Notice & Comment

Veterans Benefits: VA Secretary Shinseki Announces Changes to Regulations for Agent Orange Claims, by Jonathan Rusch

On August 30, Veterans Administration (VA) Eric Shinseki announced on the White House Blog that the VA is issuing a new regulation creating presumptions that there is a service connection between exposure to Agent Orange and three diseases: Parkinson’s disease, hairy cell and other chronic B-cell leukemia, and ischemic heart disease. In the announcement, Secretary Shinseki stated that Congress, the VA, and the Institute of Medicine had previously validated “some 12 diseases, which, to date, have been granted presumption of service connection for those exposed to Agent Orange.” The new regulation stemmed from the Secretary’s October 2009 determination, based on the requirements of the Agent Orange Act of 1991 and the Institute of Medicine’s report, “Veterans and Agent Orange: Update 2008,” “that the evidence provided was sufficient to support presumptions of service connection” for these three additional diseases.

The Secretary also stated that “[a]s many as 150,000 Veterans may submit Agent Orange claims in the next 12 to 18 months,” and that the VA “will review approximately 90,000 previously denied claims from Vietnam Veterans for service connection for these three new diseases.”

This post was originally published on the legacy ABA Section of Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice Notice and Comment blog, which merged with the Yale Journal on Regulation Notice and Comment blog in 2015.

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