Herbicides were used by the U.S. military to defoliate military facilities in the U.S. and in other countries as far back as the 1950s. Even if you did not serve in Vietnam, you can still apply for service-connected benefits if you were exposed to an herbicide while in the military which you believe caused your disease or injury. If you have a disease which is on the list of diseases which VA recognizes as being associated with Agent Orange, the VA requires:
- A medical diagnosis of a disease which VA recognizes as being associated with Agent Orange (listed below),
- Competent evidence of exposure to a chemical contained in one of the herbicides used in Vietnam (2,4-D; 2,4,5-T and its contaminant TCDD; cacodylic acid; or picloram), and
- Competent medical evidence that the disease began within the deadline for that disease (if any).
If you have a disease which is not on the list of diseases which VA recognizes as being associated with Agent Orange, VA requires:
- Competent medical evidence of a current disability;
- Competent evidence of exposure to an herbicide during military service; and
- Competent medical evidence of a nexus (causal relationship) between the herbicide exposure and the current disability.