Diabetes mellitus (Type II, adult onset) will be added as a presumptive condition for in-country Vietnam veterans. Acting Secretary Herschel Gober will announce this action on November 9, 2000. In-country service in Vietnam presumes exposure to the herbicide Agent Orange if the veteran meets the criteria outlined in 38 CFR 3.313 regarding dates of service and the condition being claimed is one listed in section 3.307 (6)iii. VA is in the process of writing the regulations which will govern the adjudication of claims for diabetes as a presumptive condition and add diabetes to the aforementioned section of 38 CFR.
What veterans are affected by this added presumptive condition?
Honorably discharged veterans who served in the Republic of Vietnam during the period January 9, 1962 through May 7, 1975 and have "adult onset diabetes mellitus". You must have physically served or visited in the Republic of Vietnam, including service in the waters offshore if the conditions of service involved duty or visitation in Vietnam. This means the ship must have come to port in the RPV and you disembarked. This does not include veteran's who served in the Republic of Vietnam during the period February 28, 1961 to January 9, 1962.
What does presumptive condition mean?
Normally, the claimant must show proof of relationship between service and the condition being claimed. Under presumption of service connection. VA presumes the relationship, if the condition was diagnosed within the time period specified in 38 CFR, 3.307(6)ii and the condition is recognized by 3.309(e).
Can I be treated for my diabetes without applying for service connection?
Yes, You can be treated at any VA Medical Center. You will however, need to show evidence of military service in Vietnam. Usually, a DD Form 214 will serve as proof of service in the Republic of Vietnam.
How can I apply?
We would encourage any veteran with in-country Vietnam service and diagnosed diabetes mellitus to contact his or her local VA office for information and assistance on applying for benefits.
Where can I get more information about the relationship between diabetes mellitus and possible exposure to Agent Orange?
Additional information can be found at the Veterans Health Administration web site which is at www.va.gov and the National Academy of Sciences Study on Herbicide/Dioxin Exposure and Type 2 Diabetes can be found at the NAS web site at www.nap.edu/html/diabetes.
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