Agent Orange Exposure – Vietnam


Exposure to Agent Orange In Vietnam

Dates of Service

January 9, 1962 through May 7, 1975

Definition of “Service in Vietnam”

  • Service on land in Vietnam or on the inland waterways of Vietnam, including Veterans who:
    • Set foot in Vietnam. This includes:
      • Brief visits ashore
      • When a ship docked to the shore of Vietnam
      • When a ship operated in Vietnam’s close coastal waters for extended periods and crew members went ashore
      • Smaller vessels from the ship went ashore with supplies or personnel. (The Veteran must provide a statement of personally going ashore.)
    • Served on a ship while it operated on the inland waterways of Vietnam

Presumed Eligible for VA Disability Benefits

  • Presumed to have been exposed to herbicides (Agent Orange Act of 1991)
  • Do not need to prove exposure to Agent Orange or other herbicides

Blue Water Veterans and Agent Orange Exposure

Definition of “Blue Water Veterans”

Veterans who served on open sea ships off the shore of Vietnam during the Vietnam War

Exposure to Agent Orange

  • Not presumed to have been exposed to Agent Orange or other herbicides.
    • Must:
      • Have served on ships on the inland waterways of Vietnam between January 9, 1962 and May 7, 1975
      • Have set foot in Vietnam or
    • If they did not meet the above criteria, they must show
      • They were exposed to herbicides during military service.
      • These claims are decided on a case-by-case basis.
    • Exception: Veterans with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma may be granted service-connection without showing inland waterway service or that they set foot in Vietnam for diseases related to Agent Orange exposure. Veterans in these circumstances can find the ship(s) on which they served in the list as well

List of Ships Associated with Service in Vietnam

See VBA’s “Veterans Exposed to Agent Orange” Web page.


HMD report on Agent Orange exposure

The VA’s Health and Medical Division (HMD) report concluding “the committee was unable to state with certainty whether Blue Water Navy personnel were or were not exposed to Agent Orange,” (the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans and Agent Orange Exposure) was released in May 2011.

VA benefits

Eligible Veterans may receive the following VA benefits:

  • Medical benefits.
  • Disability compensation: A monthly payment for diseases related to Agent Orange exposure.
  • Other benefits: Home loans, vocational rehabilitation, education, and more
  • Survivors’ benefits: Surviving spouses, dependent children and dependent parents of Veterans who were exposed to Agent Orange and died as the result of diseases related to Agent Orange exposure.

Need help determining exposure?

VA can help determine Agent Orange exposure or qualifying service in Vietnam after you file a claim for compensation benefits.