Veterans Benefits Information guide to VA benefits

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Home Agent Orange Agent Orange: Diabetes Mellitus (Type 2)

Agent Orange: Diabetes Mellitus (Type 2)

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Veterans who develop type 2 diabetes mellitus and were exposed to Agent Orange or other herbicides during military service do not have to prove a connection between their disease and military service to be eligible to receive VA disability compensation and health care benefits.

About Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus

Diabetes is a chronic disease that affects the body's ability to use blood sugar for energy. In type 2 diabetes mellitus, the body does not produce enough insulin or the body's cells ignore the insulin.

Signs and symptoms of diabetes type 2 (untreated) are: blurry vision, excessive thirst, fatigue, hunger, frequent urination, and weight loss.

Risk factors for diabetes type 2 include: age over 45 years, family history and genetics, sedentary lifestyle, unhealthy eating habits, obesity, and gestational diabetes.

Visit Medline Plus* to learn about diabetes treatment, the latest medical research and more from the National Institutes of Health.

Prevent Diabetes Type 2

Here’s how: Work on losing extra pounds because being overweight is the single biggest risk factor for developing type 2 diabetes. Exercise 30 minutes a day and eat a low-fat, high-fiber diet. Go to to learn more about healthy living.

Research on Diabetes and Herbicides Used in Vietnam

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academy of Sciences concluded in its 2000 report "Veterans and Agent Orange: Herbicide/Dioxin Exposure and Type 2 Diabetes"*† as well as in 2002 and 2004 updates, that there is limited/suggestive evidence of an association between exposure to herbicides and type 2 diabetes.

View more research on health effects of Agent Orange.

VA Benefits for Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus

Veterans with type 2 diabetes mellitus who were exposed to herbicides during military service may be eligible for disability compensation and health care benefits.

Veterans who served in Vietnam 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 type 2 diabetes mellitus may be eligible for survivors' benefits. 

Contact VA about Benefits

By Telephone

  • Toll-free Helpline: 1-800-749-8387 Press 3
  • Agent Orange Registry Health Exam: Call your local VA Environmental Health Coordinator
  • Health Care: 1-877-222-8387
  • Compensation and Other Non-Health Care Benefits: 1-800-827-1000
  • TDD (for hearing impaired): 1-800-829-4833

In Person

  • Health Care and Agent Orange Registry Health Exam: Go to your nearest VA health care facility.
  • Compensation Benefits and Other Non-Health Care Benefits: Go to your nearest VA benefits office.

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Did you know?

The issuance or replacement of military service medals, awards and decorations must be requested in writing.

Requests should be submitted in writing to the appropriate military service branch division of the NPRC. Standard form (SF 180), available through the VA, is recommended to submit your request. Generally, there is no charge for medal or award replacements. For more information, or for the mailing address of the military branch office to submit your request to, call 1-86-NARA-NARA (1-866-272-6272) or visit the NPRC website at