You may be eligible for newly enacted service-connected benefits. Over the course of the last six months, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has begun processing service-connected disability claims for six new presumptive conditions related to environmental exposures during military service. We request your help in making more Veterans aware of these newly added presumptive conditions to help them file a claim and obtain any earned benefits. In May 2021, VA started implementing provisions of the William M. Thornberry National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021 (NDAA), adding bladder cancer, hypothyroidism, and Parkinsonism to the list of medical conditions presumptively associated with exposure to Agent Orange. A few months later VA added asthma, rhinitis, and sinusitis (to include rhinosinusitis) on a presumptive basis based on particulate matter exposures during military service in Southwest Asia and certain other areas.
Any Veteran who was previously denied service connection for any of these six conditions but had symptoms manifest within 10 years of military service would need to file a supplemental claim. Be sure to use VA Form 20-0995, Decision Review Request: Supplemental Claim when filing. The claim form should include the name of the condition and specify that the condition is being claimed due to in-service exposure to environmental hazards.
VA is committed to assisting Veterans who may have been exposed to hazardous materials during their military service. Be sure to stay plugged into www.va.gov for the most recent developments around environmental exposures during military service, as VA is constantly conducting research and surveillance as well as reviewing the scientific literature for conditions that may be related to exposure during military service.
For more information about VA benefits and eligibility, or how to file a claim, Veterans and survivors can contact our service officer on the Contacts menu above.