Veterans may be eligible for disability compensation (a monthly monetary allowance) for injuries or diseases related to active military service. We call these disabilities "service-related" or "service-connected."
- Eligibility based on Vietnam or Korea service
- Eligibility for Veterans outside of Vietnam or Korea
- How to apply
For the purposes of disability compensation, VA presumes that Veterans were exposed to Agent Orange or other herbicides if they served:
- In Vietnam anytime between January 9, 1962 and May 7, 1975 (includes brief visits ashore or service aboard a ship that operated on the inland waterways of Vietnam). Check VA's list of U.S. Navy and Coast Guard ships that operated in Vietnam.
- In or near the Korean demilitarized zone anytime between April 1, 1968 and August 31, 1971
These Veterans do not need to prove that they were exposed to Agent Orange or other herbicides to qualify for disability compensation for diseases related to Agent Orange exposure (also called "presumptive diseases").
A Veteran who believes he or she has a disease caused by herbicide exposure, but it is not a presumptive disease, must show an actual connection between the disease and herbicide exposure during military service.
Veterans who do not meet the criteria for presumed exposure to Agent Orange may be eligible for service-connection for related disabilities. This includes:
- Blue Water Veterans who served on ships off the shore of Vietnam that did not operate on the inland waterways of Vietnam, or who did not set foot in Vietnam. Check VA's list of U.S. Navy and Coast Guard ships that operated in Vietnam.
- Veterans who served on or near the perimeters of military bases in Thailand during the Vietnam Era
- Veterans who served where herbicides were tested and stored outside of Vietnam
- Veterans who were crew members on C-123 planes flown after the Vietnam War
These Veterans must show that they were exposed to Agent Orange or other herbicides during military service to be eligible for service-connection for presumptive diseases related to Agent Orange exposure.
Veterans who believe they have a disease caused by herbicide exposure, but it is not a presumptive disease, must show that:
- They were exposed to herbicides during military service.
- There is an actual connection between the disease and herbicide exposure during military service.
Exception: Blue Water Veterans with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma may be granted service-connection without showing inland waterway service or that they set foot in Vietnam. This is because VA also recognizes non-Hodgkin's lymphoma as related to service in Vietnam or the waters offshore of Vietnam during the Vietnam Era.
Vietnam Veterans with chronic b-cell leukemias, Hodgkin’s disease, ischemic heart disease, multiple myeloma, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, Parkinson’s disease, or prostate cancer may apply for disability compensation for these diseases using VA’s Fast Track Claims Processing System.
After VA receives your application, we’ll send you a letter that explains what evidence we need in order to grant your claim. We will help you get records to support your claim, including records of Vietnam service or exposure to Agent Orange or other herbicides during military service. Learn more about the claims process.
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