VA To Reexamine Previously Denied Agent Orange Claims

May 17, 2021Hannah Ray Lambert
Bell UH-1 Iroquois (Huey) helicopters in flight over Vietnam, ca. late 1960s/early 1970s, Agent Orange

Bell UH-1 Iroquois (Huey) helicopters in flight over Vietnam in the late 1960s or early 1970s. US Army photo.

The Department of Veterans Affairs will reexamine claims from veterans exposed to Agent Orange while serving in the offshore waters of Vietnam.

Agent Orange was a chemical used by the United States during the Vietnam War to remove the leaves from trees and plants. The VA and other medical entities have linked numerous cancers and diseases to the powerful herbicide. 

Veterans who served on land in Vietnam and some other countries were eligible for benefits for Agent Orange exposure, but those who served in the offshore waters were originally denied compensation, leading to many legal challenges over the years. 

In 2019, President Donald Trump signed the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act, guaranteeing veterans who served off the shores of Vietnam could access VA health care and benefits related to their exposure to the chemical. Last year, a district court in San Francisco ordered the VA to re-adjudicate thousands of previously denied benefits claims related to Agent Orange.

The Department of Veterans Affairs announced Friday that it would finally begin reviewing those claims.

Read Next: Agent Orange Trial Begins in French Court — French Vietnamese Woman Sues Chemical Companies in Landmark Case

Hannah Ray Lambert
Hannah Ray Lambert

Hannah Ray Lambert is a former staff writer for Coffee or Die who previously covered everything from murder trials to high school trap shooting teams. She spent several months getting tear gassed during the 2020-2021 civil unrest in Portland, Oregon. When she’s not working, Hannah enjoys hiking, reading, and talking about authors and books on her podcast Between Lewis and Lovecraft.

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