VA reviewing ‘Blue Water’ Navy claims

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To right past wrongs, thousands of rejected Blue Water Navy benefits claims are under review by the Department of Veterans Affairs after being compelled by a court order.

The 60,000 sailors who served on ships in eligible waters off the coast of Vietnam and claim Agent Orange exposure stand to benefit from the reevaluation. DAV was instrumental in the passage of critical legislation in 2019 that entitled these sailors, known as Blue Water Navy veterans, to overdue veterans benefits, including compensation and health care.

Affected veterans whose claims were rejected because they didn’t serve with boots on the ground in Vietnam will be automatically reevaluated.

“Veterans don’t need to do anything to have their once-rejected claim reviewed,” said National Service Director Jim Marszalek. “The U.S. District Court in Northern California rightly realizes that many Blue Water Navy veterans have waited decades for justice, and time is running out.”

Since 2019, the agency has distributed nearly $1 billion in retroactive benefits based on more than 45,000 Blue Water veterans’ claims.

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