL) amyloidosis;

2. Chloracne, or other acneform disease consistent with chloracne;

3. Chronic B-cell leukemias;

4. Diabetes mellitus, Type 2;

5. Ischemic Heart Disease;

6. Hodgkin’s lymphoma (formerly known as Hodgkin’s disease);

7. Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma;

8. Multiple myeloma;

9. Parkinson’s disease;

10. Peripheral neuropathy, early-onset;

11. Porphyria cutanea tarda;

12. Prostate cancer;

13. Respiratory cancers (lung, broncus, larynx, or trachea); or

14. Soft-tissue sarcoma (other than osteosarcoma, chondrosarcoma, Kaposi’s sarcoma, or mesothelioma).

The 14 conditions listed above are presumptive diseases, meaning Veterans who meet the eligibility requirements and have at least one of these conditions will not need to show that their illness started during – or worsened because of – military service. Instead, the only evidence an eligible Veteran needs are military records showing he/she served in one of areas recognized areas during the appropriate period of time and medical records showing he/she has an Agent Orange-related illness.  Contact The Bainbridge Firm to learn more.

The attorneys at The Bainbridge Firm specialize in Veterans’ Law and have local law offices in Columbus, Marion, Waverly, Portsmouth, Ironton, Springfield and Cambridge. Please stop by our offices in one these locations and speak with a Veterans Disability Attorney.

Tags: Agent Orange Blue Water Navy (BWN) Vietnam Veterans Act of 2019 disability benefits Served in Korea Social Security Social Security benefits Social Security Disability Social Security for veterans Social Security news SSI veterans Veterans Disability