New Presumptive Conditions for Burn Pit Victims

August 08, 2021

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On August 2nd, the VA began processing disability claims for asthma, rhinitis, and sinusitis due to presumed burn pit exposure during military service. This applies to veterans who served in Southwest Asia and certain other areas. To qualify, your conditions must have started within 10 years of your separation from active duty.

Asthma is a condition in which a person’s airways become inflamed, narrow and swell, and produce extra mucous, making it difficult to breathe.

Rhinitis is inflammation of the mucous membrane of the nose, caused by a virus infection – common cold – or an allergic reaction – hay fever.

Sinusitis is a condition in which the cavities around the nasal passages become inflamed.

VA implemented a new internal process for reviewing scientific evidence to support their rulemaking. The scientific evidence came from a National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine report, which recommended the new presumptions of service connection.

The VA study concluded that burn pit exposure is associated with chronic asthma, rhinitis, and sinusitis for veterans who served in the Southwest Asia theater of operations beginning August 2nd, 1990, to the present, or Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Syria, or Djibouti, beginning September 19, 2001, to the present. This review also found sufficient evidence to presume that these veterans have been exposed to burn pit toxins.

The Southwest Asia theater of operations refers to:

  • Iraq
  • Kuwait
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Neutral zone between Iraq and Saudi Arabia
  • Bahrain
  • Qatar
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Oman
  • Gulf of Aden
  • Gulf of Oman
  • Persian Gulf
  • Arabian Sea
  • Red Sea
  • And the airspace above these locations

If you’re a veteran or surviving spouse that meets the criteria we’ve discussed today, please contact Legal Help For Veterans, PLLC at (800) 693-4800, we would be happy to discuss your claim and the next steps.