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Vietnam Veterans to finally receive disability payments

by MyParisTexas
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Around 90,000 Vietnam veterans will now be able to receive disability payments due to illness that has been linked to Agent Orange.

Since the end of the Vietnam War, many US vets have suffered from cancers and other life-threatening diseases linked to Agent Orange. Agent Orange was used during the war to clear vegetation.

73-year-old Jim Caldwell of Mission Valley is one of the veterans that’s set to receive some of those benefits finally. This comes after a federal court ruled that disability benefits for presumptive diseases linked to Agent Orange should be extended to these veterans.

“It means that we were all vindicated,” said Caldwell. “We are actually all finally being welcomed home.”

Stars and Stripes highlighted the change at the beginning of Dec, stating, “The Department of Veterans Affairs will start processing Agent Orange disability claims Jan. 1 for Blue Water Navy veterans though lawmakers are skeptical the VA will be ready.

VA Secretary Robert Wilkie said his department would work through the December holidays to prepare for a long roster of veterans claiming overdue benefits. Estimates range from 90,000 to more than 400,000 veterans could be entitled to Blue Water claims.

The Blue Water Navy Act of 2019, which was signed into law in June, states veterans aboard American vessels off Vietnam’s coast between Jan. 9, 1962, and May 7, 1975, are presumed to have been exposed to Agent Orange, a chemical herbicide, and might be entitled to disability benefits.”

Now, for those veterans that served their country and still reaping the downfalls of what they endured, they can begin the process to hopefully get some relief and help for any medical conditions that were a result of Agent Orange.

PHOTO: The U.S. Navy aircraft carrier Intrepid (CVS-11) steams in the South China Sea on Sept. 13, 1966, with aircraft of Attack Carrier Air Wing 10 (CVW-10) parked on the flight deck. CVW-10 was assigned to the Intrepid for a deployment to Vietnam from April 4 to Nov. 21, 1966. V.O. McColley/Navy www.military.com

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