|Agent Orange Updates Veteran Issue Updates July 2009 This Week in the Pentagon Video Gulf War Syndrome Gulf War Bulletin Board Editorial|
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Agent Orange Updates
Page 1 Operation Ranch Hand Herbicides Southeast Asia--Amounts Used1961-1971"
Page 2 Diseases Linked To Agent Orange Exposure
Page 3 Agent Orange Korea 68-69
Page 4 Agent Orange Use Outside Of Vietnam
Page 5 The Forgotten Story of Agent Orange
Page 6 Monsanto Corporation Criminal Investigation Cover-up of Dioxin Contamination
Page 7 Leukemia, Agent Orange Link Found
Page 8 AO claim at Ft McClellan approved for Diabetes, and proliferative diabetic retinopathy
Page 9 Agent Orange, The Daughter Of A Veteran
Page 10 The Herbicidal Warfare Program In Vietnam, 1961 - 1971
Page 11 Agent Orange Videos
Page 12 Chemical Warfare Photos
Page 13 Monsanto's Agent Orange
Page 14 Veterans exposed To Chemicals (Bases & Posts Contaminated)
VA Expands Dates of Agent Orange Exposure in Korea from 1968-1969 to 1968-1971
Veterans who served along the demilitarized zone (DMZ) in Korea during the Vietnam War now have an easier path to access health care and benefits. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) expanded the dates when illnesses associated with exposure to Agent Orange can be presumed related to their military service Previously, VA recognized exposure for service between April 1968 and July 1969. VA now presumes exposure for service between April 1, 1968, and August 31, 1971, if a Veteran served in a unit determined by VA and the Department of Defense to have operated in an area of the DMZ where Agent Orange or other herbicides were applied. The expanded dates took effect on February 24, 2011 (see www.publichealth. va.gov/exposures/agentorange/korea.asp). This presumption simplifies and speeds the application process for Veterans of the Korean DMZ. VA encourages Veterans who believe they have health problems related to Agent Orange to submit their applications for VA health care and disability compensation benefits. • To apply for health care benefits, apply online at www.1010ez.med.va.gov/sec/vha/1010ez, or contact the nearest VA health care facility at 1-877-222-VETS (8387). • To file a claim for disability benefits, apply online at www.ebenefits.va.gov, or contact the nearest VA regional office at 1-800-827-1000. Veterans who served along the Korean DMZ may also be eligible for a free Agent Orange Registry health evaluation (see page 7) The regulation expanding the dates for eligible service in Korea is available on the Office of the Federal Register website at www.regulations. gov/#!documentDetail;D=VA-2009-VBA-0021-0007.
AO claim at Ft McClellan approved for Diabetes, and proliferative diabetic retinopathy, or PDR as secondary to Diabetes
Decision Nr: 1108696
VA's new Agent Orange presumptions will increase
VA Begins Paying Benefits for New Agent Orange Claims
An official news release is tied up in the Veterans Affairs Washington, DC press office but Tom Philpott's Military Update gives excellent early coverage.
A "VA policyfast letter has been sent to all VA regional offices noting new claims can begin to be developed but there may be a five month delay until the new ruling is published, trained for and distributed. In the past, the Services have criticized VA as slow to develop training programs, and this seems to be the case again.
The Services will have to gear up for additional Combat Related Special Compensation (CRSC) applications while DFAS processes complex retroactive payments to retirees and widows. However coordination between the Pentagon who developed service guidance to DFAS has not started.
Expect the Veterans Benefit Association to expand it's outreach and support staff to coordinate the implementation of this significant ruling. The Pentagon, Defense Finance and Accounting (DFAS) and the Services are all impacted with this new ruling.
Many Vietnam Veterans with retiree status will also be eligible for tax exempt Combat Related Special Compensation of up to $3000 monthly, in the case of 100% agent Orange disability including retroactive back pay.
Coordination with The Pentagon is often a problem, so expect year long delay in retiree CRSC payments. Thousands stationed in Vietnam could be eligible.
Three conditions – B cell leukemia's, Parkinson's disease and ischemic heart disease, are now considered to be associated with Agent Orange exposure.
The VA expects 185,000 more Vietnam Vets will qualify for $50B more in benefits. Heart disease alone will amount to a 14B increase in benefits. The cost estimates were divulged by an OMB official.
Both Vietnam Veterans and their spouses will be eligible for awards, including retroactive DIC payments and back pay in accordance with the recent Nehmer court decision.
About 86,000 claims previously denied by the VA before 1985 will be revisited, and $14B is expected to be paid related to heart disease.
Widows or widowers with claims denied in the past whose spouse’s death was contributed to (or caused by) what is now a presumptive Agent Orange illness can re-open their DIC claims requesting that either they be awarded DIC—if denied in the past—and be awarded retro DIC back to the date of the veteran’s death.
Many older rating decisions precluding many agent orange
related claims may now receive retroactive awards back to the
date the disability was first approved by the VA.
We expect the VA to announce a new policy soon. The rules are crafted to avoid compensation backlogs and increased benefit exams. For example, a personal family physician's letter will be allowed for the three newly approved agent orange conditions.
Previously approved conditions for which Vietnam War veterans receive compensation, including prostate cancer, respiratory cancers, soft-tissue sarcomas, Hodgkin's disease, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and multiple myeloma.
Veterans who served in Vietnam between 1962 and 1975 will qualify for monthly disability compensation and do not have to provide proof they were exposed to Agent Orange.
NAUS is positioned to assist its members and new members in applying for this under simplified rules, soon to be officially announced by the VA.
In order to assist with claims backlog and new exams the VA will accept letters from family physicians supporting claims for Agent Orange related conditions. Thousands of widows whose husbands died of Agent Orange disabilities will benefit to retroactive benefits and back pay, as well as DIC payments.
Both VBA and VHA expect to be deluged by this increase in new claims and NAUS encourages its members and potential new members to use the NAUS staff, assisted by NAUS board member Win Reither to stay tuned for updates, as well as progress reports of the VA claims handling.
New Agent Orange Claims Payment Delay?
6/8/10 - An Oct 2009 decision by VA Secretary Eric Shinseki,
GEN, USA (Ret), added ischemic heart disease, Parkinson's
disease, and B-cell leukemia to the department’s list of
presumptive conditions for veterans exposed to Agent Orange in
Vietnam (see story below). VA planned to publish final
regulations on the new presumptive diseases already, but that
action is still under review. And by law, Congress has 60 days
to examine Shinseki’s decision as well. Now the Senate appears
to be taking a more cautious approach against what some perceive
as excess spending on a potential new wave of Agent Orange
claims, citing concerns that “based on modest scientific
evidence, VA could be paying claims on diseases that a large
proportion of any population will contract through normal
aging." A provision in the Senate version of H.R.
4899, the FY 2010 war supplemental funding bill, would set aside
funding for this expansion until the 60-day congressional review
is complete. The House must still agree with the Senate’s
changes to H.R. 4899
New Gulf War, Iraq/Afghanistan War
3/19/10 – Based on a recommendation by the Gulf War Veterans Illness Task Force, the VA has proposed a regulation change that names nine conditions or diseases as “presumptive” due to service in the Persian Gulf War, and for the first time, the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Presumptive status means that veterans with such conditions only need show that they served in the conflicts/areas included for their condition to be deemed service-connected, usually resulting in access to additional VA health care or compensation benefits. "We recognize the frustrations that many Gulf War and Afghanistan veterans and their families experience on a daily basis as they look for answers to health questions and seek benefits from VA," Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki said in a statement. The nine conditions/ diseases are malaria, West Nile Virus, brucellosis, campylobacter jejuni, coxiella burnetii, mycobacterium tuberculosis, nontyphoid salmonella, shigella and visceral leishmaniasis.
Health Topics: Cancer
Content provided by: Agent Orange Exposure Tied to Prostate Cancer Return
Study finds vets at higher risk of aggressive recurrence only 8 months after surgery--
THURSDAY, April 23, 09 (Health Day News) --
U.S. male military veterans exposed to the Agent Orange herbicide/defoliant are at increased risk for aggressive recurrence of prostate cancer, a new study finds.
It included 1,495 veterans who'd had surgery to remove cancerous prostates. Of those, the 206 men who'd been exposed to Agent Orange were nearly 50 percent more likely to develop an aggressive recurrence of their cancer, even though their disease seemed relatively non-aggressive at the time of surgery.
The study also found it took only eight months for prostate specific antigen (PSA) levels -- an indicator of cancer aggressiveness -- to double among the Agent Orange-exposed veterans with recurrent cancer, compared to more than 18 months among non-exposed veterans.
The study is published in the May issue of the British Journal of Urology International.
"There is something about the biology of these cancers that are associated with prior
Agent Orange exposure that is causing them to be more aggressive.
We need to get the word out," study corresponding author Dr. Martha Terris, chief of urology
at the Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center in Augusta and professor of urology at the Medical College
of Georgia School of Medicine, said in a school news release.
She said doctors treating prostate cancer patients who've been exposed to Agent Orange need to be
aware that these patients may require closer monitoring and so-called salvage therapy quickly if
their prostate cancer returns.
There's increasing evidence that exposure to Agent Orange, which was used during the Vietnam War, increases the risk for a number of health problems. Agent Orange contained a known carcinogen called dioxin, which is also found in herbicides and pesticides used by U.S. farmers, according to background information in the news release about the study.
More information: The American Cancer Society has more about prostate cancer.
SOURCE: Medical College of Georgia, news release, April 20, 2009.
Al Amlyloidosis Added To Agent Orange Presumptive Disabilities
The Department of Veterans Affairs has added
Al amyloidosis to the list of presumptive service-connected
disease associated with the exposure to certain herbicide
agents, including Agent Orange. A recent Institute of Medicine
report on Agent Orange found a positive association between the
disease and exposure to herbicides used in the Vietnam War.
As a result, the VA has amended regulations to grant presumptive
service -connection. The rule also applies to previously
denied claims of AL armyloidosis submitted by Vietnam veterans.
AL armyloidosis is a rate plasma cell disorder which originates
in bone marrow and is usually treated with chemotherapy. Is the most common type of armydoidosis in
the U.S.,with an estimated 2,000 cases diagnosed each year.
The disease results when protein build up in one or more organs
causes malfunction. The heart, kidneys, nervous system and
gastrointestinal tract are most often affected.
Although AL armyloisdosis is not cancer, it
is very serious and disabling or life-threatening.
It joins the list of 11 other presumptively
service-connection conditions recognized in Vietnam veterans.
They include choracne; Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma; soft tissue
sarcoma (other than osteosarcoma,chondrosarcoma, Kaposi's
sarcoma, or mesotheloma); Hodgkin's disease; porphyria cutanea
tarda; multiple myeloma; respiratory cancers, including cancers
of tghe lung, larynx, trachea, and bronchus; prostate cancer;
acute and subacute transient peripheral neuopathy; Type 2
diabetes; and chronic lymphocystic leukemia.