Presumptive Conditions

VA Self-Help Guide to Service-Connected Disability Compensation For Exposure to Agent Orange, For Veterans and their Families

Iraq, Afghanistan and the Persian Gulf

The VA has established new presumptions of service connection for nine specific infectious diseases associated with military service in Southwest Asia during the Persian Gulf War, or in Afghanistan on or after September 19, 2001. The nine specific infectious diseases are:

  • Brucellosis
  • Campylobacter jejuni
  • Coxiella burnetii (Q fever)
  • Malaria
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis
  • Nontyphoid Salmonella
  • Shigella
  • Visceral leishmaniasis
  • West Nile virus

With the proposed rule, veterans will only have to show service in Southwest Asia or Afghanistan, and a current diagnosis of one of the nine diseases. Because the Persian Gulf War has not officially ended, veterans serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom are eligible for VA's new presumptions.

(For non-presumptive conditions, veterans  are required to provide medical evidence that can be used to establish an actual connection between military service in Southwest Asia or in Afghanistan, and a specific disease.)

Presently, the basic monthly rate of compensation ranges from $123 to $2,673 for veterans without any dependents. Disability compensation is a non-taxable, monthly monetary benefit paid to veterans who are disabled as a result of an injury or illness that was incurred or aggravated during active military service.

Vietnam War

Parkinson's Disease Among New Agent Orange Presumptive Conditions:

The Department of Veterans Affairs has added Parkinson's Disease, Ischemic Heart Disease and Hairy-Cell Leukemia to the growing list of illnesses presumed to have been caused by Agent Orange, the toxic defoliant used widely in Vietnam.

The proposal will make it substantially easier for thousands of veterans to receive compensation and healthcare servcies for ailments that were the direct result of service in Vietnam.

Other illnesses currently recognized under VA's "presumption" rule as being caused by exposure to herbicides during the Vietnam War are:

  • Acute and Subacute Transient Peripheral Neuropathy
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS - or Lou Gehrig's Disease) Chloracne
  • Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia
  • Diabetes Mellitus (Type 2)
  • Hodgkin's Disease
  • Multiple Myeloma
  • Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma
  • Porphyria Cutanea Tarda
  • Prostate Cancer
  • Respiratory Cancers, and
  • Soft Tissue Sarcoma (other than Osteosarcoma, Chondrosarcoma, Kaposi's sarcoma, or Mesothelioma) 

List of Ships That Qualify for Presumptive Agent Orange Exposure

If a Veteran's service aboard one of these ships can be confirmed through military records during the time frames specified, then exposure to herbicide agents can be presumed without further development. Veterans who served aboard these ships are referred to as "Blue Water Navy Veterans".

View a list of qualifying ships.

VA rules about Agent Orange presumptions change frequently.  Click here for the most complete, up-to-date list of the following:

  • Locations outside Vietnam recognized for herbicide exposure
  • VA-acknowledged birth defects in children and grandchildren of Vietnam Veterans
  • Newest proposals for presumptive diseases