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Vietnam vets should consider Agent Orange disability claims

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Vietnam vets who were exposed to Agent Orange during combat might have access to disability benefits under a program that provides benefits to those who are dealing with illnesses linked to the substance. According to one Veterans Administration service officer, the list of diseases linked to Agent Orange is always growing.

The service officer encouraged vets to file a claim for disability if they are dealing with any of the diseases currently associated with Agent Orange, including prostate cancer and ischemic heart disease. She also said that if the disease was not currently linked to Agent Orange, filing a claim wasn't a wasted effort. Even if the claim is denied now, the fact that it is on file could allow the vet to receive retroactive benefits to the file date should the disease ever be added to the list.

One reason vets often don't apply for this disability coverage is because they believe they will have to jump through many hoops to prove that Agent Orange might have caused the illness they are currently dealing with. The service agent of the VA said that isn't the case, and that it is not as hard to file the claim as many might think. The VA offers the exams, which could include blood work, a physical exam and an X-ray, to check for the diseases.

According to reports, the VA used to require vets prove a link between diseases and Agent Orange. Today, some diseases are presumed to be caused by the substance. If you believe you are dealing with a disability or disease caused by your military service, you might have access to VA benefits to help with medical bills or other expenses. Working with a legal professional can help you understand your benefits and how to access them.

Source: Omaha.com, "Vets advised: Don’t hesitate to seek rightful disability claim," Steve Liewer, June 06, 2016

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