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Exposure to Agent Orange in Vietnam

Three infantrymen on patrol in Vietnam

For the purposes of VA compensation benefits, Veterans who served anywhere in Vietnam between January 9, 1962 and May 7, 1975 are presumed to have been exposed to herbicides, as specified in the Agent Orange Act of 1991.

These Veterans do not need to show that they were exposed to Agent Orange or other herbicides in order to get disability compensation for diseases related to Agent Orange exposure.

Service in Vietnam means service on land in Vietnam or on the inland waterways of Vietnam. This includes Veterans who:

  • Set foot in Vietnam (This includes brief visits ashore, such as when a ship docked to the shore of Vietnam or when a ship operated in Vietnam’s close coastal waters for extended periods and crew members went ashore, or smaller vessels from the ship went ashore with supplies or personnel. The Veteran further must provide a statement of personally going ashore.)
  • Served on a ship while it operated on the inland waterways of Vietnam

Blue Water Veterans are not presumed to have been exposed to Agent Orange or other herbicides unless they set foot in Vietnam or served aboard ships that operated on the inland waterways of Vietnam anytime between January 9, 1962 and May 7, 1975.

Check VA's list of U.S. Navy and Coast Guard ships that operated in Vietnam. Evidence confirmed through military records must show that the Veteran was aboard one of these ships.

VA benefits

Veterans who were exposed to Agent Orange or other herbicides during service may be eligible for a variety of VA benefits, including an Agent Orange Registry health exam, health care, and disability compensation for diseases associated with exposure. Their dependents and survivors also may be eligible for benefits.

Learn more about benefits related to Agent Orange exposure.

Need help determining service in Vietnam or eligibility?

VA can help determine eligible service in Vietnam after you file a claim for compensation benefits.

Veterans may be eligible for a free Agent Orange Registry health exam. You don't have to file a disability compensation claim to receive the exam. Contact your local VA Environmental Health Coordinator about getting an Agent Orange Registry health exam.

Environmental health coordinators directory

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