Tuesday, March 1, 2011

VA expands aid to Korean War veterans exposed to Agent Orange

Veterans exposed to herbicides while serving along the demilitarized zone in Korea will have an easier path to access quality health care and benefits under a Department of Veterans Affairs final regulation that will expand the dates when illnesses caused by herbicide exposure can be presumed to be related to Agent Orange.
For more information
The La Plata County Veterans Service Office provides infor-mation and assistance to veterans and their families. For more information, visit the county website at www.co.laplata.co.us and type “veterans services” in the search window. The Veterans Service Office and the Durango VA Clinic are located at 1970 East Third Ave. The office phone number is 759-0117. Office hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays except holidays. Appointments are encour-aged. To schedule an appointment, call 382-6150.

“VA’s primary mission is to be an advocate for veterans,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. “With this new regulation, VA has cleared a path for more veterans who served in the demilitarized zone in Korea to receive access to our quality health care and disability benefits for exposure to Agent Orange.”

Under the final regulation published Jan. 25, 2011, in the Federal Register, VA will presume herbicide exposure for any veteran who served between April 1, 1968, and Aug. 31, 1971, in a unit determined by VA and the Department of Defense to have operated in an area in or near the Korean DMZ in which herbicides were applied.

Previously, VA recognized that Agent Orange exposure could be conceded only to veterans who served in certain units along the Korean DMZ between April 1968 and July 1969.

READ MORE: http://durangoherald.com/article/20110227/COLUMNISTS17/702279993/-1/s

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