Press Releases

41 Members of Congress Urge VA Secretary to Expedite New Benefits for Vietnam Veterans Exposed to Agent Orange

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West Palm Beach, FL, March 24, 2021 | comments

Today, Representative Lois Frankel (FL-21) and 40 Members of Congress sent a letter to U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough urging him to expedite the implementation of new benefits that allow Vietnam Veterans suffering from Agent Orange-related illnesses to get disability benefits to which they were previously not entitled.

The letter states in part, "We write to ensure our Vietnam Veterans who were exposed to Agent Orange during their military service to our nation get the care they need and deserve.

The letter continues, “As you know, the fiscal year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) included a provision (Sec. 9109) that added three new medical conditions to the presumptive list for diseases associated with exposure to Agent Orange: Parkinsonism, Bladder Cancer, and Hypothyroidism. With this authorization in place, the only barrier left for impacted Veterans to start receiving benefits is for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to implement these changes.

While we understand the VA is carefully examining the provisions of the law to determine what regulations will be required to implement them, we believe waiting for what can typically take 18-24 months for rulemaking could be a matter of life or death for some of our veterans.”

Full text of the letter is available here.

 

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