Millions of Vietnam-Era Veterans were exposed to Agent Orange while serving in the U.S. Armed forces. The active ingredient in Agent Orange, dioxin, causes many cancers and respiratory diseases. To win an Agent Orange claim, you must have a diagnosed condition that is caused or aggravated by herbicide exposure. Winning an Agent Orange claim can be tough for many Veterans. If you are appealing an Agent Orange claim, you should not fight the VA alone.
If you suffer from a condition potentially caused by exposure to Agent Orange, you may be eligible for benefits. Veteran Esquire Legal Solutions represents Veterans and their family members from across the country in Agent Orange-related appeals. The firm works at the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, the Board of Veterans Appeals, and VA Regional Offices. In the firm’s expereince, VA often reverses Agent Orange claims on appeal, but winning can be difficult.
The VA Often Makes Errors When Processing Agent Orange Claims
For many Veterans that served in Vietnam and have certain “presumptive conditions,” obtaining benefits for Agent Orange conditions is a fairly simple, straightforward process. However, VA often makes errors in even the most simple Agent Orange claims. This is especially true for Veterans that do not have “boots on the ground” in Vietnam, or who have developed a condition that is not on VA’s list of presumptive conditions. For these Veterans, obtaining benefits can seem nearly impossible. However, they are not without hope.
There are procedural barriers that may make it more difficult to obtain VA benefits for your agent orange claims, especially if your condition is not on the presumptive list. It is important for Veterans to continue to push Congress and the VA to research the long-term effects of Agent Orange exposure. Without new research, new claims cannot be added to the presumptive list.
The assistance of a skilled Veterans Law attorney can be vital to the proper presentation of your Agent Orange claims. Whether you are a Blue Water Navy Veteran that is unable to prove exposure to Agent Orange, or whether you need assistance proving your exposure to Agent Orange in Thailand, a skilled advocate will highlight the necessary evidence to help VA grant your Agent Orange claims. To win difficult Agent Orange claims, VA requires a complete package containing competent medical evidence and documentation of your exposure. If your Agent Orange claims have been denied, you should not fight the VA alone.
Obtaining Benefits For Conditions Not On The Agent Orange Presumptive List
It can be difficult to obtain benefits for conditions not on the Agent Orange presumptive list. To qualify for VA benefits for a condition caused by exposure to Agent Orange that is not a presumptive condition, you must prove: (1) you were exposed to Agent Orange, and (2) exposure to Agent Orange caused your condition. You must submit evidence documenting your exposure and the extent of your condition to VA to prove these elements. It is critical to be as detailed as possible when assembling evidence to submit to VA.
Typically, for VA to be grant your claim on this basis, you need a competent doctor to provide an opinion that it is “at least as likely as not” that your exposure to Agent Orange caused your condition. This doctor can be a doctor at the VA, or it can be your private treating physician. Some advocates can help you obtain an expert opinion if your doctor does not provide you with an opinion.
Obtaining this type of medical opinion from a VA doctor or C&P Examiner is nearly impossible for Veterans with conditions not on the presumptive list. Many decisions that grant service connection on this bases rely upon medical opinions provided by private doctors. Because of this, obtaining an expert opinion is often necessary for these cases. If you are unable to afford an expert opinion, many law firms will advance the costs of obtaining the opinion. You would then be required to reimburse the firm once VA pays your accrued benefits.
Finding Help For Your Agent Orange Claims and Appeals
If you believe your medical condition was caused by exposure to Agent Orange, you should file a claim with the Department of Veterans Affairs. If VA has already denied your Agent Orange claims, an experienced Veterans Law attorney can help you appeal your claims at the VA Regional Office, the Board of Veterans Appeals, or the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. In most instances, there are time limits on your right to appeal. It is important to contact an advocate as soon as possible if VA has denied your claims.
If you need help appealing the denial of an Agent Orange claim, please call 1-800-679-0791, or contact Veteran Esquire Legal Solutions here. The Firm stands ready to partner with you on your Agent Orange appeals. The firm represents Veterans nationwide with Agent Orange claims and appeals. Don’t fight the VA alone — Veteran Esquire Legal Solutions is here to help Veterans and their families from across the country.