Disability Benefits For Veterans With Parkinsons Disease
The minimum VA disability rating for Parkinsons disease is 30%. However, you must consider other important factors that can increase this rating to 100%. While you may be awarded 30%, that rating alone may be incomplete.;
The 30% rating is the starting point. It is vital to make sure the VA completes its rating and evaluates each of your symptoms associated with PD. The VA then should calculate your rating using the combined rating for each symptom. These may include:
- Tremors, rigidity, and slowness of movement in both upper and lower extremities
- Cognitive problems
- Facial muscle paralysis
Eligibility For Agent Orange Benefits
To qualify for presumptive VA benefits for Agent Orange exposure, you must be able to show:;
- A medical record of having been diagnosed with an Agent Orange-related illness or condition, AND any of the following:
- Service in Vietnam for any length of time between January 9, 1962 and May 7, 1975, OR;
- Service in or near the Korean Demilitarized Zone for any length of time between September 1, 1967 and August 31, 1971, OR;
- Service aboard a U.S. military vessel that entered the inland waterways of Vietnam, OR;
- Service aboard a vessel operating not more than 12 nautical miles seaward of the demarcation line of the waters of Vietnam and Cambodia , OR;
- You were exposed to herbicides in a location other than Vietnam or the DMZ, such as by loading, transporting, or storing them while serving in the U.S. Armed Forces. Certain veterans who operated from Royal Thai Air Force bases near U-Tapao, Ubon, Nakhon Phanom, Udorn, Takhli, Korat, and Don Muang, near the airbase perimeter anytime between February 28, 1961 and May 7, 1975 may qualify.
Army veterans who served on these installations may qualify if you were a military policeman or can otherwise provide evidence you were stationed around the security perimeter of these bases.
The Link Between Agent Orange & Parkinson’s
Yet years of scientific studies suggest there are no conclusive findings as to a direct causative relationship between Agent Orange and Parkinsons disease. Exposure to other toxic elements that were added into the herbicide may have contributed to the onset of Parkinsons and other medical conditions. These findings were reported by The Health and Medicine Division that has been studying the long-term health effects of exposure to Agent Orange and other herbicides since 1994.1
Agent Orange is a chemical mixture of herbicides that was designed to destroy crops and vegetation. Its known for its use in the Vietnam War between 1962-1971, when the US military sprayed it to improve visibility for US troops in the jungle. Agent Orange reduced tree canopies and minimized the ability of enemy forces to hide.2 It got its name because of the orange stripe around the barrel in which it was stored.3
2.6 million military personnel served in Vietnam, Korea, Thailand and the areas inland waterways during those years and may have been exposed to Agent Orange.4
Parkinsons disease is a degenerative neurological movement disorder. Although scientific research is advancing, there is currently no known cause or cure. Genetic and environmental factors are both thought to contribute to cause PD. Exposure to certain chemicals, including Agent Orange, may also trigger a genetic predisposition to developing Parkinsons, as can head injuries and other environmental factors.
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Veterans’ Diseases Associated With Agent Orange
VA assumes that certain diseases can be related to a Veteran’s qualifying military service. We call these “presumptive diseases.”
VA added;3 more presumptive conditions related to Agent Orange exposure.This expands benefits for Veterans and survivors with these presumptive conditions:
- Bladder cancer
If VA denied your claim for any of these conditions in the past, we’ll automatically review your case again. You don’t need to file another claim. VA will send you a letter to let you know we’re reviewing your case.
VA has recognized certain cancers and other health problems as presumptive diseases associated with during military service. Veterans and their survivors may be eligible for benefits for these diseases.
- A type of cancer which affects white blood cells
- A skin condition that occurs soon after exposure to chemicals and looks like common forms of acne seen in teenagers. Under VA’s rating regulations, it must be at least 10 percent disabling within one year of exposure to herbicides.
- Cancers of the lung, larynx, trachea, and bronchus
- A group of different types of cancers in body tissues such as muscle, fat, blood and lymph vessels, and connective tissues
After The Vietnam War Many Soldiers Faced Exposure To Other Forms Of Jet Fuel
Jet fuel exposure continued to be a common issue for those serving in the military long after the Vietnam War. Other forms of jet fuel came into play after the use of JP-4 fuel in Vietnam, which were also toxic and could cause long-term health problems. If you are a Veteran and came into contact with jet fuel, you may be suffering from symptoms of jet fuel exposure, even years after your service. Fortunately, jet fuel exposure can make you eligible to receive disability benefits from the VA. These benefits can help you get the financial resources you need to take care of yourself and your family, even if your condition keeps you from working.
In this post, well talk about the symptoms of exposure to jet fuel and the toxic herbicide it was often combined with, Agent Orange. Well also discuss how you can receive disability benefits for service-related exposure to these toxic substances. You shouldnt have to suffer from the long-term effects of jet fuel exposure without getting the help that you need. At Berry Law Firm, were committed to helping our fellow veterans get the support they deserve from the VA, including the many veterans who are suffering from the long-term effects of jet fuel exposure.
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What Are The Health Effects Of Agent Orange Exposure
There is no single set of symptoms diagnosed as Agent Orange exposure. Rather, physicians look for specific medical conditions that are correlated with exposure to Agent Orange and other herbicides and dioxins.
If your service dates and duty stations qualify, these are the medical conditions that qualify for presumptive status. Read below for the list of diseases associated with Agent Orange!
Here are the 14 health conditions associated with Agent Orange exposure as of 2020:
- Chronic B-Cell Leukemia
- Unexplained weight loss of 10 pounds or more
- Skin changes, including easy bruising, thickening and dark or purple patches around eyes.
If you have a condition not listed here, but you believe it is related to Agent Orange exposure, you may still qualify for benefits. To apply, you will need to show scientific evidence that your condition is related to Agent Orange exposure. A study published in a peer-reviewed medical or scientific journal may be acceptable.
You may also show medical evidence that your problem was caused by, or aggravated by your military service.
There are several other medical conditions that appear to be strongly linked to Agent Orange exposure, but which have not yet been added to the presumptive list:
- Symptoms were similar to Parkinsons disease above.
- Voice problems
- Increased symptoms when in motion .
Americas Veterans Law Firm
Berry Law is Americas Veterans Law Firm. We have helped Veterans in their fight for VA disability compensation for over 20 years. Our team is comprised of Veterans from all branches, and we have over 300 years of military service on our team. Weve served alongside Veterans like yourself, and we are dedicated to helping all Veterans get the disability compensation they deserve.
If you need assistance appealing your VA claim related to Agent Orange and Parkinsons-like symptoms, we may be able to help. Give us a call today at 888-883-2483 to schedule a free case evaluation with a member of our team.
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One Veteran Goes Back To Vietnam
Larry Vetter, a Marine platoon leader during the Vietnam War, hopes and believes Kerry will discuss Agent Orange at one point or another during this trip.
Vetter, who returned to Vietnam for the first time eight years ago to reconnect with his past, stayed in Vietnam and subsequently joined the Da Nang Association for Victims of Agent Orange /Dioxin, which assists more than 5,000 Agent Orange victims in Da Nang.
It would be a dream come true if the president and/or the secretary of state, a war vet himself, could make a stop in Da Nang and get a tour of the site at the old U.S. Air Force base, now the Da Nang International Airport, he said.
Vetter said he is a firm believer in the goodness of the American people, but they just do not know what happened here. Agent Orange was a horrible creation to use in warfare. It was no less than chemical warfare, the type of weapon we condemn others for using.
Vetter said he hopes and prays that American leadership can realize what really happened in Vietnam.
Its time for reconciliation and cooperation between both countries and peoples, he said.
Rural Living And An Increased Risk Of Pd
In the 1980s, studies were conducted that showed that early-age exposure to a rural environment as well as exposure to well water were associated with development of PD later in life. Subsequently, multiple additional studies looked at these questions. The studies are mixed in their conclusions, but overall the evidence supports associations between increased PD risk with each of the following:
- farming as an occupation,
- well water drinking, and
- living in a rural area.
Of course, all these categories are inter-related, since farmers live on farms in rural areas, are exposed to farm animals, are more likely than urban dwellers to drink well water and use pesticides. The studies were attempting to tease out why rural environments increased the risk of PD. Do only those who actually farm have an increased risk or is it enough to live on a farm? Is pesticide exposure the reason for the increased risk? Well water exposure? Exposure to farm animals? Or is it another element of rural life?
In the end, epidemiologic data supports the assertion that each of these elements increases the risk of PD. Of note, all of the increased risks in these studies are small on the order of 1.5-2 times the risk of the general population.
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Disabilities Secondary To Parkinsons Disease
While most people tend to think of Parkinsons disorder as a neurological movement disorder, and it most certainly is, many people do not realize that other systems in the body can also be severely affected by Parkinsons. Often, the same chemical exposure can also cause other disorders, such as ischemic heart disease. However, often it is the Parkinsons itself, or the medication used to treat it that is the causal factor in the development of a new disorder. Whether a veterans Parkinsons was caused by exposure to the TCDD in agent orange, pesticides, trichloroethylene, or its origins are unknown, Parkinsons cause many secondary health effects and disabilities.
Parkinsons is known as a neurodegenerative disorder; that is, it causes neurons to degenerate or decay. The most famous area for PD degeneration is in an area of the brain called the;substantia nigra, where Parkinsons causes the death of neurons that generate dopamine, a neurotransmitter which is involved with movement. However,;more;recent;studies;have also shown that Parkinsons also attacks nerves in the heart which produce another neurotransmitter, noradrenaline. This typically takes place in the left ventricle and can have many complications.
Agent Orange And Birth Defects
Agent Orange exposure doesnt just affect the veteran. Tragically, exposure to Agent Orange and TCDD dioxins is associated with birth defects in exposed veterans children. Developing fetuses are sensitive to dioxin exposure, and Agent Orange exposure is linked to increased miscarriage rates, spina bifida, and other brain and nervous system disorders.
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Jet Fuel Exposure And Parkinsons Disease
One disease that is directly connected to jet fuel exposure is Parkinsons disease. This is because of the presence of hydrocarbons in jet fuel, which is a significant factor in many Parkinsons cases. Symptoms of Parkinsons can make it extremely difficult to work and can make simple tasks nearly impossible, as the disease affects the central nervous system and inhibits movement control. Parkinsons disease resulting from the hydrocarbons in jet fuel often manifests earlier than other causes of the disease, making the condition unexpectedly prevalent for younger veterans.
When a veteran has been exposed to jet fuel and develops Parkinsons, the VA will generally recognize the condition as a service-related disability. If you can verify that your Parkinsons developed due to exposure to jet fuel, the VA will provide you disability benefits. One of the most important steps to take to get disability benefits for Parkinsons from the VA is to have significant medical evidence. Once a connection has been established between your case of Parkinsons and your military service, the VA will see your application for disability benefits as legitimate.
Agent Orange Disability Compensation
If your service-connected condition is disabling, you may be entitled to VA disability compensation. Compensation is based on the condition, its severity , and your familial status.
VA disability ratings range from zero to 100%, in ten-percent increments. The higher your assigned disability percentage, the greater the monthly compensation.
If your disability rating is 30% or higher, you may also qualify for additional monthly compensation if you are married or have dependents.
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The Disabling Symptoms Of Parkinsons Disease
PD is generally caused by a deficiency of dopamine, a neurotransmitter in the brain. The lack of dopamine disrupts a persons movement and coordination.;
The main motor symptoms include:
- tremor in the hands, arms, legs, jaw, or head
- muscle rigidity of the limbs and trunk
- impaired coordination and balance, including posture, gait, and mobility.
Other symptomswhich on their own, severely damage ones quality of lifeinclude pain, confusion, fatigue, sleep disturbances, depression, anxiety, urinary problems, difficulty swallowing, speech problems, and cognitive changes. Advanced PD can result in severe dementia.
There is no single test that concludes a person has Parkinsons disease. Diagnosis is based on an ongoing medical history, the patients symptoms, neurological and physical exams, and medical tests and scans targeting Parkinsonian Syndrome.;
History Of Agent Orange
During the Vietnam War, U.S. forces sprayed Agent Orange and other powerful defoliants over large swathes of the Vietnamese landscape. The U.S. military used over 20 million gallons of Agent Orange and other herbicides in Vietnam in order to strip the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese Army of cover and concealment and to kill off crops they depended on to feed their fighters.
It was common for U.S. forces to operate in the immediate vicinity of areas that were sprayed with defoliant. Thousands of U.S. service members were directly exposed to high concentrations of Agent Orange.
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What Is Agent Orange And How Were People Exposed To It
“Agent Orange”;refers to a blend of tactical herbicides the U.S. military sprayed in the jungles of Vietnam and around the Korean demilitarized zone to remove trees and dense tropical foliage that provided enemy cover. Herbicides were also used by the U.S. military to defoliate military facilities in the U.S. and in other countries as far back as the 1950s.
For the purposes of VA compensation benefits, veterans who served anywhere in Vietnam between January 9, 1962 and May 7, 1975 are presumed to have been exposed to herbicides, as specified in the;Agent Orange Act of 1991. They don’t;need to show that they were exposed to Agent Orange or other herbicides in order to get disability compensation for;diseases related to Agent Orange exposure.
Agent Orange and other herbicides used in Vietnam were used, tested or stored elsewhere, including some military bases in the United States. Other locations/scenarios in which veterans were exposed to Agent Orange may include:
What Are The Current Presumptives
Below are the categories of veterans who have presumptives established.
If a veteran is;diagnosed with chronic diseases, such as arthritis, diabetes, or hypertension, within one year of their release from active duty, the VA will presume that the conditon originated during military service.
Vietnam Veterans and Agent Orange
If a Vietnam Veteran has any of the following conditions, the VA will presume that the condition was caused by exposure to Agent Orange.
- Hodgkin’s Disease
- Pellagra and any other nutritional deficiency
- Peripheral Neuropathy, except where directly related to infectious causes
More information can be found at the VAs;American Former Prisoners of War Website.; In addition, the White River Junction VA Medical Center has a Former Prisoner of War Coordinator.
- White River Junction Former Prisoner of War Coordinator -; 687-8387, extension;5362
Veterans exposed to radiation from atomic weapons, fallout, and;nuclear reactors;also have presumptive conditions. There are 21 different types of cancers related to exposure to radiation. We recommend any veteran who was exposed to radiation and later develops cancer to apply for Disability Compensation.; For more information, visit the visit the VAs;Office of Public Health and Environmental Hazards Website.
Gulf War Illness
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
A Lawyer Experienced In Disability Insurance Laws And Parkinsons Disease Can Provide The Support You Need
Group LTD claims fall under federal ERISA law. When a group claim is denied, the information you present in your appeal to the insurance company will also be the basis for a potential lawsuit against the insurance company. An experienced ERISA lawyer is essential to your case.
In a private disability benefits claim denial based on Parkinsons disease, state contract and bad faith laws prevail. In each case, our experienced attorneys are prepared to review your claim, explain your legal options, and help you get the compensation you deserve.