04 March 2014

What Laws Need to be Changed for C-123 Agent Orange Exposure Claims?

The question comes up occasionally...do any laws need to be changed for C-123 veterans to have
VA recognize their Agent Orange exposures and provide treatment for Agent Orange-type illnesses.

Easy...none. There is no new legislation needed because these veterans are fully eligible for VA care today. The law is based on the 1991 Agent Orange Act, Title 38, and the 31 Aug 2010 Federal Register statement by the VA.

Actually, VA would need legislation, or at least notice in the Federal Register, for a legal basis for denying claims as they do today.

We are advocating for VA to obey the law, not change it. Double check us with the NVLSP, Katrina Eagle, or other veterans law experts.

Yale Law did a comprehensive review
which was completed 18 January 2014, concluding that C-123 veterans are legally qualified today for Agent Orange benefits. VA's failure to permit these claims is unacceptable implementation of policy.

As VA itself made clear (in the Federal Register 31 Aug 2010, p. 53205:)

Finally, we wish to make clear that the  presumptions of service connection provided by this rule will apply to any veteran who was exposed during service to the herbicides used in Vietnam, even if exposure occurred outside of Vietnam.

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