A bill has passed the House of Representatives that will extend the presumption of exposure to Agent Orange for “Blue Water Veterans”, veterans that served off the coast during the Vietnam War.
This is a major victory for Blue Water Vets who have been denied benefits for their Agent Orange related conditions. The bill must also pass the Senate and then signed into law by the President, and it is likely that it will without much resistance.
Once it is passed into law, the VA will develop regulations to implement this new extension of presumption to Blue Water Veterans. Special consideration should be paid with how the VA implements the new law.
The VA may decide to grant a Blue Water Veteran’s Agent Orange claim, however, the effective date may reflect the date of the law change and not the date of the claim. That is unacceptable. We saw this with the Camp Lejeune law that was passed in March 2017.
If you are a Blue Water Veteran and the VA does not grant you the correct effective date, specifically, the date of the filing of your claim, then that is an issue that can and should be appealed. Our VA Disability attorneys will help you hold the VA accountable and assist with your effective date appeals.