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Charleston Chapter – MOAA
Date Posted:08/13/19
This Story Expires on: 10/31/19
New 'Bombshell' Legal Opinion Says Military Retirees Can't Be Court Martialed

Date Posted:08/13/19
This Story Expires on: 10/31/19
Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center

Date Posted:08/07/19
This Story Expires on: 11/30/19
Terminally Ill Military Kids Can Now Receive Both Treatment and Hospice

Date Posted:08/07/19
This Story Expires on: 10/31/19
VA vision care

Date Posted:08/07/19
This Story Expires on: 10/31/19
Advocates plead to keep widow’s tax repeal in military policy measure

Date Posted:08/07/19
This Story Expires on: 10/31/19
Watch: TV News Keeps Fight to End Widows Tax in the Public Eye

Date Posted:08/07/19
This Story Expires on: 10/31/19
Pending law could help vets get treatment at the VA for toxic exposure

Date Posted:08/07/19
This Story Expires on: 11/30/19
Serving after service: How getting involved helped me overcome my fears and rediscover myself

Date Posted:08/06/19
This Story Expires on: 10/31/19
Pin Ups For Vets unveils 2020 calendar

Date Posted:08/06/19
This Story Expires on: 10/31/19
The first underwater veterans memorial is open for divers

Date Posted:07/30/19
This Story Expires on: 09/30/19
Tricare Rates Increasing in 2020 for Reservists, Young Adults, Others

Date Posted:07/25/19
This Story Expires on: 09/30/19
Esper creates task force to deal with cancer causing chemicals on military installations

Date Posted:07/25/19
This Story Expires on: 09/30/19
Here’s how 3 million more people will get military shopping benefits

Date Posted:07/25/19
This Story Expires on: 09/30/19
Google Expands Support for Veterans Looking to Compete in Fast Paced Startups

Date Posted:07/25/19
This Story Expires on: 09/30/19
Bill to Increase Adaptive Housing Grants for Wounded Vets Passes House

Date Posted:07/25/19
This Story Expires on: 09/30/19
New Law Will Allow Thousands More Veterans to Join American Legion

Date Posted:07/18/19
This Story Expires on: 10/31/19
CHAMPVA Recipients Can Now Get Prescriptions Online from the VA

Date Posted:07/18/19
This Story Expires on: 09/30/19
5 Entrepreneur Tips from 'Shark Tank' Navy SEAL

Date Posted:07/10/19
This Story Expires on: 09/29/19
Here's How Much the 'Salute to America' Flyovers Cost the Military

Date Posted:07/10/19
This Story Expires on: 09/29/19
VA Announces Delay in Processing Blue Water Vietnam Veterans' Claims

Date Posted:07/09/19
This Story Expires on: 10/31/19
VA MISSION Act: Answers to the top five questions about urgent care

Date Posted:07/09/19
This Story Expires on: 09/30/19
VA health care

Date Posted:07/09/19
This Story Expires on: 10/31/19
Pentagon Delays Big Changes to Post 9/11 GI Bill Transfer Rules

Date Posted:07/05/19
This Story Expires on: 09/30/19
Vets, Troops Can Get Free Sports Gear for Their Kids. Here's How.

Date Posted:07/05/19
This Story Expires on: 10/31/19
5 Threats to Your Military Transition and How to Reduce Them

Date Posted:07/05/19
This Story Expires on: 09/30/19
Spouse Professional License Reimbursement Now Offered by All 5 Services

Date Posted:07/05/19
This Story Expires on: 09/30/19
How to Get Free Supplies to Ship Care Packages

Date Posted:07/03/19
This Story Expires on: 09/30/19
Disabled vets could see their student loan debts automatically erased

Date Posted:07/03/19
This Story Expires on: 09/30/19
No Decision Yet From VA on New Agent Orange Presumptive Diseases

Date Posted:07/03/19
This Story Expires on: 09/30/19
Historic Million Veteran Study Could Lead to PTSD Research Breakthrough

Date Posted:07/03/19
This Story Expires on: 12/31/19
5 Ways to Break the Ice When Networking

Date Posted:07/03/19
This Story Expires on: 10/31/19
What About a Franchise? 4 Veteran Friendly Options

7 Affordable Ideas for Military Care Packages

Date Posted:06/29/19
This Story Expires on: 09/30/19
TAP is getting a makeover this year. Here’s what you need to know.

Date Posted:06/27/19
This Story Expires on: 09/30/19
After Decades of Fighting, the Blue Water Navy Benefits Bill Is Now a Law

Date Posted:06/27/19
This Story Expires on: 08/31/19
VA Accepting Applications For New STEM GI Bill Soon

Date Posted:06/26/19
This Story Expires on: 08/31/19
Could the Military 'Widow's Tax' Finally Get Abolished? Here's the Next Hurdle

Date Posted:06/26/19
This Story Expires on: 08/31/19
Trump Touts Mission Act in 'Off the Record' Phone Call with Thousands of Veterans

Date Posted:06/25/19
This Story Expires on: 08/31/19
Making home ownership easier for war wounded veterans

Date Posted:06/22/19
This Story Expires on: 09/30/19
Free App Lets Troops Read to Their Kids at Home

Date Posted:06/12/19
This Story Expires on: 08/31/19
'The Right Thing To Do:' Unclaimed Remains of 19 Veterans Laid to Rest

Date Posted:06/12/19
This Story Expires on: 09/30/19
The Meaning Behind the 13 Folds of Old Glory

Date Posted:06/10/19
This Story Expires on: 09/30/19
The Warning Signs of Suicide and What to Do

Date Posted:06/10/19
This Story Expires on: 08/31/19
Pentagon Effort Underway to Make DD 214 Digitally Accessible, with More Privacy

Date Posted:06/08/19
This Story Expires on: 08/31/19
Here’s why the American flag is reversed on military uniforms

Date Posted:06/05/19
This Story Expires on: 08/31/19
Google launches tools to help military spouses find remote working opportunities

Date Posted:06/04/19
This Story Expires on: 12/31/19
Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center

Date Posted:06/03/19
This Story Expires on: 11/16/19
Korean War Vets Eligible for Free Return Tour

Date Posted:05/30/19
This Story Expires on: 08/31/19
Top Ten PCS Don’ts

Date Posted:05/21/19
This Story Expires on: 08/31/19
Free Veteran ID Cards Can Take 6 Months to Process

Date Posted:05/09/19
This Story Expires on: 08/31/19
Are you a 30 minute drive from your nearest VA medical facility? This map will show you

Date Posted:04/19/19
This Story Expires on: 08/31/19
PCS Checklists for Your Move

Date Posted:04/11/19
This Story Expires on: 08/31/19
Cheap Lodging for Military Families

Date Posted:03/31/19
This Story Expires on: 10/30/19
A robot reading your resume? 10 tips for vets to beat job screening software

Date Posted:03/27/19
This Story Expires on: 09/30/19
South Carolina State Veteran Benefits

Date Posted:03/19/19
This Story Expires on: 09/30/19
Here's All the Government Programs that Help Vets with Jobs and Benefits

March 22 Luncheon Meeting

Date Posted:05/05/18
This Story Expires on: 09/30/19
Take the VA's New RAMP to a Faster Appeal Decision

Military Star Card Questions & Answers

US Air Force Museum to Mark 75th Anniversary of Japan Raid

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90,000 ‘blue water’ Vietnam veterans in line for disability benefits after Justice officials drop appeal
Posted on: 06/05/19
This Story Expires on: 07/31/19


Troops from the First Cavalry Air Mobile Division watch the carrier USS Boxer after arrival at Qui Nhon, Vietnam, on Sept. 12, 1965. On Tuesday, Department of Justice officials announced they will not appeal a court ruling that will award presumptive disability benefits to thousands of so-called "blue water" Vietnam veterans. (AP filehoto)


 The Department of Justice will drop its appeal of a federal court decision awarding disability benefits to tens of thousands of veterans who claim exposure to cancer-causing chemical defoliants while serving in the seas near Vietnam, handing advocates what appears to be a final legal victory.

In a filing with the Supreme Court Tuesday, Justice Department officials said they will not argue for overturning the Procopio vs. Wilkie decision from January which undid years of Veterans Affairs policy denying benefits to about 90,000 “blue water” Navy veterans.

Congressional Budget Office officials had estimated that awarding the benefits to the blue water veterans could total about $1.1 billion over 10 years, but VA officials in the past have estimated the total could rise to more than $5.5 billion.

Justice lawyers had twice asked for deadline extensions to file an appeal, even as VA officials publicly said they believed the lower court decision should stand. Congressional leaders and outside advocates had also argued against an appeal.

  In a statement, House Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Mark Takano, D-Calif., and ranking member Phil Roe, R-Tenn., said they were “encouraged by DOJ’s decision not to appeal Procopio and further delay benefits to our Blue Water Navy veterans.”

At issue is a VA decision in the past to treat the sailors’ disability benefit claims differently from other troops who served in Vietnam. 

Under current rules, the blue water veterans can receive medical care for their illnesses through VA. But to receive disability benefits — worth up to several thousand dollars a month — they must prove that their ailments are directly connected to toxic exposure while on duty.

  That’s not the case for other Vietnam veterans, who are presumed to have been exposed to Agent Orange and other defoliants known to cause serious and rare cancers.

So while a veteran who served on the shoreline could receive disability payouts after contracting Parkinson’s Disease or prostate cancer, another vet who served on a ship a few miles away would have to provide evidence of direct contact with hazardous chemicals.

Advocates have argued that is impossible, given the time that has elapsed since the exposure and the poor toxic exposure monitoring at the time.

In a 9-2 decision in January, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit agreed, stating that that Congress never intended to exclude servicemembers in the seas around Vietnam when they awarded presumptive benefits for illnesses related to Agent Orange exposure.

John Wells, retired Navy commander and the executive director of Military-Veterans Advocacy (which helped file the Procopio lawsuit), said the Department of Justice decision means their fight is effectively over.

Last month, House lawmakers unanimously passed legislation echoing the court decision in an effort to ensure any future appeal or legal challenge would not overturn the benefits.

Roe and Takano on Tuesday urged their Senate counterparts to pass the measure anyway, noting that it also includes expansion of certain presumptive benefits to troops who served in the Korean Demilitarized Zone and to children of herbicide-exposed Thailand veterans born with spina bifida.

  But Wells argued that the legislation actually pulled back parts of the court ruling, more narrowly defining the territorial waters where ships had to travel for veterans to be located.

“Now we don’t need the bill at all,” he said.

VA officials had already begun to process some blue water veterans benefits since the January decision, and are expecting that caseload to rise now that the court decision is final.



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Charleston Chapter – MOAA
Charleston Chapter – MOAA

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