Parkinson’s Disease from Agent Orange

The use of Agent Orange and similar herbicides in Vietnam exposed many veterans to toxic chemicals.  VA has acknowledged that this exposure can cause a number of different diseases.  Parkinson’s disease is one of the diseases that Agent Orange exposure causes.

Parkinson’s disease is a disorder of the central nervous system.  Men and women that suffer from Parkinson’s disease often experience tremors.  They also experience slowness of movement.  Doctors can treat Parkinson’s disease with medication, but it is progressive.

Presumption that Parkinson’s disease was caused by Agent Orange exposure Elderly man and woman walking with cane in park

VA has acknowledged that veterans who served in Vietnam were exposed to Agent Orange.  VA has also acknowledged that Parkinson’s disease is one of the diseases presumed to be caused by Agent Orange.  So, if you are a Vietnam veteran and you have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, you should file a claim for benefits with VA for your Parkinson’s disease.

Service-connection for Parkinson’s disease

Parkinson’s disease is on the list of conditions that VA presumes are caused by Agent Orange exposure.  When you file a claim, VA should determine that your Parkinson’s disease is a service-connected disability.  If they do not, then you are probably going to need to file a notice of disagreement to appeal your denial of service connection.  If VA grants service connection, they should issue a rating decision giving VA’s opinion on the amount of your disability.

How is the disability rating for Parkinson’s disease calculated?

VA’s rating decision will contain a disability rating.  Generally, each condition has a separate diagnostic code, which is a four-digit number and name.

But, if you look in the ratings tables, you will not find Parkinson’s disease listed by that name.  Instead, Parkinson’s disease is rated using code 8004 – Paralysis agitans.  This diagnostic code assigns a 30% rating, but that is a minimum rating.  But, most veterans with Parkinson’s disease should receive a rating higher than the 30% minimum.  Because rating Parkinson’s is as complex as the disease itself, I wrote this article that focuses exclusively on Parkinson’s disease ratings.

What if the rating decision is incorrect?

Your rating decision from VA may be wrong.  VA might determine that your Parkinson’s disease is not service-connected because there was no event or diagnosis during your time of service.  But, direct service-connection (often through an Agent Orange presumption) is only one way to achieve your goal.

There are other means to service-connection that we will talk about in future blogs.  If VA has granted service-connection and rated you for Parkinson’s disease, there is a very good chance your rating is too low since there are so many separate sets of symptoms that VA must evaluate as part of this multi-faceted disease.

If you think your rating decision is wrong, you can appeal the decision by filing a notice of disagreement.  Also, you can file for an increased rating if your Parkinson’s disease gets worse.

Parkinson’s disease is just one of the many diseases that VA presumes was caused by exposure to Agent Orange in Vietnam.  Make sure VA applies these presumptions correctly to your claim.  If you have any questions about your claim, you can set up a free consultation with us.

To find out more about how that process works and what you will learn in a free consultation, just take a look at this article.  When you are ready to set one up, just call us at (770) 214-8885 or complete and submit this short consultation request form.

Travis Studdard is an attorney who focuses on representing veterans in VA disability compensation claims.  He regularly writes about issues that are important to veterans and their families.

You can subscribe to his Veterans Disability channel on YouTube.

Rita BarnesRita Barnes
00:03 20 Jan 22
This is a great group of people who really care about your well being. They all treated me as though I was family and helped me with my work comp case in more ways than the average would have.Thank you Jason and Thank you Tina! For doing an awesome job.
Cortex ButlerCortex Butler
18:09 29 Dec 21
I am a Veteran of United States Air Force and was awarded my first 30% in 1996 and have been fighting for my rating for 26 years I came to Perkins and Studdard in 2019 while my mom was in a terrible incident and was given to much anesthesia and through GODS Grace she was spared her life, She is disabled since 2018 and I have been struggling with my life and issues and yet I didn’t call the law firm every 10 minutes or call being rude anytime, I mentioned this as I got to know Jessica more than just a phone call and Mr Studdard was always available when not working on other cases or in court, They always called back and Never had to do a call back, My Review is Simple in Life there peaks and valleys and it doesn’t stop because you have issues, Perkins & Studdard took my case in 2019 in 2021 I received my 100% from VA, I Was Never Rude, I was Never Promised Success, I Was Never Lied too and I was Always Treated with Respect, Friendliness, and Kindness the Real Stuff not a (Money Thing) If You want a firm that Cares about the Client and will work on your case even through a pandemic, Will not lie, will not promise anything will communicate your case and will Give you their Best ALWAYS THIS IS THE Best Law Firm for VETS HANDS DOWN Perkins and Studdard THERE IS NO OTHER 100% we had 5 calls Total Case That’s Taking Care Of Business
annetteMomma nokesannetteMomma nokes
14:29 12 Sep 16
Jason and his paralegal Lisa were on point and on top of their game when it came to handling my worker's comp. injury case. I tried going it alone and the insurance carrier pushed me around. They denied extra physical therapy. They denied injections the doctor recommended to ease my pain. When I turned my case over to Jason things turned around, QUICK. They were at all times attentive and on top of my case. I cannot recommend Jason and his staff enough. If you are hurt at work, this is the firm you want on YOUR side.
Sheila KirklinSheila Kirklin
23:11 12 May 16
Jason Perkins, was my lawyer in a workers comp. case, my case has settled now, and I am very happy for all Jason and his office hard work on my case, he was always there to help me out with any questions that I had or help I needed. Jason is a excellent lawyer and if I ever need another one I would only go to Perkins,Because I believe they would be able to help me in any situation I am in need of..
Anna PabonAnna Pabon
23:16 13 Sep 15
I recommend Perkins Law Firm. Everyone I came in contact with there was very nice. Kim was very helpful and any time I had a question she made sure I got an answer. Ann Margaret really took the time to explain things to me.

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