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VA - Health Care - Gulf War, Agent Orange and Ionizing Radiation Registry Program

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs > VA - Health Care - Gulf War, Agent Orange and Ionizing Radiation Registry Program


Program Description:

In 1978, VA set up a register of Vietnam veterans who were worried that they might have been exposed to dangerous herbicides during their military service in Vietnam. Beginning in that year, Vietnam veterans were offered an extensive medical examination to look for possible health effects resulting from exposure to the herbicides?aan exam that is still offered at all VA medical centers.

The ?°Agent Orange Registry?± is a computerized index of all of those examinations.

Since that time, we have also set up registries for Gulf War veterans as well as for veterans who were exposed to ionizing radiation and depleted Uranium.

Veterans are eligible for the registry exams ?°with no strings attached.?± If they??re found to have medical conditions associated with one of the categories of diseases associated with service covered by one of the registries, they will always be entitled to free treatment from VA for those conditions.

Further, they automatically qualify for enrollment in the VA health care system in Priority Group 6.


General Program Requirements:

For an understanding of the registry examinations, please see ?°Description?± below.

Registry examinations are not part of the Medical Benefits Package. You don??t have to apply for health care to get a registry exam. There are no length-of-service requirements, but you must have been discharged under other than dishonorable conditions.

Four groups of veterans are eligible for registry examinations.

Agent Orange Registry. These exams are available to?a

  • Any U.S. male or female 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.





Loan Terms:

Not Applicable


Application Process:

For more information, see the Program Contact Information below.


Program Contact Information:

For more information, you can call the Health Benefits Service Center at:

The following websites may be helpful:

Agent Orange Registry:


Persian Gulf Registry:


Ionizing Radiation Registry:



Managing Agency:

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

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