The children of Vietnam veterans exposed to Agent Orange often suffer disabling health conditions. Many infants born in the 1960s and 70s following the Vietnam and Korean Wars suffered birth defects such as spina bifida due to their military parents’ exposure to the toxic herbicide.
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) recognizes birth defects in children of Vietnam veterans exposed to this toxin as qualifying for benefits. To be eligible, the child must:
- be a biological child of a Vietnam or Korean War veteran;
- have a birth defect that resulted in a permanent physical or mental disability;
- have proof that their parent or parents served in Vietnam between January 9, 1962 to May 7, 1975 or in/near the Korean demilitarized zone between September 1, 1967 and August 31, 1971;
- have been conceived after the veteran parent first entered Vietnam or Korean demilitarized zone.
Children of female Vietnam veterans may also be eligible if their mother served in Vietnam between February 28, 1961 and May 7, 1975.
Spina bifida is one of the most common cases of birth defects eligible for benefits. Other conditions covered by the VA include, but are not limited to:
- cleft lip and cleft palate;
- congenital heart disease;
- congenital talipes equinovarus (clubfoot);
- esophageal and intestinal atresia;
- hallerman-Streiff syndrome;
- hip dysplasia;
- hirschprung’s disease (congenital megacolon);
- hydrocephalus due to aqueductal stenosis;
- imperforate anus;
- neural tube defects;
- poland syndrome;
- pyloric stenosis;
- syndactyly (fused digits);
- tracheoesophageal fistula;
- undescended testicle; and
- Williams syndrome.
Presently, there are now adult children of Vietnam veterans questioning life-long health conditions they believe are due to their parents’ exposure to Agent Orange. The VA currently considers cases of medical conditions present from birth and not health conditions that develop later in a veterans’ child’s life.
If you have questions regarding your eligibility to file for benefits as a child of a Vietnam veteran exposed to Agent Orange, contact the Disability Help Group to speak with one of our claims representatives and find the answers. Call today – 1-(800)-800-3332.