Veterans Affairs Reaches out to Survivors Of Vets with Agent Orange-Related Heart Disease

By Staff Reports

(Victorville)–San Bernardino County Department of Veterans Affairs is reaching out to families of Vietnam-era veterans who died from ischemic heart disease (IHD), also known as coronary artery disease (CAD) or “hardening of the arteries.”

In October 2010, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (USDVA) recognized the link between IHD and exposure to herbicides such as Agent Orange. Herbicides were commonly used in Vietnam by the United States military and have been linked to a number of cancers and other diseases in veterans exposed to it. Widows, widowers or children of those who may have been exposed to Agent Orange during military service and who died as the result of heart disease may be eligible for survivors’ benefits.

“Since the USDVA did not recognize this condition as being linked to herbicide exposure until late 2010, families of veterans who died of IHD prior to 2010 may now be qualified for benefits for which they previously were ineligible,” said County of San Bernardino Veterans Affairs Director Bill Moseley. “These monetary benefits could be very helpful, especially during the current recession; however, our department is facing a problem of getting the word out to those who may be eligible.”

Anyone who thinks they may be qualified for these (or any other) USDVA benefits should call County VA at (909) 387-5516 or (866) 4SB-VETS to speak with a veterans services representative.

Since 1926, the San Bernardino County Department of Veterans Affairs has advocated for veterans and their families by helping them obtain benefits and services in a responsive, timely and compassionate manner in recognition of their service to our nation. San Bernardino County Veterans Affairs also provides veterans and their families with referrals to other county and community resources as needed.

San Bernardino County Veterans Affairs is doing its part to help the community achieve the Countywide Vision by ensuring residents have access to the resources needed to provide for their families. More information regarding County VA services can be found at hss.sbcounty.gov/va. Information on the Countywide Vision can be found at www.sbcounty.gov.

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