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Veterans Law

Institute of Medicine studies VA’s Burn Pit Registry

March 21, 2017
CCK Team members present at NOVA Spring 2017 conference|

VA’s Burn Pit Registry needs to be redesigned as it has too many shortcomings

The National Academy of Sciences recently published a study completed by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of VA’s Burn Pit Registry, known as the Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry (AH&OBPR).  Unfortunately, they found many faults and shortcomings with VA’s own registry.  The IOM, which is an independent organization, found issues with the presentation of the questionnaire itself and with the questions asked of Burn Pit victims on the questionnaire.

The IOM noted that VA asked questions irrelevant to the Burn Pit exposure veterans had faced.  For example, the registry asked for places of childhood residence and past non-military work history, while it limited questions about actual exposure. Additionally, the IOM found that the questionnaire was “poorly written.”  Some questions were ambiguous or potentially confusing, and some sections of the questionnaire were repetitive and lengthy.  The IOM found that these and other issues combined led to VA’s AH&OBPR having incomplete responses.  In conclusion, the IOM recommended that the VA’s Burn Pit Veterans registry be redesigned.

Environmental Exposure & Your VA Claim

At CCK, we are experts in disability compensation claims based on environmental exposure during military service.  We have recently reviewed numerous VA decisions that show VA Regional Office personnel do not understand the differences between exposure-related claims specific to OEF/OIF Veterans, such as those from burn pits, and claims under VA’s original Persian Gulf War regulation, such as an undiagnosed illness. The distinction is extremely important.  Failing to understand the difference could be detrimental to your claim.  Click here for a detailed analysis that explains the important differences.


About the Authors

*Kerry Baker is a service-connected, combat-disabled veteran of the United States Marines.  He advocates for his fellow veterans as a non-attorney VA appellate practitioner at Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick.  Kerry served in the Marines from 1987 to 1998.  He was deployed all over the world, including conflicts in Panama and Somalia, as well as the Persian Gulf War in which he served in both Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm.  Kerry is one of the Nation’s most respected experts in the field of Veterans’ Benefits.

*Jessica Hays is an experienced claims advocate at Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick.  She holds a B.A. in History and is an Accredited Department of Veterans Affairs Claims Agent.  Jessica has helped many CCK clients with their VA disability claims.