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Can I Get Disability Compensation for Burn Pit Exposure?

Published on June 2nd, 2020

The time has come for the United States military to accept responsibility for the ravages caused by its use of burn pits. Many veterans have become ill after exposure to burn pit smoke, but the VA claims that there is no conclusive evidence of a link between burning waste and long term health complications. Some veterans have been able to receive compensation for burn pit related conditions, but only after offering evidence of exposure and expert medical opinion showing a link between that exposure and the veteran’s illness.

At Jackson & MacNichol, we have helped veterans fight back against the VA and get the compensation they deserve for their exposure to burn pits. If you served in Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom, or Operation New Dawn, the success of your disability claim will depend on the strength of the medical evidence you provide. If the VA denied your claim for compensation, call us today at 1(800) 524-3339 for a free consultation about how a veterans disability lawyer can help with your appeal.

You Need Strong Evidence to Win a Burn Pit Compensation Claim

Since the VA denies the existence of long term health risks caused by burn pits, the VA does not presume a service connection for any of the conditions commonly associated with burn pit exposure. This means that if you have any of the following conditions, the VA will rule on your disability compensation on a case-by-case basis:

  • Chronic bronchitis
  • Constrictive bronchiolitis
  • Asthma
  • Brain, lung, and skin cancer
  • Leukemia and lymphoma
  • Headaches
  • Rashes
  • Ulcers
  • Heart problems
  • Sleep apnea
  • Weight Loss
  • Vomiting

The lack of any presumption requires you to come up with medical evidence showing that your condition was caused by burn pit exposure. You may be able to obtain this evidence from your primary care physician, but it will usually take a medical expert with knowledge about burn pits and their effects on veterans’ health. A veterans benefits attorney can help you find a medical expert whose testimony can give your case the boost it needs to succeed on appeal.

The United States Military is the world’s single largest polluter. Its use of burn pits in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Djibouti has put the lives of both soldiers and civilians at risk. The VA recognizes that breathing in fumes from burn pits can cause short term discomfort and even illness, but it’s official position is that the development of chronic respiratory conditions is more likely due to high levels of dust in these arid regions.

But the reality is that burning chemicals, feces, medical waste, vehicle parts, rubber, lubricants, paint, metals, and unexploded ordinance produces highly toxic fumes. The long term effects of exposure may be poorly understood, but it doesn’t mean that it does not cause medical problems. So if you served in an area with a burn pit, and you are experiencing debilitating and unexplained health conditions, you may qualify for disability compensation.

Strengthen Your Case on Appeal With a Veterans Benefit Lawyer

If your claim for disability compensation has been rejected, or if you are not satisfied with your disability rating, it may be time to call a lawyer. At Jackson & MacNichol, we can review your case and help you find the medical evidence required to succeed on appeal. We have a proven track record of winning cases at the Board of Veterans Appeals and the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. For a free consultation about your case, call us today at 1(800) 524-3339.


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