Veterans' Diseases Associated with Agent Orange Exposure
Veterans may be eligible for disability compensation and health care benefits for diseases that VA has recognized as associated with exposure to Agent Orange and other herbicides.
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 may be eligible for survivors' benefits.
For the purposes of VA compensation benefits, Veterans who served anywhere in Vietnam between January 9, 1962 and May 7, 1975 are presumed to have been exposed to herbicides.
Veterans who served in a unit in or near the Korean demilitarized zone (DMZ) anytime between April 1, 1968 and August 31, 1971 and who have a disease VA recognizes as associated with Agent Orange exposure are presumed to have been exposed to herbicides. These Veterans do not have to show they were exposed to Agent Orange to be eligible for disability compensation for these diseases.
VA and the Department of Defense must determine the Veteran’s unit operated in the DMZ area and the Veteran was physically there.
Vietnam-era Veterans whose service involved duty on or near the perimeters of military bases in Thailand anytime between February 28, 1961 and May 7, 1975 may have been exposed to herbicides and may qualify for VA benefits.
The following Veterans may have been exposed to herbicides:
- U.S. Air Force Veterans who served on Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) bases at U-Tapao, Ubon, Nakhon Phanom, Udorn, Takhli, Korat, and Don Muang, near the air base perimeter anytime between February 28, 1961 and May 7, 1975.
- U.S. Army Veterans who provided perimeter security on RTAF bases in Thailand anytime between February 28, 1961 and May 7, 1975.
- U.S. Army Veterans who were stationed on some small Army installations in Thailand anytime between February 28, 1961 and May 7, 1975. However, the Army Veteran must have been a member of a military police (MP) unit or was assigned an MP military occupational specialty whose duty placed him/her at or near the base perimeter.
Agent Orange and other herbicides used in Vietnam were tested or stored elsewhere, including some military bases in the United States.
The Department of Defense gave VA a list of dates and locations of herbicide tests and storage. View dates and locations:
View all as PDF: Herbicide Tests and Storage Outside of Vietnam (Department of Defense List) (224 KB, PDF)
Diseases Associated With Agent Orange Exposure
- Acute and Subacute Peripheral Neuropathy
- A nervous system condition that causes numbness, tingling, and motor weakness. Under VA's rating regulations, it must be at least 10% disabling within 1 year of exposure to herbicides and resolve within 2 years after the date it began.
- AL Amyloidosis
- A rare disease caused when an abnormal protein, amyloid, enters tissues or organs.
- Chloracne (or Similar Acneform Disease)
- A skin condition that occurs soon after exposure to chemicals and looks like common forms of acne seen in teenagers. Under VA's rating regulations, chloracne (or other acneform disease similar to chloracne) must be at least 10% disabling within 1 year of exposure to herbicides.
- Chronic B-cell Leukemias
- A type of cancer which affects white blood cells. VA's regulation recognizing all chronic B-cell leukemias as related to exposure to herbicides took effect on October 30, 2010.
- Diabetes Mellitus (Type 2)
- A disease characterized by high blood sugar levels resulting from the body’s inability to respond properly to the hormone insulin.
- Hodgkin’s Disease
- A malignant lymphoma (cancer) characterized by progressive enlargement of the lymph nodes, liver, and spleen, and by progressive anemia.
- Ischemic Heart Disease
- A disease characterized by a reduced supply of blood to the heart that leads to chest pain. VA's regulation recognizing ischemic heart disease as related to exposure to herbicides took effect on October 30, 2010.
- Multiple Myeloma
- A cancer of plasma cells, a type of white blood cell in bone marrow.
- Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
- A group of cancers that affect the lymph glands and other lymphatic tissue.
- Parkinson’s Disease
- A progressive disorder of the nervous system that affects muscle movement. VA's regulation recognizing Parkinson's disease as related to exposure to herbicides took effect on October 30, 2010.
- Porphyria Cutanea Tarda
- A disorder characterized by liver dysfunction and by thinning and blistering of the skin in sun-exposed areas. Under VA's rating regulations, it must be at least 10% disabling within 1 year of exposure to herbicides.
- Prostate Cancer
- Cancer of the prostate; one of the most common cancers among men.
- Respiratory Cancers
- Cancers of the lung, larynx, trachea, and bronchus.
- Soft Tissue Sarcoma (other than Osteosarcoma, Chondrosarcoma, Kaposi’s sarcoma, or Mesothelioma)
- A group of different types of cancers in body tissues such as muscle, fat, blood and lymph vessels, and connective tissues.
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is not associated with Agent Orange exposure. However, VA has recognized ALS diagnosed in Veterans with 90 days or more of continuously active service in the military was caused by their military service. Surviving spouses should contact our office immediately to file a claim for DIC.