Agent Orange Radiation POW
Gulf War Vietnam Veterans
A "condition", in the language of the VA,
is any disease, illness or injury that occurs during active duty
military service. To be service connected and eligible for a disability
compensation rating, the condition must be caused or contributed to by
an event that occurred during service. If the condition existed prior to
service, it must be shown to have been aggravated (made worse) by
To achieve a disability compensation rating, the veteran must prove that
he or she had appropriate military service, that an event that caused
the claimed condition occurred and that a medically diagnosed condition
that is disabling exists today.
The regulations that govern presumptive conditions only eliminate the
requirement to prove that an event caused the condition. For example, a
Vietnam veteran does not have to prove that agent orange caused the
diabetes he has today. It is presumed that he was exposed to agent
orange and also that agent orange is at the root of the diabetes.
While agent orange and the Vietnam veteran are the best known of all
presumptive conditions and ratings, atomic veterans, certain Korean
veterans and other veterans may also be eligible for presumptive ratings
of certain conditions.
The regulations are complex. Some veterans who have a Vietnam Service
Medal aren't eligible for presumptive ratings because they didn't set
their boots on the soil of the country of Vietnam. Many Korean veterans
don't realize that they may be eligible for service connections due to
exposure to the herbicide agent orange.
If you believe that you may be eligible for any presumptive condition
and rating, the best way to find out is to file a VA disability claim.
The process of adjudication is the only sure way to know.
The Agent Orange Presumptive Conditions
Chronic B-cell Leukemias
A type of cancer which affects white blood cells.
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.
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.
A cancer of plasma cells, a type of white blood cell in bone marrow.
A group of cancers that affect the lymph glands and other lymphatic tissue.
A progressive disorder of the nervous system that affects muscle movement.
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% disabling within 1 year of exposure
Cancer of the prostate; one of the most common cancers among men.
Cancers of the lung, larynx, trachea, and bronchus.
Soft Tissue Sarcoma (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.
For VA benefit purposes, Gulf War service is active military duty in any
of the following areas in the Southwest Asia theater of military
operations any time during the first Gulf War starting August 2, 1990
through the current conflict in Iraq. This includes Veterans who served
in Operation Iraqi Freedom (2003-2010) and Operation New Dawn (2010 and
Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, The neutral zone between Iraq and Saudi
Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, The United Arab Emirates, Oman, Gulf of Aden,
Gulf of Oman, Waters of the Persian Gulf, the Arabian Sea, and the Red
A prominent condition affecting Gulf War Veterans is a cluster of
medically unexplained chronic symptoms that can include fatigue,
headaches, joint pain, indigestion, insomnia, dizziness, respiratory
disorders, and memory problems.
VA does not use the term “Gulf War Syndrome” when referring to
“medically unexplained chronic multisymptom illnesses” reported by Gulf
War Veterans. Symptoms vary widely and therefore, do not meet the
definition of a syndrome. A syndrome is a group of symptoms that usually
occur together and characterize a certain disease or abnormal
condition. That is why VA uses the term “medically unexplained chronic
multisymptom illnesses” instead of “Gulf War Syndrome.”
Gulf War Veterans who meet the criteria below do not need to
prove a connection between their military service and medically
unexplained chronic multisymptom illnesses in order to receive VA
VA presumes certain chronic, unexplained symptoms existing for 6 months
or more are related to Gulf War service without regard to cause. These
"presumptive" illnesses must have appeared during active duty in the
Southwest Asia theater of military operations or by December 31, 2016,
and be at least 10 percent disabling. These illnesses include:
Chronic fatigue syndrome, a condition of long-term and severe fatigue
that is not relieved by rest and is not directly caused by other
conditions. Find out more about chronic fatigue syndrome*, treatment,
and the latest medical research at Medline Plus.
Fibromyalgia, a condition characterized by widespread muscle pain. Other
symptoms may include insomnia, morning stiffness, headache, and memory
problems. Find out more about fibromyalgia*, treatment, and the latest
medical research at Medline Plus.
Functional gastrointestinal disorders, a group of conditions marked by
chronic or recurrent symptoms related to any part of the
gastrointestinal tract. Functional condition refers to an abnormal
function of an organ, without a structural alteration in the tissues.
Examples include irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), functional dyspepsia,
and functional abdominal pain syndrome.
Undiagnosed illnesses with symptoms that may include but are not limited
to: abnormal weight loss, fatigue, cardiovascular disease, muscle and
joint pain, headache, menstrual disorders, neurological and
psychological problems, skin conditions, respiratory disorders, and
VA’s final rule specifying that functional gastrointestinal disorders are covered as presumptive illnesses took effect on August 15, 2011.
There are nearly 25 million veterans living in the
United States today. These brave men and women who defended our nation
deserve compassion and care. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is
responsible for providing health care and other benefits to these
veterans and their dependents; however, in recent years a number of
veterans associations and regulatory groups have drawn attention to
substandard care and conditions at many VA hospitals.
This epidemic of
substandard care can have a detrimental effect on the victim’s quality
of life, and may even result in permanent injury or even death. If you
believe that you or someone you love may have a VA hospital medical
malpractice claim, the lawyers at Hodes Milman Liebeck Mosier can help.
Our experienced team has the knowledge and resources to assist you in
taking legal action against the Veterans Administration under the
Federal Tort Claims Act, a process that can be unduly confusing and
complex without the guidance of an attorney with particular experience
in filing malpractice claims on behalf of veterans.
VA malpractice is
medical malpractice, and victims are entitled to appropriate
compensation for their hardship and suffering.
Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom (OEF/OIF) Hazardous Exposures
Possible hazardous exposures during
military service in Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom,
health-related problems and VA benefits
Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan
and Operation Iraqi Freedom (primarily in Iraq) are military campaigns
that are part of the Overseas Contingency Operation. Operation Enduring
Freedom (OEF) began in October 2001. Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) began
on March 20, 2003, and continued until 2010, when Operation New Dawn
began, reflecting a reduced U.S. role in Iraq.
OEF/OIF combat Veterans may have been exposed to a wide variety of
environmental hazards during their service in Afghanistan or Iraq. These
hazardous exposures may cause long-term health problems. Exposures
Toxic embedded fragments
Cold and heat injuries
Chromium at Qarmat Ali Water Treatment Facility
VA presumes certain infectious diseases also are related to military service in Southwest Asia or Afghanistan.
An infectious disease caused by a parasite. Symptoms include chills,
fever, and sweats. It must be at least 10% disabling within 1 year from
the date of military separation or at a time when standard or accepted
treatises indicate that the incubation period began during a qualifying
period of military service.
A bacterial disease with symptoms such as profuse sweating and joint
and muscle pain. The illness may be chronic and persist for years. It
must be at least 10% disabling within 1 year from the date of military
A disease with symptoms such as abdominal pain, diarrhea, and fever. It
must be at least 10% disabling within 1 year from the date of military
Coxiella Burnetii (Q Fever)
A bacterial disease with symptoms such as fever, severe headache, and
gastrointestinal problems such as nausea and diarrhea. In chronic cases,
the illness may cause inflammation of the heart. It must be at least
10% disabling within 1 year from the date of military separation.
An illness that primarily affects the lungs and causes symptoms such as
chest pain, persistent cough (sometimes bloody), weight loss and fever.
A condition characterized by symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and
diarrhea. It must be at least 10% disabling within 1 year from the date
of military separation.
A condition characterized by symptoms such as fever, nausea, vomiting,
and diarrhea. It must be at least 10% disabling within 1 year from the
date of military separation.
A parasitic disease characterized by symptoms such as fever, weight
loss, enlargement of the spleen and liver, and anemia. The condition may
be fatal if left untreated.
West Nile Virus
A disease spread by mosquitoes characterized by symptoms such as fever,
headache, muscle pain or weakness, nausea, and vomiting. Symptoms may
range from mild to severe. It must be at least 10% disabling within 1
year from the date of military separation.
Vets may be eligible for benefits if they have diseases that VA
recognizes as related to radiation exposure during service. Surviving
spouses, dependent children and dependent parents of Veterans who died
as the result of diseases related to radiation exposure during service
may be eligible for survivors' benefits.