Veterans who have served in Vietnam have been able to claim presumptive service connection for exposure to Agent Orange and other herbicides since 1991, thanks to the Nehmer consent decree. This allowed them to claim benefits for specific conditions caused by exposure to Agent Orange and other herbicides, without the burden of trying to prove exactly how they had been exposed. So long as they had been on the ground in Vietnam, exposure was now presumed. Unfortunately, this did not extend to the Veterans who had served off the coast of Vietnam despite these Veterans developing the same medical conditions as those who had set foot in the country.
This has changed thanks to the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2019, which went into effect on January 1, 2020. Now Veterans who served on vessels off the coast of Vietnam between January 9, 1962, and May 7, 1975 have gained the same presumptive service connection. As a result, the VA has begun reviewing tens of thousands of claims that had previously been denied because the Veteran had not set foot in Vietnam. Veterans who served off the coast of Vietnam and developed one of the presumptive conditions, such as amyloidosis, chloracne, chronic B-cell leukemias, type 2 diabetes mellitus, ischemic heart disease, Hodgkin lymphoma, Non-Hodgkin lymphoma, multiple myeloma, Parkinson’s disease, early-onset peripheral neuropathy, orphyria cutanea tarda, prostate cancer, respiratory cancers, or soft-tissue sarcoma, may now be able to qualify for VA benefits for those conditions.
If you served off the coast of Vietnam and had your claim denied, the qualified Veterans’ Disability attorneys at Gardberg and Kemmerly want to help in any way possible. Please call our office and speak with one of our qualified Veterans’ Disability attorneys. Gardberg and Kemmerly is committed to helping injured and disabled Veterans obtain the benefits they deserve. If you need help with a disability claim, call our office at 251-343-1111 for a free consultation. Gardberg and Kemmerly is proud to serve Veterans across the country from our home office in Mobile, Alabama. We would love an opportunity to discuss your claim.