How to Fast Track your Agent Orange Claim

AGENT ORANGE Fast Track Claims Processing System

With recent reports of VA Disability Claim backlogs approaching the 1 million mark, and an average 125 day wait, this is valuable information for Agent Orange exposed veterans filing claims for the first time.

The Agent Orange Fast Track Claims Processing System is a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs website that is dedicated to processing claims for Vietnam Veterans who are filing first-time service connection claims for any of the following conditions:

Exposed veterans can use the website to apply for disability benefits for these conditions if they served in the Republic of Vietnam or in-land waterways between January 9, 1962 and May 7, 1975.  Veterans who have previously applied for service connection for these conditions, or who wish to apply for service connection for any additional conditions,  should apply using the traditional claims process at the nearest VA Regional Office or visit the Department of Veterans Affairs website.

Agent Orange Fast Track has many features to expedite the claims process.

  • You can submit an application for benefits and evidence supporting your claim;
  • You can view your claim status;
  • You can view a list of evidence VA has received;
  • Your physician can submit evidence online; and can also send hardcopy evidence to the Fast Track Claims Processing System.

UPDATE: All veterans can now electronically file and submit copies of medical evidence in support of their claim. See the VA eBenefits for more information.

Agent Orange: Herbicide Exposure in US Thailand Bases 1961-1975

Report on Defense Tactics in Thailand

A recently declassified Department of Defense (DoD) Report written in 1973 titled, “Project CHECO Southeast Asia Report: Base Defense in Thailand 1968-1972,” contains evidence that there was a significant use of herbicides on the fenced-in perimeters of military bases in Thailand to remove foliage that provided cover for enemy forces.

VA determined that herbicides used on the Thailand base perimeters may have been tactical and procured from Vietnam, or a strong, commercial type resembling tactical herbicides.

Agent Orange: Thailand Military Bases

Vietnam-era Veterans whose service involved duty on or near the perimeters of military bases in Thailand anytime between February 28, 1961 and May 7, 1975 may have been exposed to herbicides and may qualify for VA benefits.

The following Veterans may have been exposed to herbicides:

  • U.S. Air Force Veterans who served on Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) bases at U-Tapao, Ubon, Nakhon Phanom, Udorn, Takhli, Korat, and Don Muang, near the air base perimeter anytime between February 28, 1961 and May 7, 1975.
  • U.S. Army Veterans who provided perimeter security on RTAF bases in Thailand anytime between February 28, 1961 and May 7, 1975.
  • U.S. Army Veterans who were stationed on some small Army installations in Thailand anytime between February 28, 1961 and May 7, 1975. However, the Army Veteran must have been a member of a military police (MP) unit or was assigned an MP military
    occupational specialty whose duty placed him/her
    at or near the base perimeter
    .

To receive benefits for diseases associated with herbicide exposure, these Veterans must show on a factual basis that they were exposed to herbicides during their service as shown by evidence of daily work duties, performance evaluation reports, or other credible evidence.

VA Benefits

Veterans

Eligible Veterans may receive the following VA benefits:

  • Agent Orange registry health exam: A free, comprehensive examination. Veterans who may have been exposed to herbicides during a military operation or as a result of testing, transporting, or spraying herbicides for military purposes may be eligible.
  • Health care benefits: A full range of medical benefits. There are many ways a Veteran may qualify.
  • Disability compensation benefits: A monthly payment for diseases associated with Agent Orange exposure. Veterans who believe they were exposed to Agent Orange or other herbicides outside of Vietnam must show on a factual basis that they were exposed in order to receive disability compensation for diseases associated with Agent Orange exposure.
  • Other benefits: Home loans, vocational rehabilitation, education, and more

Children and Survivors

Surviving spouses, children and dependent parents of Veterans who were exposed to herbicides and died as the result of diseases associated with Agent Orange exposure may be eligible for benefits. These benefits include Dependency and Indemnity Compensation, education, home loan and health care benefits. Find out if you qualify for survivors’ benefits.

Need Help Determining Exposure or Eligibility?

Contact VA for help determining Agent Orange exposure and your eligibility for VA benefits.

By Telephone

In Person

Resources and Services for the Significant Others of PTSD Veterans

Often referred to as the “invisible wounds” of war, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is all too visible to the loved ones of a suffering Veteran.  For most significant others, watching the person you once knew slowly disappear into their own inner hell is nothing less than heartbreaking.  Unfortunately, it is all to easy to get sucked into that ever-sinking abyss of insanity when you quite simply don’t know what you’re dealing with.

Hopefully, some of these resources and services can help significant others and loved ones of veterans suffering from PTSD.  This information is vital to your mental health, and to theirs. Trust me, I am speaking from experience on this one:

1) FACE THE FACTS. Read this study from the Department of Veterans Affairs National Center for PTSD: Partners of Veterans with PTSD: Research Findings

2) GET HELP NOW.  Contact your local Vet Center.  If there is not one near you, then here’s a good list of resources to try from PTSD Anonymous

Rolling Thunder Memorial Day Weekend POW/MIA Observance

The Rolling Thunder Memorial weekend “Ride” began in 1987 with 2500 patriotic motorcycle enthusiasts.  It was organized by a group of Vietnam Veterans who wanted to bring attention to the POW/MIA’s that were left behind after the Vietnam War ended.   Today, more than 250,000 motorcyclists participate in this annual ride through the streets of Washington D.C.  Assuring that the U.S. Government “Never Forgets” that all soldiers left behind deserve to make it home.

Join in the 2012 “Ride For Freedom”

Like Patriotic Motorcycle Runs?  Check out these:

2011 Nation of Patriots “Patriot Tour”

2nd Annual “Never Forget” Ride