US Department of Veterans Affairs
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced it has decided more than 34,000 Blue Water Navy disability claims, under the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2019, effective Jan. 1, — which extends the presumption of exposure to herbicides such as Agent Orange to Veterans who served in the offshore waters of the Republic of Vietnam during the Vietnam War.
As of Sept. 30, VA has processed 34,415 (48%) of 69,570 claims received, of which 24,328 (71%) have been granted — awarding more than $664 million in retroactive benefits to eligible Veterans and families.
“It’s important we ensure Blue Water Navy Veterans and their families receive the benefits they’ve earned,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. “As a result, VA will continue to get the word out via our social media channels, public service announcements and Veterans Service Organizations (VSO) — to ensure every Veteran who is eligible applies as soon as possible.”
VA also collaborated with the National Archives and Records Administraton to digitize all Navy and Coast Guard deck logs for ships with known Vietnam service. Digitization of the Navy deck logs was completed in December 2019 and Coast Guard deck logs were completed in September. As part of the agreement, VA provided digital images of the deck logs to NARA to make digitally available in the National Archives Catalog. Veterans may contact firstname.lastname@example.org if the deck log they are seeking is not available in the National Archives Catalog.
For assistance in filling a claim, Veterans may contact approved VSOs.
Learn more about Agent Orange exposure and VA disability compensation or all 800-827-1000 for more information.