The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is preparing to process Agent Orange exposure claims for “Blue Water Navy” Veterans who served offshore of the Republic of Vietnam between Jan. 9, 1962, and May 7, 1975. These Veterans may be eligible for presumption of herbicide exposure through Public Law 116-23, Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2019, which was signed into law June 25, 2019, and goes into effect Jan. 1, 2020.
The new law affects Veterans who served on a vessel operating not more than 12 nautical miles seaward from the demarcation line of the waters of Vietnam and Cambodia, as defined in Public Law 116-23. An estimated 420,000 to 560,000 Vietnam-era Veterans may be considered Blue Water Navy Veterans. To qualify, under the new law, these Veterans must have a disease associated with herbicide exposure, as listed in 38 Code of Federal Regulations section 3.309(e). Agent Orange presumptive conditions are: o AL amyloidosis Chloracne or similar acneform disease, o Chronic B-cell leukemias, o Diabetes mellitus Type 2, o Hodgkin lymphoma, formerly known as Hodgkin’s disease, o Ischemic heart disease, o Multiple myeloma Non-Hodgkin lymphoma, formerly known as Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma , o Parkinson’s disease, o Peripheral neuropathy, o early-onset Porphyria cutanea tarda, o Prostate cancer, o Respiratory cancers (lung, bronchus, larynx or trachea), and o Soft-tissue sarcoma (other than osteosarcoma, chondrosarcoma, Kaposi’s sarcoma or mesothelioma