FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
VA Processes First Claims for New Agent Orange Presumptives
New Program Speeds Approval
for Vietnam Veterans
WASHINGTON – The Department of Veterans
Affairs (VA) has decided more than 28,000 claims in the first six weeks of processing disability compensation applications
from Vietnam Veterans with diseases related to exposure to the herbicide Agent Orange.
“With new technology and ongoing improvements,
we are quickly removing roadblocks to processing benefits,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. “We
are also conducting significant outreach to Vietnam Veterans to encourage them to submit their completed application for this
VA published a final regulation on Aug. 31 that
makes Veterans who served in the Republic of Vietnam and who have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, ischemic
heart disease, or a B-cell (or hairy-cell) leukemia eligible for health care and disability compensation benefits. With the expiration of the required 60-day congressional review on Oct. 30, VA is now able to process these
Vietnam Veterans covered under the new policy are encouraged
to file their claims through a new VA Web portal at www.fasttrack.va.gov. Vietnam Veterans are the first users of this convenient automated claims processing system.
If treated for these diseases outside of VA’s
health system, it is important for Veterans to gather medical evidence from their non-VA physicians. VA has made it easy for physicians to supply the clinical findings needed to approve the claim through
the new Web portal. These medical forms are also available at www.vba.va.gov/disabilityexams.
The portal guides Veterans through Web-based
menus to capture information and medical evidence required for faster claims decisions.
While the new system currently is limited to these three disabilities, usage will expand soon to include claims for
Agent Orange 2/2/2/2
VA has begun collecting data that recaps its progress
in processing claims for new Agent Orange benefits at www.vba.va.gov/VBA/agentorange/reportcard/index.html.