Sunday, February 20, 2011

Agent Orange Presumption Expanded for Korea Vets

Veterans exposed to herbicides while serving along the demilitarized zone (DMZ) in Korea will have easier access to health care and other benefits under a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) final regulation. The regulation, published in the Federal Register and available online at  will expand the dates when illnesses caused by herbicide exposure can be presumed to be related to Agent Orange. The VA will now presume herbicide exposure for any veteran who served between April 1, 1968, and August 31, 1971, in a unit determined to have operated in an area in or near the Korean DMZ in which herbicides were applied.  Previously, the VA presumed service-connection for veterans who served in certain units along the Korean DMZ between April 1968 and July 1969.  Eligible veterans who meet this service criteria and have specific herbicide-related illnesses do not have to prove an association between their illness and their military service.  This "presumption" simplifies and speeds up the application process for benefits.