Blue Water Navy Vietnam veterans who served from January 9, 1962, to May 7, 1975, within 12 nautical miles of the Vietnam coast should know changes have occurred due to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Procopio v. Wilkie, extending the presumption of Agent Orange exposure to all veterans who served in the Republic of Vietnam on land or on the territorial seas.
This case means that if you served aboard a Navy vessel that was within 12 nautical miles of the Vietnam coast, the VA should reopen your claim or consider you for service connection under the Agent Orange Act of 1991. If you served in the U.S. Navy and have been denied service connection for conditions that are on the Agent Orange presumptive list, this case can give the new evidence needed to reopen claims and work to over turn the VA decision on your denied claim for benefits of service connection for conditions dealing with Agent Orange. It is hoped the Winona County Veterans Service Office and others can use Nehmer v. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to get your claim reopened, retroactively approved and paid back to the original date of the claim.
If you never filed a claim because your ship did not appear on the Veterans Administration list, an intent to file (ITF) can be submitted.
The VA has not yet responded to the court’s decision and has 90 days to appeal to the Supreme Court.
These claims may be denied while the VA is considering how to handle the court’s decision.
Current Agent Orange presumptive list
• Acute and subacute peripheral neuropathy
• AL amyloidosis
• B-cell Leukemia
• Chronic lymphocytic Leukemia
• Diabetes type II
• Hodgkin’s disease
• Ischemic heart disease
• Porphyria Cutanea Tarda
• Prostate cancer
• Respiratory cancer — lung, bronchus, larynx, trachea
• Soft-tissue sarcoma
For more information, please call 507-457-6455 to set up an appointment to discuss your claim. Office hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.