The Department of Veterans Affairs has recently added Parkinson’s Disease and Ischemic Heart Disease to their list of increased their “presumptive illnesses” relating to Agent Orange exposure. This means that if a veteran served in Vietnam between January 9, 1962 and May 7, 1975, and that veteran is now disabled with either of these conditions, it will be presumed by the VA to be service-connected. Now the Veteran should be able to make a claim for disability benefits and health-care services without having to prove that their conditions are related to exposure to the deadly herbicide.
Before this change, the veteran had to prove to the VA that these diseases which they suffered from were related to Agent Orange. Fortunately (and finally), the VA has realized that these deadly diseases are more than likely a result of their service and should just be presumed to be related. If you, or a family member, believe that they meet the above criteria and you have been denied your disability claim, call the experienced Alabama VA attorneys of Martinson & Beason to assist you in your appeal.
For more information on this topic see our previous blog post: “Agent Orange and VA Benefits.”