Department of Veterans Affairs Denies 78 Percent of Burn Pit Claims
Northville, MI (Law Firm Newswire) November 25, 2020 – In the nearly two decades since the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and the subsequent war in Iraq and Afghanistan, tens of thousands of VA disability claims related to burn pit exposure have been filed. According to VA records, up to 80 percent of them are denied.
Burn pits have been used for years at U.S. deployment locations in the Middle East and Asia, as far back as the Gulf War, to get rid of waste. Veterans say they burned human waste, electronics, jet fuel and more in them and that they were constantly exposed to the toxic byproducts produced by the burn pits. Now, many are sick with chronic conditions and cancers.
“Our concern with burn pits is that they will become the next Agent Orange,” said James G. Fausone, lead attorney at Legal Help for Veterans in Northville, Michigan. “Vietnam veterans who suffered for years from the effects of Agent Orange waited 40 years for the VA to do something for them. Many did not live to see it. Toxic exposure from burn pits cannot become the same scenario. The VA has a responsibility to take care of the men and women who bravely served this country.”
Most of the claims were denied because of lack of evidence linking health issues to burn pits. Veterans must prove a service connection to qualify for VA benefits unless their condition is on the VA’s list of presumptive conditions, health issues that have already been believed to be linked to military service.
Expanding the list of presumptive conditions is a long and expensive process. Currently only short-term effects of toxic exposure are recognized by the VA, like temporary eye, skin and respiratory irritation. However, a high number of veterans who were exposed to burn pits have experienced cancers, chronic lung issues and much more which, according to VA officials, are hard to link to service when the conditions take years to manifest.
More than 213,000 veterans have added themselves to the VA’s Burn Pits and Airborne Hazards Registry, voluntarily. The VA estimates that as many as 3.5 million veterans could have potentially been exposed to toxic substances from burn pits.
For more information on VA disability claims, visit https://www.legalhelpforveterans.com/. Legal Help for Veterans is a law firm run by veterans, exclusively for veterans, located in Northville, Michigan.Learn more at http://www.legalhelpforveterans.com Legal Help for Veterans, PLLC 41700 West Six Mile Road, Suite 101 Northville, MI 48168 Toll Free Phone: 800.693.4800