VA Expands Agent Orange Coverage

Veterans Administration Secretary Eric Shinseki has added three illnesses to the list of those ailments presumed to have been caused by a Vietnam War veteran’s exposure to the herbicide Agent Orange. They are Parkinson’s disease, ischemic heart disease, and B-cell leukemias such as hairy-cell leukemia. Shinseki’s decision, based on the findings of an independent study, means that these veterans do not have to prove an association between these illnesses and their military service, thereby simplifying their applications for benefits, the VA said Oct. 13. The total number of presumed illnesses now recognized by the VA in connection with Agent Orange exposure is 15. (VA release, including full list of presumed illnesses.