VA updated its guidance on Agent Orange and presumptive service-connected diseases

Grubaugh Law previously wrote about the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). A provision in the 2021 NDAA included Bladder Cancer, Hypothyroidism, and Parkinsonism to the list of diseases presumptively connected to Agent Orange exposure and service in Vietnam during the Vietnam War.

The Department of Veterans Affairs blog writes that VA will extend this benefit to Veterans who previously filed a claim without the need to refile. For those who previously filed a claim, or had a live claim before the VA, they may be entitled to an effective date that predates the change in law created by the 2021 NDAA. The entitlement to an earlier effective date in such a situation is possible due to the consent decree obtained in Nehmer v. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

So great news! It was official before but now it's really, no doubt whatsoever, official. While veteran advocates are still fighting for recognition of more diseases connected to herbicide exposure, this is still a great step forward.