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March 15, 2016

Cold War/Peace Time Veterans Information Page


The Cold War generally refers to the period of tension between the U.S. and its allies and the Soviet bloc from the end of World War II in 1945 until the collapse of the Soviet Union in the 1990s. A major fear of the Cold War was nuclear war with associated health concerns about exposure to ionizing radiation. Approximately 200,000 US service personnel performed occupation duties in Hiroshima and Nagasaki following the atomic bombing of Japan and a similar number of service members participated in atmospheric nuclear weapons tests from 1945 to 1962.

VA Benefits for Cold War / Peace Time Veterans

Vietnam Veterans may be eligible for a wide-variety of benefits available to all U.S. military Veterans. VA benefits include: disability compensation, pension, education and training, health care, home loans, insurance, vocational rehabilitation and employment, and burial. See our Veterans page for an overview of the benefits available to all Veterans.

Information for Cold War / Peace Time Veterans

The following sections provide information tailored to the experiences of Vietnam War Veterans to help you better understand specific VA benefits for which you may qualify.

Benefits for Cold War / Peace-Time Veterans Exposed to Ionizing Radiation

Cold War / Peace-Time era Veterans may qualify for health care and compensation benefits if you were exposed to ionizing radiation during military service. Health care services include an Ionizing Radiation Registry health exam and clinical treatment at VA’s War Related Illness and Injury Study Centers. You may also be entitled to disability compensation benefits if you have certain cancers as a result of exposure to ionizing radiation during military service.
Learn more about VA benefits for Veterans Exposed to ionizing radiation:

Benefits for Survivors of Veterans

The Veterans Benefits Administration offers a variety of benefits and services to spouses, children, and parents of Servicemembers and Veterans who are deceased or totally and permanently disabled by a service-connected disability.
Learn more on the Dependents & Survivors page.

How to Apply

The specific VA benefit or program web page will provide tailored information about how to apply for a particular benefit or program. Generally, Servicemembers, Veterans, and families can apply for VA benefits using one of the methods below.

Apply online using eBenefits