Veterans who develop AL amyloidosis and were exposed to Agent Orange or other herbicides during military service do not have to prove a connection between their disease and service to be eligible to receive VA health care and disability compensation.
AL amyloidosis is a rare disease caused when amyloid proteins are abnormally deposited in tissues or organs. Primary (AL) amyloidosis is the most common form. AL amyloidoisis is not a cancer, but it can occur because of some cancers.
Affected organs may include heart, kidneys, liver, bowel, skin, nerves, joints, and lungs. Symptoms include fatigue, anemia (low red blood cell count), weight loss, numbness and tingling in limbs.
Veterans who served in Vietnam, the Korean demilitarized zone or another area where Agent Orange was sprayed may be eligible for a free Agent Orange registry health exam.
Surviving spouses, dependent children and dependent parents of Veterans who were exposed to herbicides during military service and died as the result of AL amyloidosis may be eligible for survivors' benefits.
The Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academy of Sciences concluded in its report "Veterans and Agent Orange: Update 1996" released on July 27, 2007, that "there is limited or suggestive evidence of an association between exposures to the compounds of interest found in the herbicide Agent Orange and AL amyloidosis."
VA made a decision to presume AL amyloidosis is related to herbicide exposure effective May 7, 2009 based on research findings.
View more research on health effects of Agent Orange.