Monday, November 26, 2007

The Agent Orange Fair Compensation Act

We have to ask-- again -- Senators Akaka and Burr to introduce our own version of S.2026, AS A COURTESY TO THE BLUE WATER NAVY VETERANS OF THE VIETNAM WAR.
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110th CONGRESS
1st Session
S.0000

The Agent Orange Fair Compensation Act

To amend title 38, United States Code, chapter 11, to clarify that an award of benefits based on a regulatory presumption established pursuant to 38 U.S.C. 1116 after September 30, 2002, can be made effective earlier than the date the regulatory presumption was established, in effect, to the date of the first claim; and to clarify that the presumption of herbicide exposure provided by 38 U.S.C. 1116(f) applies to veterans who served in Vietnam on land or on Vietnam's inland waterways and to those who served only in waters offshore or in airspace above.

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

December xx, 2007
Mr. X (by request) introduced the following bill; it is co-sponsored by Senator X
A BILL
To amend title 38, United States Code, chapter 11, to clarify and show the intent of Congress that an award of benefits based on a regulatory presumption established pursuant to 38 U.S.C. 1116 after September 30, 2002, must be made effective earlier than the date the regulatory presumption was established, in effect, to the date of the first claim; and to clarify that the presumption of herbicide exposure provided by 38 U.S.C. 1116(f) applies to veterans who served in Vietnam on land or on Vietnam's inland waterways and to those who served only in waters offshore or in airspace above. The determining factor will be receipt of the Vietnam Service Medal, or the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal issued for service in the Vietnam War.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE; REFERENCES TO TITLE 38, UNITED STATES CODE.

(a) Short Title- This Act may be cited as the `Agent Orange Fair Compensation Act'.
(b) References- Wherever in this Act an amendment is expressed in terms of an amendment to a section or other provision, the reference shall be considered to be made to a section or other provision of title 38, United States Code.

SEC. 2. CLARIFICATION OF AUTHORITY TO ESTABLISH PRESUMPTIONS BASED ON HERBICIDE EXPOSURE; CONFIRMATION OF RETROACTIVE PAYMENT.

(a) Section 1116 is amended by adding at the end the following new subsection: `(g) Presumptions established pursuant to this section shall be considered to be presumptions established pursuant to the Agent Orange Act of 1991. Awards based on such presumptions are subject to section 5110 of this title and shall not in any event be made effective earlier than the effective date of the regulation establishing the presumption, but must be made back to the date of first claim, whichever is later.
(b) Applicability- The provisions of section 1116(g) as added by this Act apply to any determination made on or after the date of enactment of this Act, or prior to it back to the date of first claim except as the provisions of section 5110 apply, concerning a person's entitlement to benefits administered by the Secretary.

SEC. 3. CLARIFICATION OF DEFINITION OF SERVICE IN THE REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM.

(a) Paragraph (f) of section 1116 is amended by adding to the end of that paragraph the following: `For the purposes of this presumption, a veteran will be considered to have served in the Republic of Vietnam if the veteran was physically present on land in Vietnam, or on its inland waterways, or if the veteran served only on the waters offshore or in airspace above, and received either the Vietnam Service Medal or the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal for service in Vietnam.'.
(b) Applicability- The provisions of section 1116(f), as amended by this Act, apply to any claim filed on or after February 6, 1991, that is still pending on the date of enactment of this Act, including a claim to reopen or revise a previously denied claim, and to any claim filed on or after the date of enactment of this Act. A claim is pending if it has not been the subject of a final VA decision granting or denying benefits, or if such a decision is currently on appeal before a court. Previously open claims closed subsequent to 2002 shall be reinstated in full. Benefits will be paid to the date of first claim in all cases under this authority, minus any previously paid claims, within the boundaries of section 5110. In all cases under this authority, failure to file an appeal subsequent to a denial after 2002 shall not interrupt retroactive benefits.

[Edited 11/24/2007]

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We think enough of this proposed bill to send it by FAX -- again -- to Senators Akaka and Burr with a request that they jointly introduce the bill with favorable comments, as a COURTESY to the Blue Water Navy Veterans of the Vietnam War.

VNVets

"With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation's wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan--to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations." --
President Abraham Lincoln

"Without a decisive naval force we can do nothing definitive, and with it, everything honorable and glorious." --President George Washington

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7 comments:

scooter said...

Senator is the Senator from my state. I am emailing and calling weekly to push him to act in the fastest manner possible as time is most urgent.

edward j roberts jr usmc/navy said...

we as viet nam veterans deserve every thing we can get .i am suffering from agent orange.i have no sex life at all an i wanted to have more children,but they would have deformed.i take 22 drugs per day,to keep me alive,i have been spat at in the face from war protesters,when our ship went to hong knog we were treated like heros by the people .we were bring back our colors 1st bn 5th marines

JO said...

I am not a Vet, nor was I alive during most of the conflict, but I am utterly discussed at the government for their treatment of the Viet Nam Veterns!

Anonymous said...

I just got done watching the movie Pearl Harbor...and it dawned on me that todays DVA would probably strip the sailors in Pearl of any compensation due to the fact..."they never set foot in Japan!"

Anonymous said...

I am a Vietnma Combat Navy Vet. The DVA is so very slow in helping me. In fact I didn't even know about any of these benefits until I ended up in a psych ward at Palo Alto VA Hospital. I have PTSD, bladder/prostate problems. A DD214 that states "Served in Vietnam" and Combat Action Ribbon, and still I am put on hold. When are the people of the United States going to recognize its Armed Forces Veterans? We are just cannon fodder.

VNVets said...

I hope you realize that you responded to a three year old post.

If you are seeking help and want to help get this situation fixed, then join VASVW. Click on the orange logo on the left sidebar near the top. Follow the directions.

VNVets

Anonymous said...

It appears that a person has to be unemployed, a drunk, or ex-con for the VA to bend over backwards to do what all Vietnam deserve. My brother is truely a drunk and can't hold a job. He was in Nam as a liberty bus driver at CamRahn Bay for 3 months. He was in the Navy just shy of 4 years and because he was met with hostility by a few demonstrators that he claims SPIT on him when he got back to the world, he now is assigned 60% disability for PTSD, mind you a liberty bus driver, where is the justice in that.