Agent Orange Claims UpdatePayment of claims for the three newly designated Agent Orange presumptive conditions of ischemic heart disease, Parkinson's disease and B-cell leukemias, came a step closer to reality following an appeals court order directing the Department of Veterans Affairs to publish a final implementing regulation by September 1.
The order was In response to a lawsuit brought by a coalition of veterans' service organizations. In making the order the US Court of Appeals rejected the VA's argument that the final regulation needed to be reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget.
After the final regulations are published, the VA will still have to delay payments for 60 days because the Congressional Review Act was invoked. If, as directed the VA publishes the final rule by Sept. 1, disability payments could start by November 1.
The Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee will still be holding a hearing on September 23 to review the evidence used to add the three new conditions. Although it is possible the funding could be further delayed, it is unlikely as the funds are already in place and are only waiting for final authorization.