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Vets Issues

Very Important Information for Vietnam Era Navy Veterans

VA Posts Online List of Ships Associated

with Presumptive Agent Orange
Exposure

WASHINGTON (Sept. 2, 2011)- Veterans who served aboard U.S. Navy and

Coast Guard ships operating on the waters of Vietnam between January 9,

1962, and May 7, 1975, may be eligible to receive Department of Veterans

Affairs (VA) disability compensation for 14 medical conditions

associated with presumptive exposure to Agent Orange.

An updated list of U.S. Navy and Coast Guard ships confirmed to have

operated on Vietnam’s inland waterways, docked on shore, or had

crewmembers sent ashore, has been posted at

http://www.publichealth.va.gov/exposures/agentorange/ to assist Vietnam

Veterans in determining potential eligibility for compensation benefits.

“Posting of the ships list is an important recognition of the sacrifices

U.S. Navy and Coast Guard Veterans made for this Nation,” said Secretary

of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. “It provides an easier path for

Veterans who served in Vietnam to get the benefits and services they are

entitled to under the law.”

VA presumes herbicide exposure for any Veteran with duty or visitation

within the country of Vietnam or on its inland waterways during the

Vietnam era. Comprehensive information about the 14 recognized

illnesses under VA’s “presumption” rule for Agent Orange is also located

on the webpage.

In practical terms, Veterans with qualifying Vietnam service who develop

a disease associated with Agent Orange exposure need not prove a medical

link between their illnesses and their military service. This

presumption simplifies and speeds up the application process for

benefits.

For questions about Agent Orange and the online list of ships, Veterans

may call VA’s Special Issues Helpline at 1-800-749-8387 and press 3.

When a claim is filed by a Veteran, surviving spouse or child, VA will

determine whether the Veteran qualifies for the presumption of exposure

based on official records of the ship’s operations. Ships will be

regularly added to the list based on information confirmed in these

official records.

Even if a Veteran is not filing a claim, a Veteran may conduct his or

her own research and submit scanned documentary evidence such as deck

logs, ship histories, and cruise book entries via email to

211_AOSHIPS.VBACO@va.gov.

Service on board ships anchored in an open water harbor, such as Da Nang

Harbor, or on ships on other open waters around Vietnam during the war,

is not considered sufficient for the presumption of Agent Orange

exposure. For Veterans interested in obtaining deck logs, contact the

National Archives at College Park, Md., at

http://www.archives.gov/dc-metro/college-park/researcher-info.html.

The Agent Orange Claims Processing System website located at

https://www.fasttrack.va.gov/AOFastTrack/ may be used to submit claims

related to the three conditions added to the list of Agent Orange

presumptives last year (Parkinson’s disease, hairy cell and other

chronic B-cell leukemias, and ischemic heart disease).

This website makes it easy to electronically file a claim and allows

Veterans and their physicians to upload evidence supporting the claim.

It also permits online viewing of claim status.

Veterans claiming other conditions may file online at VA’s My-eBenefits

web site at:

https://www.ebenefits.va.gov/ebenefits-portal/ebenefits.portal. They

can check the status of their claim with a premium account (confirming

their identity), and use a growing number of online services.

Servicemembers may enroll in My-eBenefits using their Common Access Card

at any time during their military service, or before they leave during

their Transition Assistance Program briefings.

Veterans may also enroll through their myPay or MyHealtheVet accounts,

by visiting their local VA regional office or Veteran Service

Organization, or by calling 1-800-827-1000.

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