Agent Orange has been shown to cause serious health conditions including causing certain birth defects in the children of those veterans who were exposed. Children of veterans who were exposed to Agent Orange during the Vietnam War with an associated birth defect may be eligible for VA compensation and other VA benefits.
Spina Bifida is a condition where the spine fails to close properly during pregnancy. The VA applies a presumption that when a Vietnam veteran has a child with spina bifida, the condition is due to the veteran’s exposure to herbicides, like Agent Orange, during service. Because this is a presumption the VA does not require any evidence linking the condition to service.
To qualify to receive VA compensation, healthcare, and vocational training the child must be the biological child of a veteran who:
- Served in Vietnam between January 9, 1962, and May 7, 1975, or
- A veteran who served in the Korea demilitarized zone (DMZ) between September 1, 1967, and August 31, 1971, and was exposed to herbicides. If the veteran served in the DMZ between April 1, 1968, and August 31, 1971, there is a presumption that the veteran was exposed to herbicides.
The child also must have been conceived after the date on which the veteran entered Vietnam or the DMZ.
Children with a birth defect acknowledged by the VA as associated with herbicide exposure could be eligible for:
- Health care benefits
- Vocational training
Other Birth Defects
The VA presumes that certain other birth defects are connected to a veteran’s military service if the veteran is the biological mother of the child with a birth defect. In order to qualify for VA benefits such as compensation, healthcare, and vocational training the birth defect must have resulted in a permanent physical or mental disability. In addition, the mother must have served in Vietnam between February 28, 1961, and May 7, 1975.
The current list of birth defects that are presumed to be connected to service is:
- Cleft lip and cleft palate
- Congenital heart disease
- Congenital talipes equinovarus (clubfoot)
- Esophageal and intestinal atresia
- Hallerman-Strieff syndrome
- Hip dysplasia
- Hirschprung’s disease (congenital megacolon)
- Hydrocephalus due to aqueductal stenosis
- Imperforate anus
- Neural tube defects
- Poland syndrome
- Pyloric syndrome
- Syndactyly (fused digits)
- Tracheoesophageal fistula
- Undescended testicle
- Williams syndrome
Children with birth defects not on this list may still be eligible if the other requirements are met.
In some cases, dependents may be eligible for a survivors’ pension or disability and indemnity compensation if the Veteran died during the Vietnam War or due to a service-connected disability.
Bosley & Bratch works with veterans and their loved ones across the United States to get them the Agent Orange-related disability benefits they deserve. We have 24 years of experience fighting for veterans, we are confident in our ability to hold the VA accountable. We can help, contact the experienced attorneys at Bosley & Bratch to evaluate your claims. Call us at (800) 953-6224 or complete our free veterans benefits case evaluation form.