Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act

The Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act is a landmark legislation signed on June 25, 2019. It is also known as Public Law 116-23.

This law has big implications for veterans who served offshore of Vietnam and in other designated zones, as it has allowed Blue Water Navy Veterans to be entitled to a presumption of service connections for Agent Orange exposure. 

In this article, we will explain important aspects of the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act and how you could get benefits from this law. Let’s get started –

Eligibility Criteria 

Only certain veterans are eligible for a range of support and benefits under the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act. To qualify for benefits under this law, you have to meet one of these criteria –

  • Service Offshore of Vietnam: If you are a veteran who served offshore of Vietnam between January 9, 1962, and May 7, 1975, you will be eligible for the benefits brought by the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act. Those who served on vessels in the water surrounding Vietnam during this time frame may be covered. 
  • Service in or Near the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ): In addition to Vietnam service, veterans who served in or near the Korean Demilitarized Zone between September 1, 1967, and August 31, 1971, are also covered by this act. 

Presumption of Service-Connection

“Presumption of service connection” is one of the significant features of the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act. Under this act, a number of disabilities in eligible veterans are presumed to have been caused by the circumstances of their military service.

Therefore, if you are a veteran who served in the offshores of Vietnam or the specific criteria we mentioned and have been diagnosed with a condition related to herbicide exposure (such as specific types of cancer), the VA will presume that your condition is likely linked with your time in the service. 

Due to this presumption, eligible veterans can receive a range of benefits, including health care and disability compensation.

Agent Orange Presumptive Conditions

Here are the presumptive conditions related to Agent Orange exposure –

  • AL amyloidosis
  • Porphyria cutanea tarda
  • Prostate cancer
  • Chloracne, or other acne form disease consistent with chloracne
  • Hodgkin lymphoma, formerly known as Hodgkin’s disease
  • Chronic B-cell leukemias
  • Non-Hodgkin lymphoma
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Respiratory cancers (lung, bronchus, larynx or trachea)
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Soft-tissue sarcoma (other than osteosar-coma, chondrosarcoma, Kaposi’s sarcoma, or mesothelioma).
  • Peripheral neuropathy, early-onset
  • Diabetes mellitus, Type 2
  • Ischemic heart disease


If you are a veteran who recently got diagnosed with one of the Agent Orange presumptive conditions mentioned above, you may be entitled to benefits from the VA. Experts at VA Disability Coach can help you make your claim to the VA and get a successful disability rating through proper evidence.