The Agent Orange Fair Compensation Act


We are presenting and supporting a Senate Bill entitled "The Agent Orange Fair Compensation Act" and are suggesting that all American citizens who support this Bill to submit this proposed legislation to Senator Akaka and Senator Burr (as well as their own state Senators and the other members of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee) for immediate introduction onto the floor of each House of Congress.

A template letter has also been developed to make the process easier for you if you care to use that. Please feel free to adjust the wording of the letter portion as needed.

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Template Letter
(DATE)

Senator Daniel Akaka
Senator Richard Burr

Copies to members of the
Senate Veterans Affairs Committee

Dear Senators:

I respectfully request that you introduce the attached legislation, entitled "The Agent Orange Fair Compensation Act" to the Senate Body, upon request of me as an American citizen and Vietnam war veteran, and as a member of the class referred to as the "Blue Water Navy."

I wish to thank you in advance for your actions in introducing this necessary legislation as a courtesy to myself and thousands of my fellow Americans and veterans of the Vietnam War, and for moving it to committee for further development.

Sincerely,

(NAME)


110th CONGRESS
1st Session
S. xxxx

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 x, 2007

Mr. XX (by request) introduced the following bill; it is co-sponsored by Senator XX


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.

  1. Short Title- This Act may be cited as the `Agent Orange Fair Compensation Act'.
  2. 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.

  1. Section 1116 is amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:
  2. (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.

  3. 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.

  1. 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.'.

  2. 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.


End Template Letter - (Includes minor changes made 28 Nov 07)

Download a Word Document of this Bill


Read about PREVIOUS LEGISLATION attempts on behalf of the blue water navy by the American Legion in both 2002 and 2006


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