by Jim Fausone
Veteran Disability Lawyer
Most veterans know that the expansion of the Agent Orange (AO) presumptions last year were long over due. But some in Congress question that decision and its costs. Certain Senators argue the Agent Orange Act of 1991 is flawed, providing too much authority to the VA secretary and allowing compensation awards based on a mere “association” between a disease and herbicide exposure rather than evidence that exposure “caused” the ailments. This debate is about how much authority should the Secretary of the VA have to create new presumptions.
As an attorney who practices in this field, I know that without presumptions most veterans would not be able to prove the medical case for obtaining compensation. They do not have the money to pay for medical opinions or the testing and research that would be necessary. Keep an eye on the Senate as this issue is debated.