Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2019 Claims Now Being Decided

This month the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced that they had begun the claims decision process for veterans exposed to toxins such as Agent Orange during the Vietnam War.

According to an article published by Sierra Sun Times, “The Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2019 extends the presumption of herbicide exposure, that include toxins such as Agent Orange, to veterans who served in the offshore waters of the Republic of Vietnam during the Vietnam War. Signed into law Jun. 25, the law specifically affects Blue Water Navy (BWN) Veterans who served no more than 12 nautical miles offshore of the Republic of Vietnam between Jan. 6, 1962 and May 7, 1975, as well as Veterans who served in the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) between Jan. 1, 1967 and Aug. 31, 1971.”

If the above-mentioned veterans suffer from one of 14 conditions (that are presumed to be related to exposure to herbicides) they can now apply for disability benefits without needing to prove that they were exposed.

When asked about the decision process, VA Secretary Robert Wilkie said, “For six months, [the] VA worked diligently to gather and digitize records from the National Archives and Records Administration to support faster claims decisions…These efforts will positively impact the claims process for Veterans filing for these benefits.”

Relevant pages: Veterans Disability