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Agent Orange: Compensation for diseases associated with Agent Orange exposure

VA pays monthly disability compensation to Veterans for injuries or diseases related to active military service. We call these disabilities “service-related” or “service-connected.” A Veteran’s children and survivors may also qualify for benefits.

Learn about your eligibility and VA's benefits.

Eligibility for Veterans' Disability Compensation

Veterans may be eligible for disability compensation if they have a service-related disability and were discharged under conditions other than dishonorable.

Below are the different eligibility requirements for Veterans who were exposed to herbicides while serving inside or outside of Vietnam during the Vietnam War.

In Vietnam Exposure to Agent Orange

Veterans who served on land in Vietnam, went ashore when a ship docked to the shore of Vietnam, or served on the inland waterways of Vietnam anytime between January 9, 1962 and May 7, 1975 (including brief visits), and who have a disease that VA recognizes as associated with Agent Orange exposure are presumed to have been exposed to Agent Orange.

Note: Vietnam Veterans with these specific diseases do not have to prove that their diseases are related to their military service to qualify for disability compensation. This includes:

  • "Brown Water Veterans" who served aboard river patrol and swift boats that operated on inland waterways anytime between January 9, 1962 and May 7, 1975
  • "Blue Water Veterans" who went ashore when a ship docked to the shore of Vietnam or served aboard ships that operated on the inland waterways of Vietnam anytime between January 9, 1962 and May 7, 1975

Vietnam Veterans who believe they have a disease caused by herbicide exposure, but that disease is not on VA’s list of diseases associated with Agent Orange exposure, may be eligible for service-connection on a “direct” basis. These Veterans must show that their diseases are related to their military service to get disability compensation.

Outside Vietnam Exposure to Herbicides

Veterans who did not serve inside Vietnam and were exposed elsewhere to Agent Orange or other herbicides may be eligible for service-connection on a “direct” basis. These Veterans must show that their diseases are related to their military service to get disability compensation.

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Additionally, these Veterans must show that they were exposed to Agent Orange or other herbicides during military service. This includes:

Exception: Blue Water Veterans claiming non-Hodgkin's lymphoma as a disability may be granted service-connection without showing inland waterway service or that they went ashore when their ships docked to the shore of Vietnam.  This is because VA also recognizes non-Hodgkin's lymphoma as associated with service in Vietnam or the waters offshore of Vietnam during the Vietnam Era.

Check VA's Guide to Agent Orange Claims to learn more about how to establish eligibility to disability compensation and how much VA pays.

 

Apply for Veterans’ Compensation

Veterans can apply for disability compensation online.

Vietnam Veterans with chronic b-cell leukemiasParkinson’s disease, or ischemic heart disease may apply for disability compensation for these diseases using VA’s Fast Track Claims Processing System.

Claims Process for Disability Compensation

After we receive your application, we’ll send you a letter that explains what evidence we need in order to grant your claim. We will help you get records to support your claim, including records of Vietnam service or exposure to Agent Orange or other herbicides during military service. Learn more about the disability claims process.

Additional Benefits for Veterans

Veterans also may be eligible for:

Children and Survivors' Benefits

Certain Vietnam-era Veterans’ children with spina bifida or covered birth defects may be eligible for compensation, health care, and vocational training. Learn more about benefits for children with birth defects.

Surviving spouses, children and dependent parents of Veterans who were exposed to Agent Orange and died as the result of diseases associated with Agent Orange exposure may be eligible for a monthly payment called Dependency and Indemnity Compensation. These survivors also may be eligible for education, home loan, and medical care benefits. Find out if you qualify for survivors’ benefits.

Contact VA about Benefits

By Telephone

  • Toll-free Helpline: 1-800-749-8387 Press 3
  • Health Care and Agent Orange Registry Health Exam: 1-877-222-8387 (Ask to speak to the Environmental Health Coordinator or Patient Care Advocate)
  • Compensation and Other Benefits: 1-800-827-1000
  • TDD (for hearing impaired): 1-800-829-4833

In Person


Information provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs

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