Veterans sue over VA delay of Blue Water Navy Agent Orange claims until 2020

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This story was updated July 30, 2019 at 1:30 p.m.

A veterans nonprofit advocacy group has filed a lawsuit asking the court to lift a stay on Blue Water Navy Vietnam veterans' VA claims ordered by Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie.

The lawsuit from Military Veterans Advocacy Inc. was filed in the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals and asks the court to overturn a stay ordered by Wilkie July 1, following President Donald Trump signing the long-awaited Blue Water Vietnam Veterans Act. The stay effectively stalled the benefits many veterans exposed to Agent Orange thought they had finally gained with the passage of the recent bill after decades of fighting. 

The Veterans Benefits Administration and Board of Veterans Appeals were ordered by Wilkie to stay any decisions on claims for disability compensation based on service in the offshore waters of Vietnam beginning Jan. 9, 1962 and ending May 7, 1975, a memo obtained and first reported by Connecting Vets reads.