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Learn what the PACT Act means for your VA benefits

Agent Orange exposure and VA disability compensation

Agent Orange was a tactical herbicide the U.S. military used to clear leaves and vegetation for military operations mainly during the Vietnam War. Veterans who were exposed to Agent Orange may have certain related cancers or other illnesses.

If you have a health condition caused by exposure to Agent Orange during military service, read this page to find out if you may be eligible for disability compensation and how to apply.

Am I eligible for VA disability benefits based on exposure to Agent Orange?

You may be eligible for VA disability benefits if you meet both of these requirements.

Both of these must be true:

  • You have a health condition that’s caused by exposure to Agent Orange, and
  • You served in a location that exposed you to Agent Orange

Keep reading for the full eligibility requirements.

Full eligibility requirements 

We determine eligibility based on the facts of each Veteran’s claim. But we assume (or “presume”) that certain cancers and other illnesses are caused by Agent Orange. We call these presumptive conditions. And we assume that Veterans who served in certain locations were exposed to Agent Orange. We refer to this as presumptive exposure.

We’ve added 2 new Agent Orange presumptive conditions based on the PACT Act:

  • High blood pressure (also called hypertension)
  • Monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS)

We’ve also added 5 new Agent Orange presumptive locations. Keep reading to learn about these new locations.

Requirements for Agent Orange presumptive diseases

We consider a condition presumptive when it’s established by law or regulation. If you’ve been diagnosed with one of these conditions, you don’t need to prove that it started during—or got worse because of—your military service.

If you have a cancer or illness that’s not on our list of presumptive conditions, but you believe it was caused by Agent Orange exposure, you can still file a claim for VA disability benefits. But you’ll need to submit more evidence. Keep reading to learn about service requirements and supporting evidence.

Service requirements for presumption of exposure

We base eligibility for VA disability compensation benefits, in part, on whether you served in a location that exposed you to Agent Orange. We call this having a presumption of exposure.

You have a presumption of exposure if you meet at least one of these service requirements.

Between January 9, 1962, and May 7, 1975, you must have served for any length of time in at least one of these locations:

  • In the Republic of Vietnam, or
  • Aboard a U.S. military vessel that operated in the inland waterways of Vietnam, or
  • On a vessel operating not more than 12 nautical miles seaward from the demarcation line of the waters of Vietnam and Cambodia

Or you must have served in at least one of these locations that we’ve added based on the PACT Act:

  • Any U.S. or Royal Thai military base in Thailand from January 9, 1962, through June 30, 1976, or 
  • Laos from December 1, 1965, through September 30, 1969, or
  • Cambodia at Mimot or Krek, Kampong Cham Province from April 16, 1969, through April 30, 1969, or
  • Guam or American Samoa or in the territorial waters off Guam or American Samoa from January 9, 1962, through July 30, 1980, or
  • Johnston Atoll or on a ship that called at Johnston Atoll from January 1, 1972, through September 30, 1977

Or at least one of these must be true for you:

  • You served in or near the Korean DMZ for any length of time between September 1, 1967, and August 31, 1971, or
  • You served on active duty in a regular Air Force unit location where a C-123 aircraft with traces of Agent Orange was assigned, and had repeated contact with this aircraft due to your flight, ground, or medical duties, or
  • You were involved in transporting, testing, storing, or other uses of Agent Orange during your military service, or
  • You were assigned as a Reservist to certain flight, ground, or medical crew duties at one of the locations listed here

Eligible Reserve locations, time periods, and units include:

  • Lockbourne/Rickenbacker Air Force Base in Ohio, 1969 to 1986 (906th and 907th Tactical Air Groups or 355th and 356th Tactical Airlift Squadrons)
  • Westover Air Force Base in Massachusetts, 1972 to 1982 (731st Tactical Air Squadron and 74th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron, or 901st Organizational Maintenance Squadron)
  • Pittsburgh International Airport in Pennsylvania, 1972 to 1982 (758th Airlift Squadron)

For more service requirement details, review:

Public Law 116-23 (Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2019)

Air Force specialty codes and units for affected C-123 aircraft (PDF)

Dates and locations of herbicide tests and storage outside Vietnam 


How to get disability benefits for Agent Orange-related claims

How do I file a claim for compensation?

If you haven’t filed a claim yet for the presumptive condition

You can file a new claim online now. You can also file by mail, in person, or with the help of a trained professional.

File for disability compensation online now

Learn more about how to file a disability compensation claim

If we denied your disability claim in the past and we now consider your condition presumptive

You can file a Supplemental Claim. We’ll review your case again.

Find out how to file a Supplemental Claim

What evidence will I need to submit with my claim?

You’ll need to submit these records:

  • A medical record that shows you have an Agent Orange-related health condition, and
  • Military records to show how you were exposed to Agent Orange during your service

If your condition isn’t on the list of presumptive conditions, you’ll also need to provide at least one of these types of evidence:

  • Evidence that shows the problem started during—or got worse because of—your military service, or
  • Scientific or medical evidence stating that the condition you have is caused by Agent Orange. Scientific proof may include an article from a medical journal or a published research study.

Get your VA medical records online

What military records will I need to submit?

You’ll need to submit your discharge or separation papers that show your time and location of service. These may include your DD214 or other separation documents.

For certain claims, you may also need more supporting documents.

    Submit one or more of these forms:

    • USAF Form 2096 (unit where you were assigned at the time of the training action)
    • USAF Form 5 (aircraft flight duties)
    • USAF Form 781 (aircraft maintenance duties)

    To learn more, download our:

    Air Force specialty codes and units for affected C-123 aircraft (PDF)

    C-123 Aircraft Agent Orange Exposure claims fact sheet (PDF)

    Submit your dependency records. These may include your marriage certificate and children’s birth certificates.

    Request your military service records

    More questions about getting benefits

    We added these conditions to the presumptive condition list in 2021.

    If we denied your claim for any of these conditions in the past, we’ll automatically review your case again. You don’t need to file another claim. We’ll send you a letter to let you know we’re reviewing your case.

    If we denied your claim because we determined that your disability wasn’t caused—or made worse—by your active-duty service, you can file a new claim based on the change in the law.

    In certain cases, if we approve your claim, we’ll pay you back to the date when you submitted your original claim. We refer to this as retroactive payment.

    File a claim for disability compensation

    To learn more about this change in the law, and how it may affect you, download our:

    You can get help from us in any of these ways:

    If you’re submitting a claim related to C-123 aircraft, you can also:

    You can:

    Note: Please be ready to give us your name, email address, telephone number, and VA file number or Social Security number.

    This is a free health exam for Veterans who meet any of the above service requirements for presumption of contact. Even if you don’t have a known condition, the exam could alert you to conditions that may be related to contact with herbicides. By being part of this registry, you’re also helping your fellow Veterans by giving us information so we can better understand and serve those affected by Agent Orange-related conditions.

    This exam isn’t a VA claim exam (also known as a compensation and pension, or C&P, exam). And you don’t need to have this exam to get other VA benefits. To get disability benefits, you’ll need to file a claim.

    File a disability claim

    To schedule your exam:

    Contact your local VA environmental health coordinator

    To find out what to expect at your exam:

    Learn more about the Agent Orange Registry health exam