VA Begins Deciding Blue Water Navy Claims January 1

Law Firm Newswire



Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) March 18, 2020 – On January 1, the Veterans Administration (VA) began deciding claims of Blue Water Navy Veterans, those who served in the offshore waters of Vietnam between January 9, 1962, and May 7, 1975, and have developed an illness related to Agent Orange.

The Blue Navy Act of 2019, signed into law on June 25, extends the presumption of herbicide exposure, such as Agent Orange, to veterans who served on naval vessels offshore of Vietnam or on a ship operating in the coastal waters of Vietnam during the 13-year period. The VA lists 14 conditions related to exposure, including Type 2 diabetes and Parkinson’s disease. A federal court’s refusal to lift a delay on Blue Water Navy disability claims paved the way for the start of processing claims.

Veterans who are 85 and older or those who have life-threatening illnesses should receive priority. A qualifying veteran can file an initial claim by submitting Form 21-526EZ. Veterans with prior herbicide exposure claims that have been denied should file new applications. For claims that were previously denied, veterans should submit a VA Form 20-0995. Eligible survivors and dependents can file a VA Form 21P-534EZ.

A veteran must show that they have or had one of the 14 conditions the VA considers are caused by Agent Orange, the herbicide used to clear trees and plants during the Vietnam War. The veteran will not have to show that their Agent Orange illness began during or became worse because of military service. The veteran need only show that they may have been exposed because of where they served. If the veteran’s illness is not on the list of Agent Orange-related diseases, the veteran must provide scientific and medical evidence that the condition relates to exposure to Agent Orange or that the problem started during or became worse because of military service.

Veterans who qualify for the benefits will receive a monthly disability compensation payment and free health care related to the disability. The SSA determines the amount of compensation based on the diagnosed condition and level of disability. Veterans can get more information by visiting the VA’s website , calling the VA at 800-827-1000 or going to a VA regional office.

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Learn more at 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