For many years, the government has suspected the dangers related to burn pits were dangerous. Many former service members who were exposed to burn pits have contracted serious health conditions including cancer. The passage of the PACT Act expanded healthcare benefits to certain veterans who were injured after being exposed to burn pits.
At the Veterans Benefits Law Group, our lawyers can help you file a disability claim through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs if you were diagnosed with burn pit-related cancer. We will fight for you to receive the maximum benefits allowed by law. Contact our office today at (601) 414-3707 to schedule a free, no-obligation case evaluation. We proudly represent clients throughout Jackson, Mississippi.
What Are Burn Pits?
Burn pits are large areas used for burning trash. They are widely used in the military to dispose of waste including but not limited to petroleum, chemicals, paint, styrofoam, and more. After receiving multiple complaints of respiratory issues and other concerns potentially caused by exposure to toxic chemicals released in a burn pit, a study was launched.
In June 2014 launched by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) called the Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry helped to identify the wide ranging health effects of burn pits used in the military. With this information, the VA was eventually able to establish a set of presumptive conditions related to burn pit exposure.
What Are the Presumptive Conditions for Burn Pits?
In most cases when seeking a disability claim from the VA, you will need to prove that your condition was caused during your service. The VA, however, assumes that certain conditions were the result of a person’s service. These conditions are called presumptive conditions. If you have a presumptive condition, you do not need to prove that your condition was caused during your military service.
Cancers that are presumptive conditions of burn pits:
- Brain and head cancer
- Gastrointestinal cancer
- Lymphoma and melanoma
- Kidney cancer
- Neck and pancreatic cancer
- Reproductive and respiratory cancer
The PACT ACT greatly expanded the number of health conditions that the VA has determined are presumptive conditions related to burn pits. Certain locations have also been deemed presumptive locations, meaning that if you have a presumptive condition and were serviced there it is assumed that it caused you harm.
What Types of Chemicals Were People Exposed To?
Because of the wide variety of waste that was burned at burn pits on military sites abroad, it deeply impacted people’s lives.
Chemicals and toxins veterans were exposed to at military locations around the world:
- Hexavalent chromium
- Airborne hazards
The burn pits were utilized to get rid of many things including human waste. In addition to veterans, survivors may also be entitled to benefits through the VA if their loved one died as a result of a burn-pit-related cancer.
Your Rights If You Were Exposed to Toxic Chemicals From a Burn Pit
If you were exposed to toxic chemicals from a burn pit while you were serving this country, the PACT Act has expanded opportunities for disability coverage. Under the expansion, more veterans are eligible for VA health care and compensation. The VA has named several presumptive conditions related to burn pits. A presumptive condition prevents you from having to prove that your injury or illness was caused by your service.
Determining Eligibility for a VA Disability Claim
In order to be eligible for a VA disability claim related to toxic chemical exposure from a burn pit, you must meet certain criteria. The best way to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve is by retaining an attorney.
You may be eligible for compensation for burn pit-related cancer if you:
- Have received a diagnosis for an illness or other health condition that was caused by exposure to a toxic hazard;
- Were on active duty at the time of the exposure; and
- You did not receive a dishonorable discharge.
If you meet these three requirements, you might be able to file a claim for compensation. An attorney should review the case to ensure your eligibility and help decide all of your legal options. Compensation rights have been greatly expanded under the PACT Act for Gulf War era veterans and post-9/11 veterans. Speaking with an attorney can help make sure that you receive the benefits you deserve.
Contact Our Office to Schedule a Free Consultation
Were you diagnosed with burn pit-related cancer? You may be eligible to file a disability claim through the VA. Our firm can help you file the claim, working to make sure you receive the benefits you need. Do not delay; contact our office at (601) 414-3707 to schedule a free consultation.
Cases are accepted on a contingency fee basis meaning you pay nothing unless we win. Our legal team proudly represents veterans and their families throughout Jackson, MS and the surrounding areas.