VA to Pay Benefits to Veterans Suffering from Agent Orange Exposure
Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) August 10, 2015 – Ending years of contention between Air Force veterans and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the agency on June 19 agreed to provide millions of dollars in disability benefits to former service personnel who might have been exposed to the toxic herbicide Agent Orange on aircraft used in the Vietnam War.
Veterans who flew contaminated C-123 airplanes after they were used in Vietnam from 1962 to 1971 to spray Agent Orange are now allowed to seek medical care and file for financial compensation with disability claims for illnesses related to exposure to the toxic herbicide. The new federal rule covers a group of between 1,500 to 2,100 veterans who are suffering from various Agent Orange-related illnesses as a result of working and sleeping on the planes.
“The VA’s acknowledgement of the dangers of Agent Orange is long overdue. Having served their country honorably, these veterans deserve compensation for years of suffering,” said David Magann, a Florida-based veterans attorney.
Earlier this year, the Institute of Medicine produced a VA-ordered report on the issue, which found a link between Agent Orange exposure and 14 medical conditions including diabetes, leukemia and prostate cancer. The VA now faces an onslaught of cases and an expected cost of $47.5 million over 10 years, along with separate health care coverage. The agency already issues one out of six disability checks for Agent Orange-related cases.
For years, the VA has denied the dangers of Agent Orange and questioned the validity of research by multiple consultants and the Institute of Medicine, which was paid more than $1 million to conduct studies on the issue. The agency also disregarded a 2012 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that indicated a 200-fold risk of cancer due to the presence of dioxin on the Vietnam planes.
“Plenty of evidence from multiple sources has pointed to the toxic nature of Agent Orange. It is hard to believe that the VA has ignored it for so long. Veterans who have been exposed to Agent Orange should avail themselves of the benefits as soon as possible in order to cope with their illnesses,” said Magann.Learn more at http://www.tampaveteranslawyer.com/ David W. Magann, P.A. Main Office: 156 West Robertson Street Brandon, FL 33511 Call: (813) 657-9175 Tampa Office: 18715 N Dale Mabry Hwy Lutz, FL 33548