The Department of Veterans Affairs says it plans to prioritize benefits for certain Agent Orange-exposed veterans, veteran suicide prevention, a new electronic health record system and caregiver benefits in 2020.
VA spokeswoman Christina Mandreucci described them as 2020 "milestones" for VA.
In January, "VA will do something past administrations did not: begin deciding presumptive claims for Blue Water Navy veterans," Mandreucci told Connecting Vets.
VA said it began processing Blue Water Navy Vietnam veteran claims for Agent Orange disability benefits on Jan. 1, 2020. It was not, however, a VA-led initiative -- it was Congressionally mandated in the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act passed by Congress and signed into law by President Donald Trump in 2019.
VA delayed deciding those claims until 2020 after the legislation passed, as first reported by Connecting Vets, prompting at least one lawsuit from veterans.