VA to Create Benefits for Some Childhood Leukemia Victims

Apr 20, 2001, 01:00 ET from U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

    WASHINGTON, April 20 /PRNewswire Interactive News Release/ -- Hours after
 receiving a study that linked Agent Orange to a deadly form of childhood
 leukemia, Secretary of Veterans Affairs Anthony J. Principi ordered the
 Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to begin setting up benefits for these
 children.
     "The medical evidence is clear and persuasive that these illnesses are
 associated with the service of our men and women during the Vietnam War," said
 Principi.  "Equally clear is VA's responsibility to provide benefits and
 programs that meet the needs of these veterans and their families."
     Principi's decision affects the children of Vietnam veterans with acute
 myelogenous leukemia, a rare, deadly form of the childhood disease.  The
 Institute of Medicine (IOM) released a report April 19 that cited "limited or
 suggestive" evidence that a parent's exposure to Agent Orange during the
 Vietnam War may lead to a child contracting the disease.  About 500 to 1,000
 children of Vietnam veterans are believed to have the disease.
     Since VA has no legal authority to provide benefits for these children,
 Principi said he has obtained White House approval to ask Congress for
 legislation to create special benefits.  VA officials are determining what
 those benefits should be.
     In 1997, VA set up a program for the children of Vietnam veterans with
 spina bifida.  That program provides health-care benefits, vocational training
 and a monthly allowance based upon the severity of the illness.  About 940
 people with spina bifida are now receiving these VA benefits.
 
                     MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT -  Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X54666443
 
 

SOURCE U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
    WASHINGTON, April 20 /PRNewswire Interactive News Release/ -- Hours after
 receiving a study that linked Agent Orange to a deadly form of childhood
 leukemia, Secretary of Veterans Affairs Anthony J. Principi ordered the
 Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to begin setting up benefits for these
 children.
     "The medical evidence is clear and persuasive that these illnesses are
 associated with the service of our men and women during the Vietnam War," said
 Principi.  "Equally clear is VA's responsibility to provide benefits and
 programs that meet the needs of these veterans and their families."
     Principi's decision affects the children of Vietnam veterans with acute
 myelogenous leukemia, a rare, deadly form of the childhood disease.  The
 Institute of Medicine (IOM) released a report April 19 that cited "limited or
 suggestive" evidence that a parent's exposure to Agent Orange during the
 Vietnam War may lead to a child contracting the disease.  About 500 to 1,000
 children of Vietnam veterans are believed to have the disease.
     Since VA has no legal authority to provide benefits for these children,
 Principi said he has obtained White House approval to ask Congress for
 legislation to create special benefits.  VA officials are determining what
 those benefits should be.
     In 1997, VA set up a program for the children of Vietnam veterans with
 spina bifida.  That program provides health-care benefits, vocational training
 and a monthly allowance based upon the severity of the illness.  About 940
 people with spina bifida are now receiving these VA benefits.
 
                     MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT -  Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X54666443
 
 SOURCE  U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs