Brad Mayes, Director, Boston Regional Office, VA
Many service members who were exposed to the herbicide Agent Orange while in Vietnam still live with its after-effects. That's why Veterans Affairs decided to streamline and speed up the process of settling claims of illness related to Agent Orange.
Brad Mayes, former Director of VA's Compensation and Pension Service, told Federal News Radio through the Federal Register, VA is "adding three new diseases to the list of conditions that are presumed to be service-connected as a result to exposure to the herbicide that we commonly refer to as Agent Orange."
According to a VA press release, those diseases are Parkinson's disease and ischemic heart disease and they are expanding chronic lymphocytic leukemia to include all chronic B cell leukemias, such as hairy cell leukemia. With this addition, 14 diseases now qualify for benefits for exposure to Agent Orange.
"In a nutshell," said Mayes, "what this regulation will do is make it easier for veterans to establish that these diseases are related to exposure to the herbicide Agent Orange."
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