16 February 2013
Request for Legal Assistance re: Agent Orange Law
We need some help. Our C-123 veterans claim exposure to Agent Orange and seek veterans benefits, yet the VA denies claims.
We need expert legal assistance to look at this. While our C-123 veterans are successful when their cased reach the VA's Board of Veterans Appeals, most of us are too old to wait out that five year delay, five years tossed onto the two or more for the claim itself.
As we see the situation, the 1991 Agent Orange law and C.F.R.s spell out that veterans who were exposed outside Vietnam need to prove contamination, prove exposure, and prove they have one of the Agent Orange-preseumptive illnesses.
The law doesn't specify how much contamination, how much or what type exposure...nothing. Thus far we have a large group of scientists and physicians opining that we have been exposed, and a larger group contesting the VA's "unscientific" literature review which they use to justify denying benefits to our veterans. Has the VA set an extra-legal threshold?
So what are the legal issues? What can we point to in justification of our claims. And what remains undone which the law insists we address, if anything, to perfect our case?
We need some help. Any attorneys out there who can give some old vets a bit of pro bono advice? We have an important meeting with the VA on February 28 and need this assistance, however tentative or generalized, before then.