Veterans who served in Southeast Asia – primarily referred to as Iraq and Afghanistan veterans – and other surrounding areas may now be approved for veteran’s benefits if they are suffering from specific conditions. The VA has announced that it has begun processing claims as early as Aug. 2 for veterans dealing with asthma, rhinitis, and sinusitis, presuming that the conditions were caused by exposure to particulate matter.
Benefits for Burn Pit Veterans of Iraq
Specifically, the particulate matter concerns burn pits used to eliminate certain kinds of waste in the Southeast Asia theater, beginning in August of 1990. The Asian theater refers to Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, the Gulf of Aden, the Gulf of Oman, the Persian Gulf, the Arabian Sea, the Red Sea, and associated airspace.
Benefits for Burn Pit Veterans of Afghanistan
Similarly, burn pits of this kind were also used in Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Syria, and Djibouti, starting in September of 2001. It has been determined that any veterans serving in these areas from these dates to the present may have been exposed to harmful particulate matter and therefore may have valid claims if they suffer from certain conditions.
A Win for Burn Pit Suffering Veterans
For years, veterans exposed to burn pits have been pleading to be included in the regular benefits process with the VA. But, the department continued to hold that there was not enough evidence linking the burn pits to the health conditions the veterans were experiencing.
The burn pits in these countries during wartime were used to eliminate garbage, paint, jet fuel, medical waste, plastic, and more. Many veterans positioned near or adjacent to these pits have since come down with severe breathing problems and even have been diagnosed with cancer and other major respiratory issues.
The announced breakthrough of conditions for veterans that were exposed during these times is a win. It allows these veterans a much easier path to benefits. Previously, these veterans could get access to benefits, but not without an arduous approval process that only some were approved for.
Thanks to House and Senate lawmakers that fought for the passage of two significant bills that addressed veterans dealing with issues from toxic exposure, the path to benefits just got a lot easier.
Milwaukee Attorney for Burn Pit Veteran Benefits
Even though the process of getting approved for benefits for burn pit veterans got easier, it doesn’t mean it is a guarantee. Depending on your situation, you still may still have trouble getting approved, which is why it is important to have an attorney on your side when applying – or if you’ve already been denied.
If you have questions about veteran’s benefits or need help with the application process, don’t hesitate to contact Tabak Law.