Texas veterans of the Blue Water Navy can now receive veterans' disability benefits for illnesses caused by Agent Orange exposure after a bill was signed into law. On June 25, President Donald Trump signed the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2019. The bill allows veteran of the U.S. Navy who served off the Vietnamese coast during the Vietnam War to receive disability benefits for these types of medical problems. While veterans who directly served inside Vietnam between 1962 and 1975 are presumed to need coverage for illnesses linked to the use of the toxic herbicide, Navy veterans who served off the coast were previously often denied benefits.
Colonel (Retired) Rick Rousseau recently presented information on VA disability at the Veterans Justice Continuing Legal Education (CLE) in Austin hosted by the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association & the State Bar of Texas Military & Veterans Law Section. His presentation focused on the impact of the types of military discharges and criminal convictions on VA benefits and how to better assists Veterans.
For Texas naval personnel who served in Vietnamese territorial waters during the conflict, additional benefits are now possible. A recent federal court decision opened up a possibility for disability benefits and medical care due to Agent Orange-related sickness.
Veterans living in Texas or anywhere else in the United States may be entitled to disability benefits. This may be true if an individual incurs a disease or injury while serving in the military. Benefits may also be available to those who aggravated a medical condition by serving or developed health problems later in life that are related to their time in the armed forces. These benefits are tax-free to those who are eligible to receive them.