"I have come to the conclusion that one useless man is a shame, two are lawyers and three or more are the government." -- John Adams (1735 - 1826)

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Thousands of veterans exposed to Agent Orange while serving in the United States will for the first time be eligible for fast-track disability benefits under plans unveiled by the Department of Veterans Affairs on Friday.

The move represents another major expansion of toxic exposure benefits for veterans, this time for individuals suffering from illnesses dating back to the Vietnam War era. The changes follow mandates included in the Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics Act — better known as the PACT Act — passed by Congress in August 2022.

Over the last two years, a combination of administration moves and new legislation opened access to disability benefits for millions of veterans who incurred injuries from burn pit smoke, radiation contamination and other military toxic exposure events.