VA reverses denial of benefits for veteran in Agent Orange-related case
By Steve Vogel,August 07, 2013
The Department of Veterans Affairs has reversed its denial of Agent Orange-related disability benefits for an Air Force veteran who flew on potentially contaminated C-123 aircraft after the Vietnam War, a decision advocates describe as the first of its kind for veterans seeking compensation for postwar exposure to the toxic defoliant.
Paul Bailey, a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel who is gravely ill with cancer, received notice Monday that he would receive “a total grant of benefits” for cancer associated with his 1970s-era service in the United States aboard the aircraft, which had been used to spray the toxic defoliant during the war.
“The preponderance of the evidence suggests that you were exposed to herbicide onboard U.S. Air Force C-123K air crafts,” said the VA decision, dated July 31. “Reasonable doubt in regards to the exposure to certain herbicide, to include Agent Orange, as the result of occupational hazards on board C-123K ai rcrafts is resolved in your favor.”