Vietnam Veterans May be Eligible for Expanded Agent Orange-Related Disability Benefits, Virginia Law Firm Says

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The Richmond, Virginia-headquartered law firm of Marks & Harrison encourages Vietnam veterans to learn more about a proposed VA regulation change that could entitle them to disability benefits stemming from Agent Orange exposure.

The veterans’ disability benefits lawyers of the Virginia law firm of Marks & Harrison want Vietnam veterans to be aware that the Department of Veterans Affairs has proposed adding three new illnesses to the list of conditions “presumed” to be linked to Agent Orange exposure.

The proposed regulation change would add Parkinson’s disease and ischemic heart disease to the list of conditions the VA will presume are related to the veteran’s exposure to Agent Orange and other herbicides while serving in Vietnam between January 9, 1962, and May 7, 1975.

It also expands the list of Agent Orange-related chronic lymphocytic leukemias to include all chronic B cell leukemias.

Often, veterans’ disability claims are denied because the veteran cannot show a “service connection,” linking their current disability to their active duty.

However, if an illness is “presumed” to be service connected, veterans do not need to prove the link between their medical problems and their military service.

As a result, filing a claim can proceed at a significantly faster pace, according to the Richmond, Virginia-headquartered law firm.

The VA has stated that more than 150,000 veterans are expected to file Agent Orange claims in the next 12-18 months as a result of the proposed rule change, including claims for retroactive disability payments. Another 90,000 previously denied claims could also be asserted.

The VA says it can begin paying benefits for the new claims once the rule goes through a 60-day Congressional review period.

To qualify for VA disability benefits, you need to be a “veteran,” which is defined by the VA as a person who served in active military, naval or air services, and who was discharged under conditions other than dishonorable.

A wide range of types of disabilities may qualify for benefits. In addition to Agent Orange-related diseases, commonly asserted disabilities include physical injuries, such as loss of limbs, back conditions, knee problems, arthritis, fibromyalgia, traumatic brain injuries and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Disability compensation is a tax-free benefit paid to veterans with disabilities that result from, or which were made worse by, injuries or diseases associated with active military service.

About Marks & Harrison

Established in 1911, Marks & Harrison represents clients in a variety of different practice areas in addition to veterans’ benefits, including personal injury, in eight offices located in the Virginia cities of Richmond, Petersburg, Louisa, Charlottesville, Tappahanock, Hopewell, Staunton and Fredericksburg. The law firm’s veterans’ benefits lawyers represent Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines veterans who have served the country in conflicts such as World War II, the Korean War, Viet Nam, the Gulf War and the current conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. To learn more about the firm and the VA benefits process, call (800) 283-2202 or use the firm’s online form.

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