Selected Materials on Claims Related to Agent Orange


Certain medical conditions are presumed to be related to exposure to Agent Orange in service. Depending upon the condition, the presumption might apply only if the condition manifested within a certain period of time after service. If a presumption applies, then the claimant does not need a medical opinion to state that there is a relationship between the condition and Agent Orange. However, the claim will still need to be supported by an adequate medical diagnosis of the condition and proof that the veteran was exposed to Agent Orange. Generally, veterans who served on land in Vietnam are presumed to have been exposed, but other types of exposure may require direct proof. If a condition were not recognized by VA as being presumptively caused by Agent Orange, benefits may still be granted if there were persuasive medical evidence that the condition is related to Agent Orange.

There have been lawsuits filed in the federal courts of general jurisdiction relating to Agent Orange, but most have no bearing on the VA claims system.

VA has posted online a list of U.S. Navy and Coast Guard ships operating on the waters of Vietnam between January 9, 1962, and May 7, 1975, associated with presumptive Agent Orange exposure. [link to the general page] [link to the alphabetized ship list]

Statutory Law

Most specific provisions relating to Agent Orange are found in 38 U.S.C. § 1116 [available here]. In particular:


VA's primary regulations implementing the laws related to Agent Orange are 38 C.F.R. § 3.307 [available here], and 38 C.F.R. § 3.309 [available here]. In particular:

Federal Register Notices

When VA proposes or finalizes a regulation relating to Agent Orange conditions or when it withdraws such a proposed regulation — including the list of conditions that are presumed to be related to Agent Orange — it publishes a public notice in the Federal Register (which all government agencies use to announce proposed and final rule changes).

Selected Cases

A few cases relating to Agent Orange claims:

Law Review Articles

Selected Books

Online Material