Agent Orange Benefits for Widows

The Vietnam War was a period of turmoil in history, marked not only by its social and political consequences but also by the widespread use of Agent Orange. This toxic substance not only took the lives of many but also left many veterans with life-long disabilities. 

This article is dedicated to the widows of brave veterans who faced the grim reality of Agent Orange-related illnesses. We will guide you through the complex process of getting the benefits you deserve with a comprehensive overview of Agent Orange benefits for widows, including how to be eligible, types of benefits, and others. Let’s get into it.


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Understanding Agent Orange

Agent Orange was a blend of herbicides used by the U.S. military to defoliate the dense jungles of Vietnam. However, the consequences of this deployment were much darker than expected.

The dioxin present in Agent Orange remained in the soils of Vietnam, extending to the waterways and food sources. Veterans exposed to Agent Orange during their service faced a high risk of developing a range of severe health complications, including –

  • Bladder cancer
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Respiratory cancer
  • High blood pressure
  • Ischemic heart disease
  • Hodgkin’s disease
  • Peripheral neuropathy, etc.

The Department of Veterans Affairs and the U.S. government initially denied the connection between these conditions and Agent Orange exposure for many years. And for many veterans, such exposure not only caused life-long health issues but also death.

Who Qualifies as Survivor

The VA recognizes survivors as people closely related to veterans who passed away due to service-connected disabilities such as Agent Orange exposure. Survivors can get various VA benefits for support and financial assistance. But before we get into the benefits, let’s understand who qualifies as a survivor –

Spouses of Deceased Veterans

According to the VA, wives and husbands who were legally married to the veteran at the time of their passing are considered survivors.

Dependent Children of Deceased Veterans

Dependent children, usually under the age of 18, of a deceased veteran are also considered survivors. In many cases, dependent children can benefit while pursuing specific college or postsecondary education programs. 

Dependent Parents of Deceased Veterans

Sometimes the parents of deceased veterans can also qualify as survivors, especially those who depended on their child for a large portion of their income needs. For example, if a veteran provided financial support to their disabled or sick parent during service, the parent would be considered a survivor. 

These survivors can apply for Agent Orange-related benefits and can get health care benefits and compensation.

Types of Agent Orange Benefits

Survivors of veterans who were exposed to Agent Orange and passed away as a result of service-connected conditions can get several kinds of benefits from the VA. The main types of Agent Orange benefits for survivors include –

Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC)

DIC is a monthly payment provided to survivors to help them cope with the loss of their loved one’s income. These payments can help cover living expenses for the wives of deceased veterans.

For qualifying for DIC, the veteran’s death must be related to their condition caused by Agent Orange exposure. Moreover, the survivors must also meet certain criteria, including marital status and income thresholds.

Health Care Benefits

Healthcare benefits for survivors are known as the Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs (CHAMPVA). This benefit covers a wide range of medical services, including doctor visits, prescription medicines, hospital stays, and preventive care.  

How to Apply for Benefits:

Applying for VA benefits as the spouse of a deceased veteran is different from VA disability claims. Here are the essential steps:

Gather Necessary Documents

Here are the important documents to support your claim –

  • Proof of Relationship: Marriage certificates that show that you were legally married to the veteran at the time of his death. 
  • Veteran’s Military Records: DD-214 form or similar paperwork or discharge documentation of the deceased veteran.
  • Veteran’s Medical Records: If available, medical records of the deceased veteran that documented his Agent Orange-related condition.
  • Death Certificate: The veteran’s death certificate clearly indicates the cause of death as it should be due to the service-connected disability.
  • Financial Information: Information about the spouse’s income, assets and expenses.

Choose the Appropriate Application Form

The specific benefits you are applying for will determine the type of application form you need to fill up. These are the primary application forms –

  • VA Form 21P-534EZ: This application form is for widows who are looking for Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) benefits from the VA. It covers DIC and death pension benefits. 
  • VA Form 10-10D: If you are applying for health care benefits, the 10-10D form should be the one to fill up. The form is dedicated to providing benefits through the Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs (CHAMPVA).

Complete the Application Form

Fill out the application form carefully with the right information. Make sure to follow the instructions as carefully as possible, as inaccurate applications may lead to delays in processing. 

Submit Your Application

You can submit your application online through the VA’s website or by mail. After applying for the benefits, you will be contacted by the VA.

Can Widows of Veterans Exposed to Agent Orange Receive Disability Benefits for Chloracne?

Widows of veterans exposed to Agent Orange may be eligible for disability benefits if their spouse had agent orange-related chloracne. The VA offers benefits to individuals affected by this skin condition, including surviving spouses, to help with medical treatment and financial support. The application process involves providing necessary documentation to establish eligibility for agent orange-related chloracne and va benefits.


Having to apply for survivor’s benefits while also grieving the death of a loved one may be too much to handle for many spouses, and for them, VA Disability Coach can be the right support for ensuring a successful claim.