Vietnam Veterans Disability Benefits Attorneys
The United States Department of Veterans Affairs estimates that approximately 20 million gallons of Agent Orange were used in Vietnam between 1961 and 1971. The defoliant herbicide was intended to clear trees and shrubs to expose enemy troops to our forces. While the chemical worked as it was designed, it also had a number of serious unintended consequences for the Americans exposed to it.
If you are a Vietnam veteran suffering from a disability caused by Agent Orange exposure, you may be entitled to veterans benefits. Schwartz Law Firm in Farmington Hills is a member of Lawyers for Veterans Claims (LVC), a national veterans' law practice in Michigan. We are committed to helping Vietnam veterans who bravely served our country get the benefits they were promised for their military service.
Oakland County, MI Veterans Affairs Lawyers
The Department of Veterans Affairs has recently made it easier for Vietnam veterans to obtain benefits for conditions resulting from Agent Orange exposure by expanding its list of presumptive diseases linked to the chemical. The list includes:
- B cell leukemia
- Parkinson's disease
- Ischemic heart disease
- Acute and subacute transient peripheral neuropathy
- AL amyloidosis
- Chronic lymphocytic leukemia
- Diabetes mellitus (Type 2)
- Hodgkin's disease
- Multiple myeloma
- Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma
- Porphyria cutanea tarda
- Prostate cancer
- Respiratory cancers
- Soft tissue sarcoma (other than osteosarcoma, chondrosarcoma, Kaposi's sarcoma or mesothelioma)
To qualify for benefits, a veteran does not need to prove a link between his or her illness and military service. However, the veteran must be able to show exposure to Agent Orange. Military documents can prove you were in a location where the chemical was either stored (there was not one barrel of Agent Orange that did not leak) or sprayed.
While more soldiers serving on the ground have recovered benefits for Agent Orange-related diseases, there are those who traveled through the so-called "brown waters" of Vietnam who may also be able to avail themselves of the presumption of exposure to Agent Orange. Even though recent case law determined the presumption does not apply to those who served off shore in the "blue waters," there are exceptions to that rule.
Military personnel that disembarked from a naval vessel onto land or who traveled in boats into the inland waters and lakes may also qualify for the presumption of exposure to Agent Orange. If ship logs or history can be obtained to prove that a vessel was in a harbor surrounded by Vietnam soil, such as the harbor in Da Nang, those serving on that ship would also qualify for the presumption. Service at a Naval Support Facility , such as Da Nang, near the Vietnam DMZ, or Vung Tau are land locations. Veterans who were assigned to land based Navy Seebee construction units were also on land.
A history of the Seebees in Vietnam may be found on the Navy's historical site.
Our attorneys will carefully examine your military documents, historical documents and investigate your situation through research that may not have been done previously. Obviously, even if you only served on a blue water vessel documents may still exist that would prove exposure. Let us work with you to determine your eligibility.
Contact Our Firm for a Free Consultation
The process of securing veterans benefits can be difficult and frustrating. Having an experienced attorney on your side can help relieve some of the stress. Contact us online or by phone to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your situation. Located in Oakland County, we represent clients in Detroit and the nearby area.