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From Chuck Weber, your Veteran Service Officer...
AO/BW Claims Effective Jan 1, 2020
Disability benefits for Blue Water (BW) Navy veterans now fall into the
presumption category of service connection for conditions related to
Agent Orange exposure, thanks to the FRA-supported, Blue Water Navy
Vietnam Veterans Act (H.R.299 - Public Law 116-23).
The law which was signed in June will
take effect Jan. 1, 2020. Addressing the issue of a long
delay, Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary Robert Wilkie said
the postponement is designed to "ensure that we have the proper
resources in place to meet the needs of our Blue Water veteran community
and minimize the impact on all veterans filing for disability
Source: FRA NewsBytes 7/12/19 (with emphasis added)
Note – BW Vets may submit AO exposure claims immediately, but the VA will not start reviewing them until 1/1/2020. Also, there are three new conditions that VA is considering related to AO exposure, however, VA is not yet granting presumptive status to them. This means the veteran must prove that AO exposure caused them (which is virtually impossible to do). Go to www.va.gov for detailed info on all of this. CW
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