Attention A T users. To access the menus on this page please perform the following steps. 1. Please switch auto forms mode to off. 2. Hit enter to expand a main menu option (Health, Benefits, etc). 3. To enter and activate the submenu links, hit the down arrow. You will now be able to tab or arrow up or down through the submenu options to access/activate the submenu links.

Public Health


Quick Links

Veterans Crisis Line Badge
My healthevet badge

VA's Spina Bifida health care benefits program

Agent Orange Newsletter: Information for Vietnam-era Veterans and their families.

The Agent Orange Benefits Act of 1996 allows for benefits for children of Vietnam Veterans who have spina bifida. VA offers the Spina Bifida Health Care Benefits Program (SBHCBP) for children of Vietnam Veterans and certain Korean War Veterans who have been: 

  • diagnosed with spina bifida in all forms except spina bifida occulta, and
  • are considered eligible for a monetary award by VA’s Veterans Benefits Administration.

The SBHCBP provides VA-financed health care benefits. As a part of this program, VA is the exclusive payer for services, and there are no out-of-pocket health care expenses for beneficiaries. The program also provides health care services and supplies beyond those related to spina bifida, monetary allowances, and vocational training and rehabilitation for enrolled beneficiaries.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) about 1,500 U.S. residents are born with spina bifida each year. The incidence fell after a CDC campaign on folic acid supplementation started in 1992. Currently, about 166,000 U.S. residents have spina bifida. As of September 2020, over 1,000 family members are covered under the VA benefits program for this.

There is a lack of scientific evidence showing a higher rate of spina bifida in offspring of Vietnam deployed Veterans as compared to non-deployed Veterans. One National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine consensus report felt there may be an association, but subsequent reports have not found spinal bifida or other birth defects to be associated with Vietnam deployment.

VA continues to review research related to birth defects and possible associations to deployment.

Learn more about the SBHCBP, operated by VA’s Office of Community Care, at and at


Health Care


TDD (Hearing Impaired)