Benefits for Children with Birth Defects Covered by the VA
Health Care Benefits for Vietnam Veterans' Children with Spina BifidaSpina bifida is one of the potential birth defects affecting biological children of veterans who served in Vietnam between January 9, 1962 and May 7, 1975 or the Korean demilitarized zone (DMZ) between September 1, 1967 and August 31, 1971. As of October 10, 2008 the VA health care system now covers comprehensive health care for all medically necessary treatment for children with spina bifida. To obtain these benefits, applicants must file an application with the Denver VA Regional Office.
Health Care Benefits for Vietnam Veterans' Children with Other Birth DefectsWhen a biological child of a female Vietnam veteran was born with certain birth defects, the defects are presumed caused by military service if the mother was in Vietnam between February 28, 1961 and May 7, 1975. Children who qualify for benefits are entitled to health care related to their birth defect or any disability resulting from their birth defect. The care may come directly from the VA health care system or by contract through an arrangement with a health care provider.
Vocational Training Benefits for Vietnam Veterans' ChildrenMany of the birth defects suffered by children of Vietnam veterans exposed to Agent Orange result in disabilities that may impact their ability to work as adults. Therefore, the VA provides vocational training benefits to these veterans' children as long as the vocational goal is reasonable.
Monetary Allowances for Children with Birth Defects of Vietnam VeteransJust as disabled veterans must have a disability rating to determine the amount of monetary benefits they are eligible to receive monthly, children of Vietnam veterans follow a similar process. If the application for benefits is approved, the child will be assessed for a degree of disability and then awarded a monthly compensation benefit. The lowest disability rating will award a $100 monthly benefit while the highest level is awarded a $1,272 monthly benefit.
List of Covered Birth DefectsBoth male and female veterans may have passed Agent Orange contamination to their offspring, resulting in spina bifida. However, only children of female veterans born with the following conditions may be eligible for benefits:
- cleft lip and cleft palate;
- congenital heart disease;
- congenital talipes equinovarus (clubfoot);
- esophageal and intestinal atresia;
- Hallerman-Streiff syndrome;
- hip dysplasia;
- Hirschsprung disease (congenital megacolon);
- hydrocephalus from aqueductal stenosis;
- imperforate anus;
- neural tube defects;
- Poland syndrome;
- pyloric stenosis;
- syndactyly (fused digits);
- tracheoesophageal fistula;
- undescended testicle;
- and Williams syndrome.
Applying for Birth Defect BenefitsChildren of Vietnam veterans born with the listed birth defects must file the Application for Benefits for Certain Children with Disabilities Born of Vietnam and Certain Korea Service Veterans (VA Form 21-0304). Once complete, the form is filed with the Denver VA Regional Office. After receiving the application the VA will contact you with further instructions for obtaining a disability rating.