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Courtney urges Vietnam-era veterans to file Agent Orange-related disability claims before August 30 deadline

August 25, 2011
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Joe Courtney today urged Vietnam-era veterans who have medical diagnoses for three presumptive conditions related to Agent Orange exposure to file their disability claims with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) by August 30 to quality for up to one year of retroactive benefits. The three diseases recently added to the VA’s list of presumptive conditions related to Agent Orange are ischemic heart disease, hairy cell and other B-cell leukemias and Parkinson’s disease.

“I hope that by drawing attention to this deadline, we can encourage the eligible troops to apply for the back pay they have earned,” said Congressman Courtney. “To be clear, veterans suffering from these and other presumptive conditions can apply for disability benefits at any time, including after the August 30 deadline. To be eligible for retroactive benefits, however, they must apply by that date. As we continue to learn the devastating long-term effects that Agent Orange has had on our own veterans, it is critically important that we ensure they get the care they need and deserve.”

According to the VA, widows and widowers whose spouse died from Agent Orange presumptive conditions may also qualify for retroactive benefits.

Veterans can file disability claims online at the VA’s Agent Orange Fast Track Claims Processing System.

Congressman Courtney has strongly advocated expanding eligibility for veterans exposed to Agent Orange. He is also a cosponsor of the Agent Orange Equity Act which would ensure that those individuals known as Blue Water veterans, who served on the water in Vietnamand may have been exposed as well, are eligible for benefits.