90,000 ‘Blue Water’ Vietnam Veterans In Line For Disability Benefits After Justice Officials Drop Appeal

Military Times - The Department of Justice will drop its appeal of a federal court decision awarding disability benefits to tens of thousands of veterans who claim exposure to cancer-causing chemical defoliants while serving in the seas near Vietnam, handing advocates what appears to be a final legal victory.

In a filing with the Supreme Court Tuesday, Justice Department officials said they will not argue for overturning the Procopio vs. Wilkie decision from January which undid years of Veterans Affairs policy denying benefits to about 90,000 “blue water” Navy veterans.

Congressional Budget Office officials had estimated that awarding the benefits to the blue water veterans could total about $1.1 billion over 10 years, but VA officials in the past have estimated the total could rise to more than $5.5 billion.

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