Studies have shown that the children of Vietnam Veterans exposed to Agent Orange may still be experiencing health concerns and other lasting effects. They may be eligible for children of Vietnam Veterans’ health alliance benefits and even a children of Vietnam Veterans scholarship!
There are many resources available for the children of Vietnam Veterans, but if you aren’t aware of the resources, you could be missing out! If you’re interested in what benefits you may be eligible for, this article is a must-read!
Who Qualifies for Children of Vietnam Veterans Benefits?
Veterans benefits are reserved for those who personally served or are family members of those who served in the American armed forces. There are many possible benefits, but the most common are:
- Health Care
- Help Purchasing a Home
- Income for Veterans Disabled in Service
- Pension for Low-Income Wartime Veterans
- Burial in a National Cemetery
As a child of a Vietnam Veteran, there are additional benefits available since their family members were exposed to Agent Orange. To receive these benefits, you need to have a parent who served in Vietnam. Whether on foot, on a ship that served in the Vietnamese waterways, or a docked ship.
The Department of Veterans Affairs is regularly updating what “service in Vietnam” means, so it’s important to check back regularly to see if you qualify.
9 Helpful Resources for Children of Vietnam Veterans Benefits
If you’ve never investigated your potential benefits or tried to apply, you may be surprised at how easy it is to receive them. This list of resources can help you start to obtain benefits that can improve your quality of life!
1. Sons & Daughters of the Vietnam War, The National Vietnam War Museum
If you’re interested in a unique opportunity available only to the children of Vietnam Veterans. Membership requires that you’re either:
- A direct, lineal descendant of a Vietnam Veteran who served honorably and can provide proof.
- An associate who has an interest in the organization’s mission
2. Birth Defects in Children of Vietnam and Korea Veterans
If your parent’s exposure to Agent Orange resulted in a birth defect, there are resources available by the Department of Veterans Affairs can offer compensation, health care, and even vocational training.
3. Children of Vietnam Veterans Health Alliance
The COVVHA program offers a voice for the direct descendants (up to the third generation) of those affected. This company aims to empower people to hold the companies and governments responsible for the exposure responsible.
4. Children of Vietnam Veterans Health Alliance Scholarship
COVVHA also offers a scholarship based on needs and specific criteria. One must fill out an application and meet the following:
- You must be a United States Citizen
- You need to be a direct descendent (child, grandchild, great-grandchild, etc.) of a Vietnam Era Veteran, honorably discharged from the military
- You need to obtain your relatives DD-214
- Proof of relation (birth or marriage)
5. Vietnam Veterans of America
This VVA self-help guide can help you receive service-connected disability compensation based on your relative’s exposure to Agent Orange. This guide can help you understand your rights, possible benefits, and programs you could be eligible for all on your own!
6. Children of the Women Vietnam Veterans Health Care Benefits Program
The CWVV provides benefits specifically to the children of Women Vietnam Veterans who have birth defects. The program offers reimbursement for covered birth defects and conditions. If you were born with a defect of a woman who served in the Vietnam War, you might be eligible for this program!
7. Benefits for the Children of Vietnam Veterans Exposed to Agent Orange
As a child of a Vietnam Veteran born between 1960-1970, you may have experienced birth defects due to your parent’s exposure to the toxic herbicide in Agent Orange. This help group is available to those who fall within the following criteria:
- A biological child of a Vietnam or Korean War Veteran
- Experienced a birth defect that has resulted in a permanent mental or physical disability
- Have proof that your parent or both parents served between 1962–1975 in Vietnam or in/near the Korean zone in 1967–1971
- Conceived after your Veteran parent first entered Vietnam or Korean demilitarized zone
8. Spina Bifida Health Care Benefits Program
This program covers almost all the health care services and supplies required for those suffering from Spina Bifida caused by the side effects of the Vietnam war service. To be eligible for this program, your birth mother or father must have:
- Served in Vietnam between 1962–1975, OR
- Served in or near the demilitarized zone in Korea between September 1, 1967, and August 31, 1971
The program doesn’t stipulate the nature of your parent’s discharge from military service or the length of time they were in the military.
9. Children of Vietnam Veterans Scholarship
This resource offers a variety of scholarships for children of Veterans of Vietnam. These can help alleviate the financial strains of higher education. If you’re already in school or planning to enroll soon and you’re the child of a Vietnam vet, you should take advantage of as many scholarships as possible!
Where to Start
If you were affected by birth defects, mental or health limitations, or other debilitating factors based on your parent’s military service, you don’t have to do it alone. The Department of Veterans Affairs and many other organizations offer several different benefits you may use to help yourself succeed long term.
Children of Vietnam Veterans have unfortunately been faced with long term issues, and you may still be dealing with these problems today. If you have questions or want to learn more about what you may be eligible for, you can request assistance today. For more information or advice, or to volunteer to help us support Veterans, contact us!
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The worst part of war should not be coming home.