Veterans affected by Agent Orange may be eligible for compensation, even if their claims previously were denied, according to the Mitchell County Veterans Affairs Office.
County residents who served in-country in Vietnam or off its shores and have any of the following medical conditions are encouraged to contact the Veterans Affairs Office so staff can file for potential compensation on their behalf:
• AL Amyloidosis
• Chronic B-cell Leukemias
• Chloracne (or similar acneform disease)
• Diabetes Mellitus Type 2
• Hodgkin's disease
• Ischemic Heart Disease
• Multiple Myeloma
• Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma
• Parkinson's disease
• Peripheral Neuropathy, Early-Onset
• Porphyria Cutanea Tarda
• Prostate Cancer
• Respiratory Cancers (including lung cancer)
• Soft Tissue Sarcomas (other than osteosarcoma, chondrosarcoma, Kaposi's sarcoma, or mesothelioma.
Vietnam veterans who have one of these conditions and never filed a claim with the VA are encouraged to contact the County Veterans Affairs office to file to potential compensation.
If veterans suffer from one of the conditions that was previously denied, or if the disease has shown progression, the staff can file to reopen the claim for reconsideration or for an increase to their disability rating.
Blue Water Navy veterans who previously filed a claim for any of the above medical issues need to allow the county VA office to file to reopen their claims in light of a recent court decision, said Mitchell County Veterans Affairs Director Larry Klemesrud in a news release.
"This will not be done without veterans initiating it," he said. "The VA will code these claims, and they will be worked on once the laws finalize and the procedures are in place."
Navy/Marine veterans who were within the 12- mile limit off the coast of Vietnam and have one of the Agent Orange-related conditions but never applied for compensation need to file an initial claim.
"Please come in and file to reopen your claim or to file a new claim," Klemesrud said. "It costs nothing to file the claim, and if approved, it will be beneficial for you and your family."
Veterans can contact Klemesrud at the Veteran Affairs Office in the courthouse or call 641-832-2920 for an appointment. His office hours 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays and 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays.