For more information, click on the campaign ribbon as well as the various links below. Also, listen to Podcasts of Jan Scruggs' Vietnam War Stories located at the bottom of this page.
For the purposes of VA compensation benefits, Veterans who served anywhere in Vietnam between January 9, 1962 and May 7, 1975 are presumed to have been exposed to herbicides, as specified in the Agent Orange Act of 1991. These Veterans do not need to show that they were exposed to Agent Orange or other herbicides in order to get disability compensation for diseases related to Agent Orange exposure.
Service in Vietnam means service on land in Vietnam or the inland waterways of Vietnam. This includes Veterans who:
Veterans who were exposed to Agent Orange or other herbicides during service may be eligible for a variety of VA benefits, including an Agent Orange Registry health exam, health care, and disability compensation for diseases associated with exposure. Their dependents and survivors also may be eligible for benefits.
These specific illnesses are presumed to have been related to Agent Orange Exposure.
VA presumes that certain conditions are related to exposure to Agent Orange or other herbicides during service in Vietnam, and Vietnam Veterans who have these conditions will automatically be qualified for certain benefits.
As a result of the FY21 National Defense Authorization Act, VA added three new conditions that are related to exposure to Agent Orange and other herbicides: bladder cancer, hypothyroidism, and Parkinsonism (also known as Parkinson-like conditions).
Vietnam War-era Veterans and their survivors who previously filed and were denied benefits for one of these three new presumptive conditions will have their cases automatically reviewed without the need to refile a claim. VA will send letters to impacted Veterans and survivors.
VA presumes that the health problems listed below are related to herbicide exposure during Vietnam service. Also, VA presumes certain birth defects in children of Vietnam and Korea Veterans are associated with Veterans’ qualifying military service.
Vietnam Veterans who were:
• Exposed to Agent Orange
• Served in the Republic of Vietnam or on a vessel operating not more than 12 nautical miles seaward from the demarcation line of the waters of Vietnam and Cambodia between Jan. 9, 1962 and May 7, 1975
Specific presumed conditions are: • AL amyloidosis • B-cell leukemia • Chronic lymphocytic leukemia • Multiple myeloma • Type 2 diabetes • Hodgkin’s disease • Ischemic heart disease (including but not limited to, coronary artery disease and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease) • Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma • Parkinson’s disease • Parkinsonism • Prostate cancer • Respiratory cancers • Soft-tissue sarcoma (not including osteosarcoma, chondrosarcoma, Kaposi’s sarcoma or mesothelioma) • Bladder cancer • Hypothyroidism
How to File a Disability Claim
Find out if you’re eligible for VA disability compensation
a). Gather any evidence (supporting documents) you’ll submit yourself when you file your VA disability claim.
b). Be sure your claim is filled out completely and you have all the supporting documents ready to send in along with your claim. This will help us process your claim quickly.
c). What evidence will I need to provide to support my claim? You can help to support your VA disability claim by providing documents, such as: VA medical records and hospital records that relate to your claimed illnesses or injuries or that show your rated disability has gotten worse. Private medical records and hospital reports that relate to your claimed illnesses or injuries or that show your disability has gotten worse
d). Supporting statements you’d like to provide from family members, friends, clergy members, law enforcement personnel, or those you served with that can tell us more about your claimed condition and how and when it happened or how it got worse
e). Depending on the type of claim you file, you may gather supporting documents yourself, or you can ask for our help to gather evidence. Find out what evidence we’ll need for your claim We’ll also review your discharge papers (DD214 or other separation documents) and service treatment records. Please note: You don’t have to submit any evidence to support your claim, but we may need to schedule a claim exam so we can learn more about your condition.
f). You should also know that you have up to a year from the date we receive your claim to turn in any evidence. If you start your application and need time to gather more supporting documents, you can save your application and come back later to finish it. We’ll recognize the date you started your application as your date of claim as long as you complete it within 365 days.
g). How do I file my claim? You can file your disability compensation claim online right now. File a disability compensation claim
You can also file a disability claim:
By mail: File your claim by mail using an Application for Disability Compensation and Related Compensation Benefits (VA Form 21-526EZ). Download VA Form 21-526EZ (PDF) Print the form, fill it out, and send it to this address: Department of Veterans Affairs Claims Intake Center PO Box 4444 Janesville, WI 53547-4444
In person: Bring your application to a VA regional office near you.
Find a VA regional office near you
With the help of a trained professional
You can work with a trained professional called an accredited representative to get help filing a claim for disability compensation.
Rockland County has a local Veterans Service Agency located at 20 Squadron Blvd., Suite 480, New City, New York. Call to set up an appointment with one of the veteran counselors at 845-638-5244. It is staffed by veterans.
The New York State Division of Veterans' Services is New York's advocacy agency for all Veterans, Service Members, and their families.
For over seven decades, the Division has connected generations of Veterans, Service Members, and their families and dependents to multiple economic, medical, and social benefits and services earned because of their military service.
For more information on Veteran's benefits, please make an appointment with a Veterans Benefits Advisor. https://veterans.ny.gov
A few locations where you can find New York State Division of Veterans' Services offices:
New York State Division of Veterans’ Services - VA Medical Center, P.O. Box 100 P.O. Box 100 2094 Albany Post Road Building 1 – Room 18 Montrose , NY 10548 Phone: (914) 788-4367
New York State Division of Veterans’ Services - West Point US Military Academy (every other Friday) 622 Swift Road Building 622, Room 113 West Point , NY 10996 Phone: (845) 831-2000 ext 215449
Orange County Veterans Service Agency 111 Craigville Road Goshen , NY 10924 Phone: (845) 291-2470
PTSD: Post-traumatic stress can happen after someone goes through a traumatic event such as combat, an assault, or a disaster. Most people have some stress reactions following trauma. But if the reactions don’t go away over time or they disrupt your life, you may have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Find out if you can get disability compensation or benefits if you have symptoms of PTSD.
Learn more about PTSD How do I talk to someone right now? Find out how to get support anytime day or night. Am I eligible for disability benefits from VA?
You may be eligible for disability benefits if you have symptoms related to a traumatic event (the “stressor”) or your experience with the stressor is related to the PTSD symptoms, and you meet all of these requirements.
All of these must be true:
A). The stressor happened during your service,
B). You can’t function as well as you once could because of your symptoms,
C). A doctor has diagnosed you with PTSD
What does VA consider to be a traumatic event? We consider any of these to be a traumatic event: A). You suffered a serious injury, personal or sexual trauma, or sexual violation, or
B). You were threatened with injury, sexual assault, or death
Who’s covered? Veterans
What kind of disability benefits can I get?
Health care Compensation (payments)
Treatment for PTSD
How do I get these benefits?
You’ll need to file a claim for disability compensation. Find out how to file a claim for disability compensation
When you file a disability claim, you’ll also need to fill out one of these additional forms:
A Statement in Support of Claim for Service Connection for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (VA Form 21-0781). Download VA Form 21-0781 (PDF) or
A Statement in Support of Claim for Service Connection for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Secondary to Personal Assault (VA Form 21-0781a). Download VA Form 21-0781a (PDF)
Note: In our screening process, we’ll focus on getting a full understanding of your PTSD to help determine your eligibility for disability benefits. We won’t offer you treatment during this process. If you’re looking for treatment options, please talk with your health care provider or learn more about accessing VA services for PTSD. Find out how to access VA services for PTSD
If you’re in crisis and need to talk with someone right now, you can connect with a Veterans Crisis Line responder any time, day or night. Find out how to get support now
Get more information We’ve made great progress in treating PTSD and have brought more mental health providers to VA medical centers to help give the best care to Veterans with PTSD. Learn about our PTSD programs
VA has recognized that certain birth defects among Veterans' children are associated with Veterans' qualifying service in Vietnam or Korea.
Spina bifida (except spina bifida occulta), a defect in the developing fetus that results in incomplete closing of the spine, is associated with Veterans' exposure to Agent Orange or other herbicides during qualifying service in Vietnam or Korea.
Birth defects in children of women Veterans is associated with their military service in Vietnam, but are not related to herbicide exposure. The affected child must have been conceived after the Veteran entered Vietnam or the Korean demilitarized zone during the qualifying service period.
VA benefits: Children with spina bifida or covered birth defects who are biological children of Veterans with qualifying service may be eligible for compensation, health care and vocational training. Learn more about benefits for Veterans' children with birth defects.
Korean Demilitarized Zone and Agent Orange Exposure
Defoliated Korean DMZ, 1968
US Army Veterans who served in a unit in or near the Korean demilitarized zone (DMZ) anytime between September 1, 1967 and August 31, 1971 are presumed to have been exposed to herbicides. These Veterans do not have to show they were exposed to Agent Orange to be eligible for disability compensation for these diseases. VA and the Department of Defense must determine that the Veteran’s unit operated in the DMZ area and the Veteran was physically there.
Veterans who were exposed to Agent Orange or other herbicides during service may be eligible for a variety of VA benefits, including an Agent Orange Registry health exam, health care, and disability compensation for diseases associated with exposure. Their dependents and survivors also may be eligible for benefits. VA can help determine eligible service in the Korean demilitarized zone after you file a claim for compensation benefits.
VA Publication with information about VA Benefits: https://www.va.gov/opa/publications/benefits_book/2021_Federal_Benefits_for_Veterans_Dependents_and_survivors.pdf