Notice to all LEOFF members and fellow Veterans who served in the military during the Vietnam War, January 9, 1962-May 7,1975. Some of you may have a disability caused by exposure to Agent Orange during that time and don’t even know it. There are a couple requirements that have to be met to include boots on the ground, on a ship in the deltas and as of 2019 onboard a ship in what’s called the Blue Water Navy. In 2019 Congress passed the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2019. This act covers some ships that were in open waters off the coast of Vietnam. To determine if you served in an area that exposed you to Agent Orange and if you have a disability that was caused by that exposure check the Veteran Administration Agent Orange website. Several types of cancer, heart disease, diabetes and Parkinson disease are among the several diseases eligible for disability compensation. As for the Blue Water Navy you can also look up your ship to see if it qualifies.
For more information on all this go to the Veterans Administration website or call the Agent Orange hotline 800-749-8387.
Why does it matter? If you have a disease caused by agent orange not only are you entitled to disability compensation but if you die and the cause of death is due to the disability your spouse can receive your VA pension. The death certificate must show that the death was caused by the disability or a contributing factor. Depending on the percentage of disability you may be eligible for other benefits as well. It is important that your spouse is aware that she can claim this pension.
I recently assisted one of our local retirees upgrade his VA disability to include a recent cancer diagnosis. His type of cancer was one of those attributed to Agent Orange. Unfortunately he passed soon after from the cancer but his widow will receive the increased amount the rest of her life tax free. What I have learned is that some of you have a qualified disease and don’t know about ability to claim it. It is my hope that we can get the word out to those who deserve compensation and that they can pass it along to their spouse. Please pass this along to anyone you may know who may qualify. If I can be of assistance feel free to give me a call at 425-244-1411.
Ken Crowder, LEOFF 1
Washington State Assoc. of Retired Police OfficersFollow us on Facebook