Program DescriptionVeterans who believe they may have been exposed to toxins or certain vaccinations with side effects are eligible to receive a voluntary medical assessment that will help the Veterans Administration (VA) track data on Veterans' health. Following examinations, Veterans who may have been exposed will be placed on exposure registries so that they can be alerted to long-term health problems related to their service. The examinations are completely voluntary, not required to receive any VA health benefits.
General Program RequirementsRegistry examinations are not part of the Medical Benefits Package. You do not have to apply for health care to get a registry exam. There are no length-of-service requirements.
Four groups of veterans are eligible for registry examinations.
Agent Orange Registry. These exams are available to-
- Any U.S. Vietnam era Veteran who served in the Republic of Vietnam between 1962 and 1975
- Any U.S. Veteran who served in Korea during 1968 or 1969
- Any U.S. Veteran who may have been exposed to dioxin, or other toxic substance in an herbicide or defoliant, during the conduct of military operation, or as a result of, the testing, transporting, or spraying of herbicides for military purposes.
Persian Gulf Registry. For these examinations, you must simply have participated in Operations Desert Shield, Desert Storm, and Iraqi Freedom.
Ionizing Radiation Registry. VA offers these examinations to any veteran who participated in a "radiation risk activity." These include:
- On site participation in a test involving the atmospheric detonation of a nuclear device.
- Participation in the occupation of Hiroshima or Nagasaki from August 6, 1945 through July 1, 1946.
- Internment as a Prisoner of War in Japan (or service or active duty in Japan immediately following such internment).
- Service at Department of Energy plants at Paducah, KY, Portsmouth, OH, or the K25 area at Oak Ridge, TN for at least 250 days before February 1, 1992.
- Service at Longshot, Milrow, or Cannikin underground nuclear tests at Amchitka Island, AK prior to January 1, 1974.
Depleted Uranium Registry. VA maintains two registries for Veterans who may have been exposed to depleted uranium. One is for veterans who served in the Gulf War, including Operation Iraqi Freedom. The second is for Veterans who served elsewhere, including Bosnia and Afghanistan.Generally, in order to receive VA benefits and services the Veteran/servicemember's character of discharge or service must be under other than dishonorable conditions (e.g., honorable, under honorable conditions, general). However, individuals receiving undesirable, bad conduct, and other types of dishonorable discharges may qualify for VA benefits depending on a determination made by VA.
Your Next StepsThe following information will lead you to the next steps to apply for this benefit.
Application ProcessTo receive a medical exam, contact your local VA Environmental Health Coordinator. Contact information for local health coordinators can be found at:
Program Contact Information
- Visit the Inquiry Routing & Information System (IRIS) website to search Frequently Asked Questions or ask a question on-line
- Call 1-800-827-1000
- Call 1-800-829-4833, if you are hearing impaired