Blue Water Navy Veterans who served during Vietnam may now be eligible for VA disability compensation for claims related to Agent Orange (herbicide) exposure.
The Blue Water Navy (BWN) Vietnam Veterans Act of 2019 (PL 116-23) along with the recent Federal Circuit Court decision, Procopio v. Wilkie, establish the presumption of herbicide exposure to any veteran who served aboard a ship that passed within 12 nautical miles off the coast of Vietnam.
VA assumes that certain diseases can be related to a Veteran’s qualifying military service. These are called “presumptive diseases.”
VA has recognized certain cancers and other health problems as presumptive diseases associated with exposure to Agent Orange or other herbicides during military service. Veterans and their survivors may be eligible for disability compensation or survivors’ benefits for these diseases:
- AL Amyloidosis
A rare disease caused when an abnormal protein, amyloid, enters tissues or organs
- Chronic B-cell Leukemias
A type of cancer which affects white blood cells
- Chloracne (or similar acneform disease)
A skin condition that occurs soon after exposure to chemicals and looks like common forms of acne seen in teenagers. Under VA’s rating regulations, it must be at least 10 percent disabling within one year of exposure to herbicides.
- Diabetes Mellitus Type 2
A disease characterized by high blood sugar levels resulting from the body’s inability to respond properly to the hormone insulin
- Hodgkin’s Disease
A malignant lymphoma (cancer) characterized by progressive enlargement of the lymph nodes, liver, and spleen, and by progressive anemia
- Ischemic Heart Disease
A disease characterized by a reduced supply of blood to the heart, that leads to chest pain
- Multiple Myeloma
A cancer of plasma cells, a type of white blood cell in bone marrow
- Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
A group of cancers that affect the lymph glands and other lymphatic tissue
- Parkinson’s Disease
A progressive disorder of the nervous system that affects muscle movement
- Peripheral Neuropathy, Acute and Subacute
A nervous system condition that causes numbness, tingling, and motor weakness. Currently, it must be at least 10 percent disabling within one year of herbicide exposure and resolve within two years. VA proposed on Aug. 10, 2012, to replace “acute and subacute” with “early-onset” and eliminate the requirement that symptoms resolve within two years.
- Porphyria Cutanea Tarda
A disorder characterized by liver dysfunction and by thinning and blistering of the skin in sun-exposed areas. Under VA’s rating regulations, it must be at least 10 percent disabling within one year of exposure to herbicides.
- Prostate Cancer
Cancer of the prostate; one of the most common cancers among men
- Respiratory Cancers (includes lung cancer)
Cancers of the lung, larynx, trachea, and bronchus
- Soft Tissue Sarcomas (other than osteosarcoma, chondrosarcoma, Kaposi’s sarcoma, or mesothelioma)
A group of different types of cancers in body tissues such as muscle, fat, blood and lymph vessels, and connective tissues
Appeal Your Denied Blue Water Navy Claims
Any veteran who served aboard a ship during Vietnam and had a VA disability compensation claim denied for any of the above listed conditions should appeal or reopen that decision immediately. Upon approval, the effective date of the claim may go back all the way to the date of the original claim.
Contact us today to find out how we may be able to help you get your Blue Water Navy Claims approved!