Sheree Evans' husband, Edward, died of brain cancer eight years ago. Evans claimed his death was the result of exposure to Agent Orange in the Vietnam War. Initially, the benefits were denied with the VA claiming Edward Evans' specific type of brain cancer was not included on the list of Agent Orange-related health problems. Evans appealed that decision with the US Veterans Administration. Evans won her appeal—reportedly the first time the VA has admitted that Agent Orange could be linked to glioblastoma multiforme, the brain cancer that Edward Evans died of.
According to the News-Leader (02/17/11), the VA appeals board found there was as much evidence that Evans' brain cancer was a result of his exposure to Agent Orange as not. In such situations, the appeals board rules with the family and allows benefits.
That acknowledgement could mean that other veterans who have the brain cancer, or their survivors, could be eligible for VA benefits. It is not, however, a guarantee that veterans who were exposed to Agent Orange and have glioblastoma multiforme will receive those benefits.
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Meanwhile a proposed budget would give the Department of Veterans Affairs $58.8 billion for operational costs and a further $65.5 billion for veterans benefits. Of that, $208 million will increase benefits for people caring for veterans wounded in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, $270 would go to health issues affecting female veterans and $939 million will go to the VA's homelessness prevention programs, the Washington Post (02/15/11) reports.