How to Qualify for 100% Disability With the VA in the Agent Orange Program

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Agent Orange, an herbicide blend used during the Vietnam War, has been associated with certain cancers and other diseases. Among the diseases associated with exposure are chronic B-cell leukemias, Hodgkin's Disease, diabetes mellitus, Parkinson's Disease and prostate cancer. Veterans, veteran's children and survivors may qualify for compensation and health care benefits because of this exposure. To qualify for a 100 percent disability rating from the VA, veterans must be able to prove that they were exposed to the Agent Orange herbicide and that they currently suffer from a related disease because of that exposure.

Step 1

Show proof of relevant military service. This evidence should show (1) that you went on land or ashore in Vietnam, or served in the inland waterways of Vietnam, at any point between January 9, 1962 and May 7, 1975, (2) served in or near the Korean demilitarized zone between April 1, 1968, and August 31, 1971, or (3) can prove Agent Orange exposure outside Vietnam or Korea, such as at Agent Orange testing or storage facilities.

Step 2

Have a diagnosis of a disease that is listed on the VA's "Diseases Associated with Agent Orange Exposure" list or have evidence of exposure to Agent Orange and competent medical evidence that the herbicide caused a current disability or disease that you have been diagnosed with.

Step 3

Provide medical evidence that the disease began before any applicable deadlines. The deadlines are listed in the specific disease information provided by the VA.


  • Apply for benefits online, via mail, or through a representative. Veteran's Service Organizations, such as Disabled American Veterans and Veterans of Foreign Wars, have National Service Officers that provide free assistance to disabled veterans filing claims with the VA.
  • Family members may be eligible for separate benefits. Review the "Agent Orange birth defects" list ( to learn more.


About the Author

Nicole Thelin has more than a decade of professional writing experience. She has contributed to newspapers such as the "Daily Herald" of Provo, Utah, and now writes for several online publications. Thelin is pursuing a bachelor's degree in education from Western Governors University.

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