Disability Benefits for Vietnam Veterans with Parkinson's
On March 25, 2010, the VA issued a proposed rule
that added Parkinson's disease to the list of health problems found to be related to Agent Orange and other herbicide exposures during Vietnam War service. This proposed rule resulted from a decision by Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki in October 2009 that created a "presumption of service connection" for disabled Vietnam veterans living with Parkinson's disease. Using evidence from a July 2009 National Academy of Science's Institute of Medicine (IOM) report, Veterans and Agent Orange
, this decision simplifies and accelerates the benefits application process for Vietnam veterans with Parkinson's disease.
PAN and other Parkinson's advocates provided comments on the proposed rule, which outlined a retroactive Veteran and Survivor payments for qualifying Veterans with Parkinson’s disease. On August 31, 2010, the Department of Veterans Affairs finalized a regulation to expand disability benefits for Vietnam veterans living with Parkinson's disease. PAN worked closely with U.S. Military Veterans with Parkinson's to ensure that our veterans who were exposed to Agent Orange recieve the benefits they earned. The regulation simplifies and accelerates the benefits application process for Vietnam veterans with Parkinson's disease who were exposed to Agent Orange during their service. On November 1, 2010, Vietnam veterans began receiving benefits thanks to the new benefits application process.
Apply Now for Benefits
The VA is encouraging Vietnam veterans to submit their applications for compensation now.
For more information about applying for VA benefits and Agent Orange, visit the VA Web site
Congressional History: Disability Benefits for Vietnam Veterans Living with Parkinson's
On March 11, 2009, Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans Affairs Bob Filner (D-CA) introduced H.R. 1428, which would direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to provide wartime disability compensation for certain veterans with Parkinson's disease. Senator Bernard Sanders (I-VT), who sits on the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs, introduced a companion bill, S. 1752, in the Senate on October 5, 2009. This legislation would create a presumption of service connection for disabled veterans living with Parkinson's disease who were exposed to Agent Orange while serving in Vietnam.
The VA Secretary's October 13, 2009 decision has made this legislation unnecessary. PAN thanks the efforts and leadership of Representative Filner and Senator Sanders on this issue.