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AGENT ORANGE EXPOSURE


What is Agent Orange?

"Agent Orange" refers to a mix of tactical herbicides the U.S. military sprayed in the jungles of Vietnam and around the Korean demilitarized zone to remove trees and dense tropical foliage that provided enemy cover. Herbicides were also used by the U.S. military to defoliate military facilities in the U.S. and in other countries as far back as the 1950s.

When is Agent Orange exposure presumed?

VA presumes that Veterans were exposed to Agent Orange or other herbicides if they served:

In Vietnam anytime between January 9, 1962 and May 7, 1975, including brief visits ashore or service aboard a ship that operated on the inland waterways of Vietnam
In or near the Korean demilitarized zone anytime between April 1, 1968 and August 31, 1971

What does presumed exposure to Agent Orange mean?

The "presumptive policy" makes it easier for veterans to prove their disability claims. Specifically, if exposure to Agent Orange is presumed, the veteran does not need to submit evidence of actual exposure to Agent Orange.

How do you prove actual exposure when exposure to Agent Orange is not presumed?

Even if you do not serve in Vietnam or the Korean demilitarized zone during the specified time periods, you can still apply for disability compensation if you were exposed to an herbicide while in the military and believe it led to the onset of a disease. This includes:
  1. Veterans who served on or near the perimeters of military bases in Thailand during the Vietnam Era.
  2. Veterans who served where herbicides were tested and stored outside of Vietnam.
  3. Veterans who were crewmembers on C-123 planes flown after the Vietnam War.
  4. Veterans associated with Department of Defense (DoD) projects to test, dispose of, or store herbicides in the U.S.

Which diseases are presumed to have been caused by Agent Orange Exposure?

The VA presumes the following diseases are caused by exposure to Agent Orange:
  • AL Amyloidosis
A rare disease caused when an abnormal protein, amyloid, enters tissues or organs
  • Chronic B-cell Leukemias
A type of cancer which affects white blood cells
  • Chloracne (or similar acneform disease)
A skin condition that occurs soon after exposure to chemicals and looks like common forms of acne seen in teenagers. Under VA's rating regulations, it must be at least 10 percent disabling within one year of exposure to herbicides.
  • Diabetes Mellitus Type 2
A disease characterized by high blood sugar levels resulting from the body’s inability to respond properly to the hormone insulin
  • Hodgkin’s Disease
A malignant lymphoma (cancer) characterized by progressive enlargement of the lymph nodes, liver, and spleen, and by progressive anemia
  • Ischemic Heart Disease
A disease characterized by a reduced supply of blood to the heart, that leads to chest pain
  • Multiple Myeloma
A cancer of plasma cells, a type of white blood cell in bone marrow
  • Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
A group of cancers that affect the lymph glands and other lymphatic tissue
  • Parkinson’s Disease
A progressive disorder of the nervous system that affects muscle movement
  • Peripheral Neuropathy, Early-Onset
A nervous system condition that causes numbness, tingling, and motor weakness. Under VA's rating regulations, it must be at least 10 percent disabling within one year of herbicide exposure.
  • Porphyria Cutanea Tarda
A disorder characterized by liver dysfunction and by thinning and blistering of the skin in sun-exposed areas. Under VA's rating regulations, it must be at least 10 percent disabling within one year of exposure to herbicides.
  • Prostate Cancer
Cancer of the prostate; one of the most common cancers among men
  • Respiratory Cancers (includes lung cancer) 
Cancers of the lung, larynx, trachea, and bronchus
  • Soft Tissue Sarcomas (other than osteosarcoma, chondrosarcoma, Kaposi’s sarcoma, or mesothelioma)
A group of different types of cancers in body tissues such as muscle, fat, blood and lymph vessels, and connective tissues
  • Children with Birth Defects: VA presumes certain birth defects in children of Vietnam and Korea Veterans associated with Veterans' qualifying military service.
  • Veterans with Lou Gehrig's Disease: VA presumes Lou Gehrig's Disease (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or ALS) diagnosed in all Veterans who had 90 days or more continuous active military service is related to their service, although ALS is not related to Agent Orange exposure.

6) Assuming Agent Orange exposure, what evidence is needed to prove your disability claim?


If you are seeking service connection for one of the diseases VA presumes is associated with exposure to herbicides during service, VA requires the following:
  1. A medical diagnosis of a disease which VA recognizes as being associated with Agent Orange (listed above)
  2. Competent evidence of
  3. service in Vietnam or at or near the Korean demilitarized zone during the dates shown above, or
  4. exposure to herbicides in a location other than the Vietnam or the Korean demilitarized zone.
  5. Competent medical evidence that the disease began within the deadline (if any). (See 38 CFR 3.307(a)(6)(ii) for more information on deadlines.)

If you believe that you have a disease caused by herbicide exposure, but that disease is not on the list of diseases associated with Agent Orange, you may still apply for service-connection. In these cases, VA requires all of the following:
  1. Competent medical evidence of a current disability,
  2. Competent medical evidence of an actual connection between herbicide exposure and the current disability, AND
  3. Competent evidence of:
  4. service in Vietnam or at or near the Korean demilitarized zone during the dates shown above, or
  5. exposure to herbicides in a location other than Vietnam or the Korean demilitarized zone.

WHAT CLIENTS SAY

"Were you happy with the final result in your case? "Very much so. "

C. W. Wellman | Bronson, Texas
Awarded $184,235

"I was treated very fairly and was satisfied with the result. "

Charles R. Van Every | Crystal River, Florida
Awarded $221,519

"Good communication, professional, caring, available, prompt, knowledgable, timely submissions. I was awarded 100% service-connected in a difficult area...Agent Orange and Parkinson's Disease. "

Charles Smith | Oregon City, OR
Awarded $64,568

"I tried other representatives for over ten years. They never seemed to try to see my point of view, much less the truth. Mark Lippman's firm went to extremes to find the truth--they were very diligent in representing me in Court I would whole-heartedly recommend that anyone with a difficult case go to Mark Lippman. "

Chester Stricklin | Tulsa, Oklahoma
Awarded $273,069

"I believe Mr. Lippman was entitled to more compensation than he received. He treated me more than fair. He listened to me. When you're hurting and tired of fighting the system, that means a lot. Mark performed admirably, quickly and professionally. I am more than happy with the final result. "

Danny Ridgeway | Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Awarded $158,738

"I felt that the Veteran's Law Group took the time and gathered the needed info to support my case. They never pushed me and my case off to the side. They pushed for what was right and entitled to me for my service to this country. They were willing to listen to me and then do the needed research to support my case. They never made me feel that I was wasting mine or their time. "

Dion Pendergast | Victoria, VA
Awarded $91,577

"More than happy with final result because of your dedication and honesty. Absolutely treated me fairly and compassionately. "

Falco Scuilli | Pittsburgh, PA
Awarded $363,503

"I was happy with Mr. Lippman's representation of my case. His firm accomplished what I thought hopeless-I received my compensation. "

Johnny King | Johnson City, Texas
Awarded $537,367

"I was extremely happy with the Veterans Law Group and the manner in which they handled my case. There is no doubt in my mind that had anyone other than Mark Lippman litigated my case I would not have received the back benefits I received. Thanks to Mr. Lippman and the Veterans Law Group my life has changed. You cannot go wrong with Attorney Mark Lippman or anyone associated with his Veterans Law Group. "

Joseph J. Plant | Sparks, Nevada
Awarded $227,000

"Mark Lippman helped me with a 10 year appeal and within a year and a half I received back pay of over $100,000. I would never have reached a settlement without Mark Lippman's help. The VA kept me in limbo for years. Mr. Lippman's knowledge of VA procedures made them accountable. I am now receiving 100% pension for my health condition resulting from the Viet Nam War. "

Michael Gilmore | San Diego, California
Awarded $103,000

"Mark Lippman let me know all the information I needed to prepare well in advance. He even covered some early expenses for the case from his own sources. Excellent lawyer and the case was settled to my satisfaction. I am very thankful to Mark Lippman and his staff for representing me in this caring, precise and realistic manner. "

Michael Steele | Bosco, North Carolina
Awarded $226,500

"Mark Lippman and I have worked together on cases before the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims involving vision problems for several years. I have been a Service Officer for the Blinded Veterans Association for over 16 years. Mr. Lippman settled a claim I referred to him for over $500,000 -- the largest settlement I have ever known -- and he is currently seeking a Court decision in a case involving the unusual definition of 'blindness' used by the VA. "

Peter Link | Veterans Service Officer, Blinded Veterans
Awarded

"Mr. Lippman took on my case in 1991. Stuck in there until he was satisfied with the final decision which was 100% TDIU. Thank you Mr. Lippman. Will surely recommend you to other people. Law firm always done what they say they would do. I was very satisfied with the final results of my case. "

Terry Smith | Gates, NC
Awarded $478,901.00

"I am very satisfied with your firm's representation regarding my claim against the Secretary of Veterans Affairs. The partial settlement I have received has made me feel as though I am finally coming to a closure to a very important part of my life. Thanks to Attorney Mark Lippman for handling my case.
Mr. Lippman & the Veteran's Law Group have been professional and helpful through this whole long process. Could not be any happier. The moral victory was equally as important as the financial victory. For 60+ years the VA had denied my condition was related to service. "

Thomas P. Chotta | Melbourne Beach, Florida
Awarded $152,839 and then $159,236

"By myself, I would not have survived this, had it not been for Counselor Lippman. We started with nothing, only my story--to the result of winning a V.A. claim. I would recommend attorney Mark Lippman to anyone. "

Vernon Kepner | Mt. Sterling, Kentucky
Awarded $216,119

"I have been trying to receive compensation since the early 70's from the V.A. for service connected disabilities. I believe without Mark Lippman's help I would still be trying to obtain was due me. I sincerely thank you, Mark and your Staff. "

William Iversen | Mikana, Wisconsin
Awarded $145,224.16
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VETERANS SERVICE OFFICERS

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THE VETERANS LAW GROUP

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Accepting Cases Nationwide

The Veterans Law Group is located just outside of San Diego, California, but we represent veterans in every state.  Please call us or contact us via this website if you'd like to setup a confidential, complimentary consultation.  Thank you.