Home → Veterans Guide to VA Benefits → VA Compensation-Service Connected Disability Conditions due to Legal Presumptions → Herbicide-exposed Veterans (including Agent Orange)
6.5. Herbicide-exposed Veterans (including Agent Orange)
For certain veterans exposed in service to a herbicide agent, Congress has established a presumption of service connection for a number of diseases. See 38 U.S.C. § 1116; 38 C.F.R. § 3.309(e). Service connection for diseases listed in 38 C.F.R. § 3.309(e) is presumed if a veteran was exposed to certain herbicides, including Agent Orange, during military service. See 38 U.S.C. § 1116; 38 C.F.R. §§ 3.307(a)(6), 3.309(e). The term "herbicides" is not limited to Agent Orange, but includes any tactical herbicide. Vietnam veterans are rebuttably presumed to have been exposed to herbicides if they served in the Republic of Vietnam. 38 C.F.R. § 3.307(a)(6)(iii). So veterans deemed to have served in the Republic of Vietnam as discussed below, do not have to produce evidence of actual exposure to Agent Orange or any other herbicide.
A veteran who served in the Republic of Vietnam, its offshore waters, or other locations, "if the conditions of service involved duty or visitation in the Republic of Vietnam" between January 9, 1962, and May 7, 1975, is presumed to have been exposed during such service to an herbicide agent. 38 C.F.R. § 3.307(a)(6)(iii). Under VA's interpretation of this regulation, a veteran who set foot on the landmass of the Republic of Vietnam is entitled to a presumption of exposure to Agent Orange.
Under Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act 2019, certain Veterans, who served in the offshore waters of the Republic of Vietnam, or who had service in the Korean Demilitarized zone (DMZ), may be entitled to disability compensation for conditions that are related to herbicide exposure. The law also provides benefits for children born with spina bifida whose parent was a Veteran with verified herbicide exposure in Thailand.
VA presumes service connection for the following Agent Orange-related conditions:
- AL Amyloidosis
- Chronic B-Cell Leukemia
- Chloracne (if it presents within one year of exposure to a degree of 10 percent disabling)
- Diabetes Mellitus Type 2
- Hodgkin’s Disease
- Ischemic Heart Disease (including Coronary Artery Disease, stable and unstable angina, myocardial infarction, and sudden cardiac death)
- Multiple Myeloma
- Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Peripheral Neuropathy, Early Onset (if it presents within one year of exposure to a degree of 10 percent disabling)
- Porphyria Cutanea Tarda (if it presents within one year of exposure to a degree of 10 percent disabling)
- Prostate Cancer
- Respiratory Cancers, including Lung Cancer
- Soft Tissue Sarcomas (other than osteosarcoma, chondrosarcoma, Kaposi’s sarcoma, and mesothelioma
Congress Adds Three New Presumptive Conditions to Agent Orange related conditions:
- Bladder cancer
- Hypothyroidism: A condition in which thyroid gland does not produce enough of certain crucial hormones.
- Parkinson’s-like symptoms: A condition with symptoms such as tremor, slow movement, impaired speech, and muscle stiffness that resembles Parkinson’s Disease but is not formally diagnosed as such