Veterans Finally Given Benefits for Agent Orange Exposure

After years of denying the toxic dangers of Agent Orange and refusing to allow veterans exposed to it to receive benefits, the Veterans Affairs Department announced last year that it would expand eligibility to Air Force members who flew in C-123 aircraft after they were used to spray toxic Agent Orange over Vietnam. The decision would allow approximately 2,100 Air Force veterans to receive benefits.

The change in policy came after a study by the Institute of Medicine determined that veterans who flew aircraft that had been used to disperse Agent Orange during Operation Ranch Hand were exposed to dioxins.

The VA has paid consultants over $1 million to study the effects of flying the aircraft. But VA officials have always argued that dioxin on aircraft surfaces couldn’t be absorbed or inhaled by the veterans because dioxin is not sweat- or water-soluble and does not release airborne particles.

One consultant, Alan Young, went so far as to say the veterans seeking benefits for Agent Orange exposure were “freeloaders” who were making up the problem so they could “cash in on tax-free money for health issues that originate from their lifestyles and aging.”

Those who are eligible for benefits under the new policy are flight, medical and ground maintenance crew members who served on C-123s from 1969 to 1986. Active-duty personnel who served in an Air Force location where they had contact with an affected C-123 may also be eligible.

Last month, in a ProPublica forum, the VA announced it would be expanding its research into Agent Orange’s effects on Vietnam veterans and their families. Veterans from across the country came to share their experiences regarding the effects Agent Orange has had on them and their children.

The VA’s decision to finally recognize the illnesses associated with Agent Orange exposure as legitimate is a step in the right direction for getting veterans the help they deserve. It’s important to give credence to the real struggles veterans face, from physical issues like Agent Orange Exposure to those that affect veterans mentally, like PTSD.

If you or someone you know might be suffering from PTSD, you have the right to get the help you need to recover. Go to www.va.gov to find out what your benefits are and get the assistance you need to begin healing.

“As George W. Bush made clear at last year’s Mission Transition Summit, post-traumatic stress is an injury that many veterans suffer from after defending their country. If you’re a veteran suffering from this injury, seek help right away. There is a path to healing and recovery,” said Attorney Walter Clark, founder of Walter Clark Legal Group.

Our firm has been handling personal injury and wrongful death cases throughout the California Low Desert and High Desert communities for over 30 years. With a 95% success rate, the California personal injury attorneys at Walter Clark Legal Group will fight to hold those responsible for your loss accountable and win compensation to cover medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. If you’ve been injured in an accident and want to discuss your legal options, contact us at (760) 777-7777 for a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer today. We have offices in Indio, Rancho Mirage, Victorville, and Yucca Valley and represent clients through the entire California Low Desert and High Desert communities.
DISCLAIMER: The Walter Clark Legal Group blog is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended as legal or medical advice. References to laws are based on general legal practices and vary by location. Information reported comes from secondary news sources. We do handle these types of cases, but whether or not the individuals and/or loved ones involved in these accidents choose to be represented by a law firm is a personal choice we respect. Should you find any of the information incorrect, we welcome you to contact us with corrections.

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