Frequently Asked Questions
How Do I File A Claim As The Child Of A Vietnam Veteran?
VA has recognized that certain birth defects among Veterans’ children are associated with Veterans’ qualifying service in Vietnam or Korea.
Spina bifida (except spina bifida occulta), a defect in the developing fetus that results in incomplete closing of the spine, is associated with Veterans’ exposure to Agent Orange or other herbicides during qualifying service in Vietnam or Korea. Birth defects in children of women Veterans is associated with their military service in Vietnam, but are not related to herbicide exposure. The affected child must have been conceived after the Veteran entered Vietnam or the Korean demilitarized zone during the qualifying service period.
Many Children of Vietnam Veterans (COVVs) and family members of COVVs, contact us with questions about COVV’s health concerns. At this point in time, the government does not recognize that Agent Orange causes birth defects or illnesses in the children (or grandchildren) of male Vietnam Veterans, unless the COVV has spina bifida (only for children of Vietnam Veterans not grandchildren). This is a tragic denial of the many unexplained medical illnesses and birth defects many children of male Vietnam Veterans face. Please, if you or a loved one is suffering from an unexplained birth defect, or illness, you think may be caused by Agent Orange read the information below.
- Please file a claim with the Department of Veterans Affairs as soon as possible. This claim will be denied, but we have to start identifying ourselves with the VA. You can find all mentioned forms on www.Va.gov. Please follow the instructions below:
- You will need to provide years your father was in Vietnam and his Social Security number.
- If your father has passed away, and his death was linked to Agent Orange exposure, state that.
- Application for benefits (be sure to keep copies for your records)
- Complete claim form no. 21-03042
- Complete statement of support form no. 21-4138 used to add additional information. Add anything you feel is necessary in understanding your claim.
Send these forms in as soon as possible!
RECEIVING YOUR DENIAL
Please be advised your claim will be denied. It will state, “There is no record of your mother serving in Vietnam or Korea. There is no proof of spina bifida.” This is their standard answer to all of the children of male Vietnam Veterans (unless you have spina bifida, then you are eligible for benefits).
FILING AN APPEAL
Your next step is to file an appeal
Complete: Appeal Form VA9
Complete: Release of Medical Information Form 21-4142
- The VA most likely will not attempt to acquire your records
- Prepare for the hearing
- Wait for your hearing Date
- Gather all your medical records that support your claim
- The Hearing
- Take any witnesses that can support your claim
- Contact your Senator or Congressman, asking them to attend the hearing or to send a representative.
How do I Obtain my Father’s Military Records?
Military personnel records can be used for proving military service, or as a valuable tool in genealogical research. Most veterans and their next-of-kin can obtain free copies of their DD Form 214 (Report of Separation) and other military and medical records several ways.
Request Military Service Records http://www.archives.gov/veterans/
Is there a test for Agent Orange?
The VA does not test for dioxin and never has. Dioxin testing in either blood or tissue samples is extremely expensive (about $1,500.00 per test), and there are very few laboratories in the world that are capable of carrying out this procedure.
Dioxin testing in Vietnam Veterans is no longer a relevant issue. The reason is dioxin leaves the body, albeit slowly. It is estimated that dioxin in the human body has a half-life of approximately seven years. This means that half the remaining dioxin in the body excretes during this period.
Vietnam Veterans have now passed three and even four half-lives – whatever measurable amounts remain is probably no longer significant. At this point in time, dioxin measurement can even be used against a Veteran – a low current level does little or nothing to suggest levels twenty or more years ago.
Those that are descendants of Vietnam Veterans, either children or grandchildren, who have not been directly exposed to the chemical would NOT have Agent Orange or dioxin in their blood. You have to be directly exposed. Unfortunately, all humans have some traces of dioxin in their blood due to living on this planet. However it is not the levels Vietnam Veterans were exposed to.
Currently, COVVHA suggests if given the possibility to try genetic testing. This type of testing can look for genetic mutations. However, the testing is expensive ranging from $1,000 – $3,000. Usually, insurance does not cover these costs. The cost must be paid out of pocket. Some medical problems do warrant genetic testing, especially when talking about illnesses like cancer and insurance will pay. Your best bet is to talk with your primary care doctor, specialist and your insurance company.
How do I add my illness to your list?
If you are the child of a Vietnam Veteran, please report illnesses that you suffer from by carefully reading the directions below
- Click the link to our main database
- Compose an email to: 2NDGENDB@GMAIL.COM
- Provide your REAL First, Middle, and Last Initials, PLEASE, no user names. When I add them to the list, I am seeing duplicate sets of initials and we are keeping a running count of illnesses reported.
- List the numbers of the matching illnesses you suffer from
- If your illness is not listed, please add the full name of your diagnoses in your email.
- Send your email. You will receive a confirmation email once your information has been added to our databases.
It DOES NOT matter if you think they are connected to Agent Orange or not.
At this point we are only interested in making a list of reported illnesses to see what we may or may not have in common. Other reports indicate that there are up to 1,000 illnesses and conditions that we suffer from. Our goal is to build that list here and then distribute it in a formal document.
Was I Exposed?
Agent Orange and other herbicides used in Vietnam were tested or stored elsewhere, including many military bases in the United States. Below is information from the Department of Defense (DoD) on projects to test, dispose of, or store herbicides in the U.S. For projects outside the U.S., go to Herbicide Tests and Storage Outside the U.S. Military Sites on the EPA Superfund List.
How do I File a Claim for a Veteran or Survivor?
On October 13, 2009, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced that three new conditions would be added to the list of diseases presumptively associated with exposure to certain herbicide agents: hairy cell and other B-cell leukemias, Parkinson’s disease, and ischemic heart disease. This website was created to provide general information about filing claims for service connection for these conditions. VA began adjudicating these claims on October 30, 2010.
The questions and information on this website will ensure a Veteran or surviving family member understands the criteria for service connection and the evidence that is required to submit a complete claim. Additional Agent Orange information can be found at http://www.publichealth.va.gov/exposures/agentorange/benefits.asp .
Click to find a complete list of current Veterans’ diseases associated with Agent Orange exposure.
Veterans – File your claim online with Agent Orange Fast Track.