Over the last several decades, a large number of veterans from the Vietnam War have come forward with claims that exposure to the highly toxic defoliant, Agent Orange, during the war is responsible for their developing certain adverse health conditions. In the past, the claims for Veterans Disability Benefits connected to these diseases were denied due to a lack of evidence linking the chemical and soldiers’ exposure to it to disabling conditions. Now though, that may be changing.
According to an article from The Washington Post, the Department of Veterans’ Affairs recently reversed a decision on one veterans claim regarding Agent Orange exposure. He argues that during the 1970’s, he was enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and responsible for handling C-123 cargo planes that were responsible for dropping the dioxin containing chemical over the jungles of Vietnam.
Testing later showed the aircrafts were highly contaminated with the chemical and the veteran filed a claim for benefits when he developed prostate cancer and several other health problems. His claim was denied for several years though, with the VA claiming a lack of evidence in the case.
The decision was recently reversed though, before being heard by the Board of Veterans’ Appeals. This was the first time benefits have been given in a C-123 contamination case before being appealed.