Last week the federal Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) published a new regulation expanding eligibility to certain veterans who may have been exposed to the Vietnam-era chemical herbicide commonly known as Agent Orange.
The new regulation applies to Air Force and Air Force Reserve personnel who worked on contaminated C-123 aircraft that were used to spray Agent Orange during Operation Ranch Hand. An estimated 1,500-2,100 veterans are eligible, including flight, medical, and ground maintenance crew members of the affected aircraft during the years 1969-1986. Compensation will now be available to veterans in these groups who have developed any of 14 medical conditions associated with exposure.
The Georgia Department of Veterans Service (GDVS) has the resources to assist these newly eligible veterans with their applications.
“We have been successfully filing Agent Orange compensation claims on behalf of Georgia veterans for many years, and we stand ready to do so for these newly eligible veterans,” said GDVS Interim Commissioner Mike Roby. “VA has briefed us on the relevant procedures for filing benefits claims under these new criteria, and our personnel have been updated and are ready to go. We will make sure that all eligible Georgia veterans get the benefits they have earned.”
In addition to those covered by this new regulation, VA assumes exposure to Agent Orange for military personnel who served in Vietnam or its waterways between 1962-1975, in the Korean demilitarized zone between 1968-1971, on certain bases near Vietnam, and in areas where the herbicide was tested or stored.
Any Georgia veteran who wants to file a claim for compensation should seek assistance at a GDVS Veterans Field Service Office. Visit veterans.ga.gov/field-offices, or call 404-656-2300 for directory assistance.
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The 14 medical conditions associated with exposure to Agent Orange are:
- AL Amyloidosis
- Chronic B-cell Leukemias
- Chloracne (or similar acneform disease)
- Diabetes Mellitus Type 2
- Hodgkin's Disease
- Ischemic Heart Disease
- Multiple Myeloma
- Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma
- Parkinson's Disease
- Peripheral Neuropathy, Early-Onset
- Porphyria Cutanea Tarda
- Prostate Cancer
- Respiratory Cancers (includes lung cancer)
- Soft Tissue Sarcomas (other than osteosarcoma, chondrosarcoma, Kaposi's sarcoma, or mesothelioma)
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For more information on the content of this news release, please contact the GDVS Public Information Division at 404-656-5933 or email@example.com.