Wednesday December 4, 2013
Agent Orange UpdateSalem-News.com
The Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee has scheduled a hearing to examine the reasons and evidence used to add these three conditions to the list of presumptive diseases related to Agent Orange exposure.
(GARDEN GROVE, Calif.) - The President signed the War Supplemental yesterday. In that bill is the $13.4 billion in funding for the three newly designated presumptive diseases related to Agent Orange exposure.
What does this mean for veterans who have already filed and those waiting to file on these conditions? The money is now in place and the authorization to spend it needs to be completed. The House overwhelmingly passed the VA/Military Construction Authorization bill earlier this week and now the Senate must do the same. The House version authorizes the money for these new conditions.
All of this is fine and shows progress, but the main roadblock now is the 60 day hold placed on spending any of the money by Sen. Webb (D-VA) who wishes to take a look at the science and reasons behind the decision to connect these three potentially very expensive, new conditions to service in Vietnam.
On September 23, the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee has scheduled a hearing to examine the reasons and evidence used by Secretary Shinseki to add these three conditions to the list of presumptive diseases related to Agent Orange exposure.
Reports have been made that the VA may publish the final rules as early as next week. This could, repeat, could mean that the VA might be able to start paying for these three diseases sometime in October, shortly after the September hearing. The payments would be retroactive to the date of the original claim or death of veteran if survivors are filing the claim.
Veterans-For-Change will continue to monitor closely the situation and report any new developments and we strongly urge you to call your Senators and Congressman toll free at 866-272-6622 and politely insist they support Secretary Shinseki’s decision and allow the rule to be finalized immediately.
If you’re able to make the call, please send an E-Mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know their response.
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