Agent Orange is an herbicide and defoliant chemical. It is widely known for its use by the U.S. military as part of its herbicidal warfare program, Operation Ranch Hand during the Vietnam War from 1961 to 1971. In addition to its damaging environmental effects, the chemical has caused major health problems for many individuals who were exposed.
Up to 4 million people in Vietnam were exposed to the defoliant, with around 1 million now suffering serious health issues. The chemical is capable of damaging genes resulting in deformities among offspring of exposed victims. The U.S. government has documented higher cases of leukemia, Hodgkin's lymphoma, as well as other various kinds of cancer in exposed veterans. Agent Orange also caused enormous environmental damage in Vietnam.
As of January 6 2021 here are new claims guidelines:
VA presumes that certain disabilities were caused by military service. This is because of the unique circumstances of a specific Veteran’s military service. If a presumed condition is diagnosed in a Veteran in a certain group, they can be awarded disability compensation. Veterans who may have been exposed to Agent Orange include Veterans who served in different locations, including Vietnam, the Korean Demilitarized Zone, on Thai Air Force bases, at other locations, and who flew on or worked on C-123 Aircraft.
The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021 (NDAA)(H.R.6395)added three (3) more conditions to the Agent Orange presumptive-conditions list wherein Veterans who were exposed to Agent Orange may qualify for benefits:
- bladder cancer,
- hypothyroidism, and
- Parkinsonism, or Parkinson-like symptoms.
Veterans and survivors are encouraged to submit claims.