The U.S. Department of Defense has released an updated list of locations where Agent Orange was used in the United States. (dod_herbicides_outside_vietnam pdf) Our office has assisted in numerous agent orange exposure claims and we are glad to see that America’s bravest will finally receive the compensation they deserve due to the damage caused by this horrific chemical compound. The agent orange claim process can oftentimes be confusing. Prospective clients always want to know “What is an agent orange exposure case worth?” Many times, the answer to this question can be difficult to assess. In the past, the Department of Veteran Affairs created the Agent Orange Settlement Fund. For older cases, it could usually be determined fairly quickly the general compensation range if certain factors can be proven. Among these factors are:
- That the Veteran served in Vietnam
- They became either totally disabled or were the survivor of a deceased totally disabled veteran
- Based on the nature and circumstances of the veteran’s experience, it was probably they came in contact w/ Agent Orange
- That the death or disability was not caused by a trauma or other accident.
- That the death or disability occurred before December 31 1994.
However, newer claims will need a more thorough and typical VA disability analysis. Nowadays the criteria are:
- You have an illness we believe is caused by Agent Orange (called a presumptive disease)
AND, at least one of these must be true:
- You came into contact with Agent Orange while serving in the military, or
- Served in or near the DMZ for any length of time between September 1, 1967, and August 31, 1971, or
- Served in the Republic of Vietnam for any length of time between January 9, 1962, and May 7, 1975.
Who is eligible to receive benefits?
- Veterans or their Qualified Dependants
We would encourage any and all of those who encountered Agent Orange to immediately begin the application process.