January 28, 2011 - Just as they did with Vietnam veterans, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is going to expand the years covered by the presumption illness list for Korean War veterans exposed to Agent Orange. The VA will soon issue their final regulation relating to all veterans who served in the demilitarized zone (DMZ) while stationed in Korea and were exposed to herbicides.
VA Sec. Eric Shinseki sees the VA's chief role as a veterans' advocate organization. The VA will be providing health care and disability benefits to a whole new crop of veterans once the final regulation is passed. The VA is looking to help those veterans who went to war for this country and developed medical conditions due to Agent Orange exposure.
Any veteran who served in Korea between April 1, 1968 and August 31, 1971, in an area adjacent to the DMZ where herbicides such as Agent Orange were used, in a unit the VA and Department of Defense (DoD) recognizes as having served in such an area, will be presumed to have been exposed to herbicides. This is different from the VA's previously recognized dates stretching between April 1968 and July 1969.
Veterans meeting all qualifying factors are not under obligation to prove any connection between their exposure while deployed and their illness. The VA's presumption serves to speed up their application process.
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