BLUE WATER NAVY
Here’s How Blue Water Navy Veterans, Survivors Can Claim Benefits Under New Law
In advance of the Jan. 1 effective date of a new law granting long-sought VA benefits to Vietnam War veterans who served off that nation’s coast, the VA has announced how these veterans, or their survivors, can claim what they are owed.
The Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2019 extends the presumption of herbicide exposure to those who served as far as 12 nautical miles off Vietnam’s coast from Jan. 6, 1962, to May 7, 1975, and to those who served in the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) from Jan. 1, 1967, to Aug. 31, 1971. Veterans can apply for compensation and other benefits if they’ve been diagnosed with one of 14 conditions presumed related to herbicide exposure.
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Blue Water Navy Veterans Must Receive VA Healthcare, Court Rules
A Federal Circuit court on 29 January 2019 ruled in favor of Blue Water Navy veterans, granting them presumption of exposure to Agent Orange during the Vietnam War.
These veterans served within 12 miles of the shoreline of the Republic of Vietnam, otherwise known as the territorial waters of Vietnam.
This victory in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit is a major development for veterans and may result in as many as 90,000 Vietnam veterans gaining access to VA healthcare and disability benefits that they otherwise would not have been eligible for.
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The ‘blue water’ Navy veterans of the Vietnam War battle Agent Orange
Alfred Procopio Jr. left the Navy in 1967, decorated with medals for his service on the USS Intrepid, an aircraft carrier deployed off the coast of Vietnam. He also came home with health problems the U.S. government has linked to exposure to the toxic herbicide Agent Orange.
Procopio is one of an estimated 52,000 veterans nationwide who were stationed on ships during the Vietnam War but are not eligible for the same disability benefits as those who put boots on the ground or patrolled the country’s inland rivers.
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House lawmakers launch new effort to pass ‘Blue Water Navy’ bill
Just days into the new congressional session, some House lawmakers are trying again to secure benefits for thousands of veterans who served on ships off the coast during the Vietnam War – an effort that failed by the time the 115th Congress ended last month.
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