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Compensation

Veterans Exposed to Agent Orange

Veterans who were exposed to Agent Orange or other herbicides during military service may be eligible for a variety of VA benefits, including disability compensation for diseases associated with exposure. Your dependents and survivors also may be eligible for benefits.

"Agent Orange" refers to a blend of tactical herbicides the U.S. military sprayed in the jungles of Vietnam and around the Korean demilitarized zone to remove trees and dense tropical foliage that provided enemy cover. Herbicides were also used by the U.S. military to defoliate military facilities in the U.S. and in other countries as far back as the 1950s.

VA and federal law presumes that certain diseases are a result of exposure to these herbicides. This "presumptive policy" simplifies the process for receiving compensation for these diseases since VA foregoes the normal requirements of proving that an illness began during or was worsened by your military service.

A Veteran who believes he or she has a disease caused by Agent Orange exposure that is not one of the conditions listed below must show an actual connection between the disease and herbicide exposure during military service.

Eligibility - Service in Vietnam or Korea

VA presumes that Veterans were exposed to Agent Orange or other herbicides if they served:

  • In Vietnam anytime between January 9, 1962 and May 7, 1975, including brief visits ashore or service aboard a ship that operated on the inland waterways of Vietnam
  • In or near the Korean demilitarized zone anytime between April 1, 1968 and August 31, 1971

If you fall into either category listed above, you do not have to show that you were exposed to Agent Orange to be eligible for disability compensation for diseases VA presumes are associated with it. Check the list of U.S. Navy and Coast Guard ships that operated in Vietnam to confirm whether your service aboard a ship allows VA to concede you were exposed to Agent Orange..

Eligibility - Service Outside of Vietnam or Korea

Even if you did not serve in Vietnam or the Korean demilitarized zone during the specified time periods, you can still apply for disability compensation if you were exposed to an herbicide while in the military and believe it led to the onset of a disease. This includes:

If eligible, you must prove that you were exposed to Agent Orange or other herbicides during your military service to be eligible for service-connection for disease VA presumes are related to Agent Orange exposure.

Exception: Blue Water Veterans with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma may be granted service-connection without showing inland waterway service or that they set foot in Vietnam. This is because VA also recognizes non-Hodgkin's lymphoma as related to service in Vietnam or the waters offshore of Vietnam during the Vietnam Era.

Diseases Associated with Agent Orange

VA currently presumes that some diseases resulted from exposure to herbicides like Agent Orange. The Veterans Health Administration's Public Health website lists these diseases VA presumes are associated with exposure to Agent Orange or other herbicides during military service:

Evidence Needed

If you are seeking service connection for one of the diseases VA presumes is associated with exposure to herbicides during service, VA requires the following:

  • A medical diagnosis of a disease which VA recognizes as being associated with Agent Orange (listed above)
  • Competent evidence of
    • service in Vietnam or at or near the Korean demilitarized zone during the dates shown above, or
    • exposure to herbicides in a location other than the Vietnam or the Korean demilitarized zone.
  • Competent medical evidence that the disease began within the deadline (if any). (See 38 CFR 3.307(a)(6)(ii) for more information on deadlines.)

If you believe that you have a disease caused by herbicide exposure, but that disease is not on the list of diseases associated with Agent Orange, you may still apply for service-connection. In these cases, VA requires all of the following:

  • Competent medical evidence of a current disability,
  • Competent medical evidence of an actual connection between herbicide exposure and the current disability, AND
  • Competent evidence of:
    • service in Vietnam or at or near the Korean demilitarized zone during the dates shown above, or
    • exposure to herbicides in a location other than Vietnam or the Korean demilitarized zone.

Compensation Benefit

Monthly payment rates are based on the Veteran's combined rating for his or her service-connected disabilities. These ratings are based on the severity of the disabilities. Additional amounts are paid to certain Veterans with severe disabilities ("special monthly compensation") and certain Veterans with dependents. You can view the current Compensation Rate Tables to determine the amount you may receive.

How to Apply

For more information on how to apply and for tips on making sure your claim is ready to be processed by VA, visit our How to Apply page.

More Information

Check VA's Guide to Agent Orange Claims to learn more about how to establish eligibility to disability compensation and how much VA pays. You can also call the Agent Orange Help Line at 1-800-749-8387 or send an e-mail to GW/AOHelpline@vba.va.gov. You must provide your name, e-mail address, telephone and/or fax number, and VA file number/Social Security Number. We will do our best to respond within a reasonable amount of time (usually 3 to 10 workdays).

FAQs