For years, many veterans who were exposed to Agent Orange while flying on and/or working in C-123s after Vietnam have fought to receive disability compensation benefits. While VA presumes that veterans who served “boot on the ground” in Vietnam were exposed to Agent Orange, VA did not give that same presumption to these C-123 veterans.
VA’s New Regulation on C-123 and Agent Orange Exposure
As we have mentioned in previous articles, veterans have fought to get VA to change its policy. That change recently happened. VA now presumes that certain Air Force and Air Force Reserve flight, medical, and ground maintenance crew members of C-123s were exposed to Agent Orange during service.
As a result, these veterans should receive the presumption that certain diseases – including diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, certain heart conditions, and certain cancers – were cause by their exposure to Agent Orange during service. You can read the new regulation here.
When does the new regulation take effect?
The change goes into effect immediately. To avoid delaying in the processing of benefits, VA mentions that a veteran should list “(C-123)” after the Agent Orange related disability when filing for benefits e.g. Diabetes (C-123). This should help VA recognize that it should apply the new C-123 regulation when processing the claim.
VA has also indicated that all C-123 claims will be processed through the St. Paul, Minnesota Regional Office. For C-123 claims not filed through E-Benefits, here is the information the VA has provided about filing the claim:
Claims not filed through eBenefits should be mailed to the following address (or faxed to 608-373-6694):
Department of Veterans Affairs
Claims Intake Center
Attention: C123 Claims
PO Box 5088
Janesville, WI 53547-5088
Questions about C-123 claims
VA has also established a special hotline for benefits related questions about C-123 claims. The phone number is 1-800-749-8387 (available 8 a.m. – 9 p.m. EST) or an e-mail can be sent to VSCC123.VAVBASPL@va.gov.
If you have any questions about C-123 Agent Orange exposure or any other veterans benefits questions, we are glad to speak to you to try to help. You can call us at (770) 214-8885 or complete this form page to set up a free consultation. If you want to find out more about how a free consultation work, just read this short article first.