The best part of being an estate planning attorney is helping folks in our community…
Earlier this year we wrote about the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021 (H.R. 6395) which came into effect on January 1, 2021. Among other things, the new legislation saw parkinsonism, bladder cancer, and hypothyroidism added to the list of medical issues for which Veterans may receive benefits.
This change arrived as the culmination of research conducted over decades demonstrating a conclusive link between the presence of the aforementioned conditions and Vietnam War Veterans’ exposure to the tactical herbicide Agent Orange. When first introduced, only those Veterans who had served on the landmass of the Republic of Vietnam or its inland waterways became newly eligible for benefits. The Blue Water Navy Update expands this eligibility to Veterans who served in the country’s offshore waters during the war, as well.
Veterans of the Korean War who served in or near the Korean demilitarized zone (DMZ) for any length of time between September 1, 1967, and August 31, 1971, are also now eligible for benefits under the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021. Also eligible for new benefits are those who had contact with Agent Orange either through Air Force service, involvement with transporting or testing tactical herbicides, or who were assigned as a Reservist in specific locations described on the Department of Veterans Affairs website.
Additionally, eligible survivors of Veterans who died as a result of diseases related to Agent Orange exposure may benefit from this update in policy and qualify for benefits based on the Veterans’ service. In such cases, a monthly payment called a Dependency and Indemnity Compensation may be issued to surviving spouses, dependent children, and dependent parents. Further, surviving spouses and children of Veterans who died from a VA-rated, service-connected disability may be eligible for health care benefits under the Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs (CHAMPVA).
Any Veteran or survivor of a Veteran who suffers or suffered from parkinsonism, bladder cancer, or hypothyroidism should apply for benefits. What’s more, those who have previously applied and been denied coverage should reapply as claims now eligible under the new legislation will be re-adjudicated. This means that the VA will review evidence of record and provide replacement decisions in appropriate cases.
No Veteran should be dissuaded from applying for benefits out of concern that the process may be too complex. Filing a claim with the VA is a straightforward process and the Law Firm of Christopher W. Dumm will happily accompany you every step of the way.
To learn more about specific changes introduced by Blue Water Navy Update or to address any issue related to VA Benefits, do not hesitate to call our office at 417-623-2062 or reach us via the contact form on our website.
Contact the Estate Planning Attorneys at the Law Firm of Christopher W. Dumm