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Certain Birth Defects Qualify for VA Benefits if Parent Exposed to Agent Orange

Posted on February 14, 2016 by Disability Help Group

It’s not just Vietnam veterans who are learning the harsh reality of Agent Orange exposure. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) recognizes that certain birth defects such as spina bifida are connected to parents’ exposure to the toxic herbicide during service in Vietnam or the Korean demilitarized zone.

The biological children of male or female Vietnam veterans who were born with spina bifida may be eligible for benefits from the VA if their parents served in Vietnam between January 9, 1962 and May 7, 1975. Likewise, children of veterans who served in the Korean demilitarized zones between September 1, 1967 and August 31, 1971 may also be eligible.

Children of female Vietnam veterans who served during the period from February 28, 1961 to May 7, 1975 may have also suffered several other birth defects as a result of their mother’s service. The VA identifies the following birth defects as connected to maternal service in Vietnam:

  • achondroplasia;
  • 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;
  • hypospadias;
  • imperforate anus;
  • neural tube defects;
  • Poland syndrome;
  • pyloric stenosis;
  • syndactyly (fused digits);
  • tracheoesophageal fistula;
  • undescended testicle; and
  • Williams syndrome.

Children who wish to seek benefits from the VA for their health conditions must be able to establish that they have one of these conditions, it is permanent, and their parent served during the period listed above.

Many claims for VA benefits are denied due to a lack of evidence. If you have filed a claim for disability benefits due to birth defects or ailments you believe are connected to your parents’ exposure to Agent Orange and your claim was denied, contact the Disability Help Group. Call today to learn about your right to appeal the VA’s decision – 1-(800)-800-3332.