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Service-Connected Exposure

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Exposed to Burn Pits? Get Disability Compensation for Three New Fast-Tracked Conditions

Smoke rising from burn pit in Iraq

Burn pits have been described as the post-9/11 generation’s Agent Orange. During the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as much as 250 tons of trash a day were burned with jet fuel in huge pits the size of football fields, spewing toxic fumes and carcinogens into the air. Many veterans who worked and lived near toxic burn pits have gone on to develop cancer and respiratory diseases. Unfortunately, getting VA disability benefits for illnesses caused by burn pits has been an uphill battle for these vets. That looks to be changing. This month the VA created a fast-track to disability compensation...

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Jon Stewart Teams Up with Veterans Exposed to Toxic Burn Pits in Fight for Benefits

Jon Stewart Poses for Photo with Servicemember

Image credit: Office of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff for Public Affairs, CC license Jon Stewart is once again throwing his celebrity behind a campaign to pressure lawmakers to expand disability benefits, this time on behalf of veterans who operated near burn pits in Iraq and Afghanistan and later developed serious illnesses. You don’t have to agree with everything he says to recognize the comedian’s gift for getting to the heart of an issue in blunt terms. Last September, speaking at a press conference where lawmakers announced a bill that would fast-track benefits for veterans exposed to burn pits,...

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Everything Veterans Need to Know About Gulf War Syndrome

What Is Gulf War Syndrome? Gulf War Syndrome is a widely used term for a chronic multi-symptom illness that affects many veterans of the 1991 Gulf War. Soldiers deployed to the Persian Gulf were exposed to a staggering variety of toxic chemicals, infectious diseases and combat stressors. Thirty years on, nearly 1 in 3 of these veterans suffer from a host of debilitating symptoms, from chronic fatigue to cognitive impairments. You can’t get a diagnosis of Gulf War syndrome, because doctors can’t say with certainty what causes it from a medical standpoint, and symptoms vary widely from one veteran to the next....

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New Law Would Expand Agent Orange Presumptive List, Extending Benefits to Vietnam Veterans

Update: With the passage of the 2021 National Defense Reauthorization Act, Congress approved adding the three new medical conditions discussed below to the Agent Orange presumptive list. Thousands of Vietnam veterans who have suffered from bladder cancer, hypothyroidism, hypertension, and Parkinson’s-like symptoms related to Agent Orange exposure could soon be fast-tracked for benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs, thanks to a new law. The Fair Care for Vietnam Veterans Act of 2020, passed by an overwhelming majority in the Senate in late July, acknowledged the large body of scientific evidence suggesting that these diseases are associated with Agent Orange,...

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Understanding the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2019

Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2019

Photo by © Tim Page/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images On January 29, 2019, the Federal Circuit Court decided that when Congress passed 38 U.S.C. section 1116 they intended for “Republic of Vietnam” to include “the 12 nautical mile territorial sea of the ‘Republic of Vietnam’.” In doing so Court expressly rejected the VA’s “boots on ground requirement.” This means that tens of thousands of veterans are now entitled to the presumption of exposure of herbicides. If you feel that your case falls into this category, I urge you to call us immediately. Veterans serving in the Vietnam era experienced one of toughest battles...

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