Veterans who develop Parkinson’s disease and were exposed to Agent Orange or other herbicides during military service do not have to prove a connection between their disease and service to be eligible to receive VA health care and disability compensation.

About Parkinson’s disease

Parkinson’s disease is a degenerative brain disorder that leads to shaking, stiffness, and difficulty with walking, balance, and coordination.

Symptoms are: tremor or trembling in hands, arms, legs, jaw, and face; rigidity or stiffness of the limbs and trunk; slowness of movement; and impaired balance and coordination.

Many effective treatment options are available. Hear stories from Veterans living with Parkinson’s. Visit MedlinePlus to learn about treatment, the latest medical research, and more from the National Institutes of Health.

VA benefits for Parkinson’s disease

Veterans with Parkinson’s disease who were exposed to herbicides during service may be eligible for disability compensation and health care. Learn about VA specialty care for Parkinson’s disease.

Veterans who served in Vietnam, the Korean demilitarized zone or another area where Agent Orange was sprayed may be eligible for a free Agent Orange registry health exam.

Surviving spouses, dependent children and dependent parents of Veterans who were exposed to herbicides during military service and died as the result of Parkinson’s disease may be eligible for survivors’ benefits.

Research on Parkinson’s disease and herbicides

The Institute of Medicine of the National Academy concluded in its report “Veterans and Agent Orange: Update 2008” released July 24, 2009, that there is “suggestive but limited evidence that exposure to Agent Orange and other herbicides used during the Vietnam War is associated with an increased chance of developing Parkinson’s disease.”

As a result, VA recognized Parkinson’s disease as associated with exposure to Agent Orange or other herbicides during military service. VA’s final regulation recognizing this association took effect on October 30, 2010.