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Despite risking their lives for us time and time again, getting treatment for our veterans isn’t always easy. Getting veterans benefits typically involves a lengthy and complex claims process that can be difficult to navigate without outside help. These problems are compounded further by recent studies that suggest a link between veterans’ diseases and herbicide exposure. Given the seriousness of the diseases linked to exposure, we wanted to outline some of the symptoms associated with herbicide exposure, as well as what impact it can have on veterans benefits.
What is Herbicide Exposure?
The herbicides used during wars like Vietnam have had a lasting effect on the health of our veterans. In terms of the specific diseases that exposure to herbicides has created, there are many that have developed, although a few are significantly more common than others. Some of the most common diseases associated with exposure are various types of cancer, including chronic b-cell leukemia, and the malignant lymphoma known as Hodgkin’s disease. Of course there are also many other diseases related to exposure from herbicides, although they are not referenced nearly as often. A few examples of the less often mentioned diseases include ischemic heart disease, Parkinson’s disease, and prostate cancer.
Generally speaking, if a veteran was exposed to any type of herbicide during their time in the military, and they now have a form of cancer, then odds are good that the herbicide was involved in some way. This can have a serious impact on a veteran’s benefits for both themselves and their family, which is why it’s so important to determine if there was any exposure at all.
How Does It Impact Benefits?
If a veteran was determined to have been exposed to herbicides during their time in the military, then it can entitle them and their family to additional benefits related to the exposure. In addition to the diseases already mentioned, benefits can also be entitled to children born with birth defects as a result of exposure, as well as those suffering from Lou Gehrig’s disease. In fact, Veterans Affairs assumes responsibility for all veterans that are suffering from Lou Gehrig’s disease who also served for at least 90 days in the military. This applies to veterans regardless of their exposure to herbicides.
If you or a loved on is a veteran in need of help applying for benefits, then be sure to contact us for more information. We can help you determine your next steps and get you the support you deserve.
Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law