3 Qualifications for Children of Vietnam Vets to Receive Disability Benefits for Conditions Related to Agent Orange Exposure
When a medical diagnosis is connected to Agent Orange exposure, Vietnam vets may qualify for disability benefits. But studies have shown that they aren’t the only ones whose health may suffer because of this toxic herbicide. Children and sometimes grandchildren of veterans may be affected as well.
Criteria for Children of Vietnam Vets Receiving Disability Benefits
Disability benefits could be available to children and grandchildren who suffer certain medical conditions and whose parents or grandparents were exposed to Agent Orange during the Vietnam War. There are certain criteria that must be met, however. One is that the disabling condition stems from a birth defect recognized by Veteran’s Administration (VA) as linked to Agent Orange exposure.
The second is that the mental and/or physical condition must be permanent. Third, the birth defect must not stem from an injury that occurred at birth, or due to a family/genetic disorder. There can be no other cause for the condition other than being linked to Agent Orange exposure. Claimants must also establish that their parent or grandparent served in an area where Agent Orange exposure was likely during a specific timeframe.
The most common condition for which children or grandchildren may receive benefits is spina bifida. It may include other conditions such as hip dysplasia, congenital heart defect and others. But these are presumed to have been a result of a female Vietnam vet’s exposure to the herbicide.
Researchers are examining a number of other conditions to determine any link to exposure to Agent Orange. Although the VA may not cover them, if they are debilitating and the person is unable to work then there may be other options; Social Security disability benefits could be available, for example.
To learn about your rights to benefits, consult a representative. Disability Help Group can help claimants pursue the appropriate claim and deal with any denials.