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Three Diseases Added to Presumptive Conditions for Vietnam-era Veterans

Supporters of Vietnam Veterans

The Veterans Administration (VA) has added three more diseases to its list of 12 conditions presumed to have been caused by exposure to Agent Orange during the Vietnam War.  Now, Vietnam veterans who suffer from Parkinson’s Disease, Hairy Cell and other Chronic B-Cell Leukemia, or Ischemic Heart Disease, do not have to prove that their condition is connected to their service in Vietnam in order to get disability compensation and healthcare benefits from the VA.

The VA is expecting that more than 150,000 veterans who served in Vietnam between 1962 and 1975 will be claiming compensation for these illnesses due to their exposure to the defoliant. The VA also plans to review 90,000 claims from Vietnam veterans who were previously denied benefits for these diseases.

In a post on the White House Blog, VA Secretary Eric K. Shinseki said that it’s taken 40 years for the VA to fully realize the toxic effects of Agent Orange and that “its insidious impact on those exposed to it has become increasingly apparent.”

The new rule is expected to go into effect in November, after a Congressional review.

Note: All representation coordinated by Alpha is provided by our employees, the Advocates, who are accredited by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). No private organization that trains and employs accredited agents has been legally recognized by the VA for the purposes of preparation, presentation, and prosecution of claims. This work must be done by the Advocates themselves and not organizations.


13 comments to “Three Diseases Added to Presumptive Conditions for Vietnam-era Veterans”

  • Gary W. Murray, April 27, 2011 at 2:19 pm

    Veteran 1969-1970 Vietnam. DO you think this is a waste of time. I am almost 62 years old and decided to go to the VA for medical help. I went to a VA Hosptial 4 Nov 2010 to register in to the system while there i had chest pains and they rushed me to the Emgergency room hooking me up to a I V. I stayed there for five hours. I received several appointments for test to evaluate my heart. Dec 20th 2010 the VA hospital in Martinsburg West Virginia sent me to the Washington DC va hospital. On Dec 21, 2010 they put in a stint due to 98% blockage. I had that done and returned to the VA Hospital at West Virgina and was released to good home. I have talked to the Agent Orange examier and he suggested to file claims for Heart, hearing due to the fact my hearing has a 98% lost in my right ear and 68% lost in my left ear. The VA has since given me a hearing aid for the left ear. I have also been seeing a doctor for depression and one doctor for PTSD. I have had several meeting one on one for PTSD by my doctor and he also has recommended me doing group. This doctor has said that i have a real bad case of PTSD.I am not to happy but if this helps i will do it. I still see the other doctor for Depression. I used a Purple heart organization Rep to help file my claims. On 4 Feb 2011 we meet at his office and did an application. The Rep told me he would mail out the next day. So i waited until 19 April 2011 then something told me to call the VA Office in Norfork Va to see if they had received my application guess what no record of it at all. I called the Rep who helped me and told him, that the VA had not recieved my application. I waited 2 MONTHS for noting because this guy didn’t do his job for me. I was able to fax my application to the Norfork office from my work station and now they have it on hand. Oh who ever out there give me some ideas should i keep on working for my claims or just give up. Talk to me someone. If everyone is rejected why apply. Also i have never been to a doctor since 1970. All the appointments and doctors i have seen thus far are VA Doctors. All my records consist of VA Hospitals. Yell at me when you can. g

  • Alpha, April 28, 2011 at 10:02 am

    You shouldn’t give up. This is the attitude of our VA-accredited advocates at Alpha. If you have read through some of the stories posted to our Alpha Advocate View or Your View section, you may get a sense of what Alpha advocates work hard to do for veterans and decide to have a conversation with one of them. If interested, please call 877.611.7724.

  • Larry Mc, August 5, 2011 at 2:45 pm

    keep up with the efforts; I filed again on one of the 3 new presumptions (I had filed several years ago and was denied) and it took just a bit over a year (I had to send copies on top of copies of medical records to VA) and just recently I was approved (already had been approved on the Type 2 Diabetes) for the ischemic heart disease (had triple by-pass in 2002)…..it’s very frustrating but keep copies of all you send, get a return receipt for your files on all you send and keep records/keep records/keep records;……hang in brother and it may come around

  • Manuel Jacques, November 20, 2011 at 4:45 pm

    It’s very sad that our own country would treat all Vietnam or Vets this way. I felt for years I did my job and made it home, but after years of pain and suffering, and drinking and drugs we finally get help. I filed for malaria, hearing loss, agent orange, PTSD I was denied 2 times and they actually said I was not a combat vet, that pissed the hell out of me, but I filed again I was scheduled a meeting in Prescott with a Mental Health Doctor once the Nam door opened I felt so bad talking about Nam and what I did there and everything about the war. Now they granted me 30% for PTSD and they make it difficult for all vets with all the paperwork, then they said they lost my medical records I often wonder? I understand why so many vets give up it’s so much bulshit the VA puts us through. We have to have patience and go through it like we did in Nam that’s what I tell other vets who give up. File again and again and again. I requested to go before the VA Board to give them a piece of my mind about there system. Well I hope this information helps someother vet to hang in there.

  • Alpha, November 21, 2011 at 10:45 am

    You, and our fellow veterans are the reason why we are here. We want to help veterans get through the red tape with the VA, and to help them get the most in benefits they are entitled to for what they did to protect our freedoms. We may even be able to help you get more than 30 percent for PTSD. Call us if you want to talk about it at 877-611-7724.

  • Brandi L, October 11, 2012 at 12:50 am

    My dad is a vietnam vet. He retired from the Air Force in 1980. In 1996 when he was in his very early fifties, he was diagnosed with congestive heart failure an had his first bypass. Since then, he has battled heart disease – and I mean BATTLED it with way too many detals and occurencesand surgeries to list here. He is failing fast and just by chance, I learned today that his disease could be related to agent orange exposure. Is it worth filing a claim now? He is 72. I am angry though that ALL of his GOLDEN years have been spent in sickness. Has anyone else experienced this or does anyone have any advice. Please help.

  • Alpha, October 15, 2012 at 2:04 pm


    I would recommend calling Alpha. We will ask your father a few questions about his time in the services and determine his eligibility for VA Benefits. I hope he gives us a call at (877) 611-7724.

  • Martiniano Chapa, November 16, 2012 at 11:14 am

    I have being waiting for almost two years, with no word from Alpha about my benefis, Thank you Martiniano Chapa

  • Alpha, November 19, 2012 at 1:10 pm


    Your Alpha advocate should have been in touch with you. I will personally see that your advocate gives you a call shortly. I apoligize for the inconvienience.

  • JOSEPH A. MANGINI deceased wife Sherry, January 10, 2013 at 12:11 pm

    My husband filed AO claim in 2010, he passed Sept. 2011. I’m disputing the denial on the bases that his cancers and other medical problems were related to Agent Orange. He was stationed at Udorn RAFB in Thailand from Sept 1965 to Sept 1966, he was a mechanic, he worked on everything but Airplanes. Is there anyone out there who can give me more information to fight with?

  • Alpha, January 15, 2013 at 1:47 pm

    While Alpha is not accepting these types of cases at this time, there is a growing number of claimants who claim Agent Orange exposure as a result of serving at Udorn RAFB. The herbicide was used to defoliate around the base perimeter.

  • Lewis W.. YOUNG, February 19, 2015 at 3:30 pm

    I was discharged from Marine Corp Hospital in July 1970. I was being treated for PTSD. My records now show “passive aggression” as the re reason for my treatment. Since 1970 they never responded to my claim. I recently had open heart surgery. What can I do?

  • Alpha, March 12, 2015 at 11:08 am

    Hi Lewis,

    It sounds like you may be eligible for benefits through the VA. If you are receiving Service Connected we can help you with an increase in your rating. Please contact us at 877-611-7724 and one of our representatives will be able to assist you.

    Thanks and have a great day!