Link to the original article: https://www.va.gov/disability/eligibility/hazardous-materials-exposure/agent-orange/navy-coast-guard-ships-vietnam/
Did you serve on a Blue Water Navy vessel offshore of the Republic of Vietnam, or on another U.S. Navy or Coast Guard ship operating in the coastal waterways of Vietnam, between January 9, 1962, and May 7, 1975?
If yes, you may have had contact with Agent Orange, an herbicide used to clear trees and plants during the war. We refer to this as a presumption of contact. Find out if you can get disability compensation and other benefits for illnesses we believe are caused by Agent Orange.
Blue Water Navy Veterans and Agent Orange
Blue Water Navy Veterans are now entitled to a presumption of service connection for illnesses related to Agent Orange exposure. This is a result of Public Law 116-23, the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2019. The law was signed on June 25, 2019, and takes effect on January 1, 2020.
Read below to learn more about eligibility requirements and how to file a claim. If we denied your claim in the past, you can file a new claim based on this change in law.
Can I get disability benefits from VA?
You may be able to get disability benefits if the below descriptions are true for you.
This must be true:
- You have an illness we believe is caused by Agent Orange (called a presumptive disease)
And at least one of these must also be true. Your military record must show that between January 9, 1962, and May 7, 1975, you:
- Were aboard a U.S. military vessel that operated in the inland waterways of Vietnam, or
- Served on a vessel not more than 12 nautical miles seaward from the demarcation line of
the waters of Vietnam and Cambodia (as detailed in Public Law 116-23, the Blue Water
Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2019)
What kind of benefits can I get?
- Health care
- Compensation (payments)
How do I get these benefits?
You’ll need to file a claim for disability compensation and submit your evidence (supporting documents).
If you have an illness we believe is caused by Agent Orange
You won’t need to show that the problem started during—or got worse because of—your military service. This is because we believe that certain diseases are the result of exposure to herbicides. We refer to these as presumptive diseases.