Adjust Font Size:

Exposure to burn pits may affect several different systems of the body and cause a variety of symptoms. Exposure may lead to fatal diseases such as various types of cancer and respiratory conditions.

U.S. Department of Labor Ruling

In February 2018, a judge with the U.S. Department of Labor ruled that exposure to open-air burn pits—frequently used by the military and its contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan to dispose of metal, rubber, chemicals, and other waste—was linked to the development of the plaintiff’s lung disease.  This decision, while it could help support some veterans’ cases, is not binding to the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Common Symptoms of Burn Pit Exposure

Burning hazardous materials and chemicals in open-air pits emits toxic substances and carcinogens that can cause a host of diseases, some severe and even deadly.

If you suffer from any of the symptoms or conditions below following burn pit exposure while in the military, you could be eligible for VA disability compensation:

  • Asthma
  • Chronic bronchitis
  • Constrictive bronchiolitis
  • Coughing that does not subside
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Heart conditions
  • Leukemia
  • Lung cancer
  • Pulmonary ailments
  • Reduced liver or kidney function
  • Skin cancer
  • Skin lesions
  • Stomach cancer
  • Throat infections

This list is not exhaustive, so if you have been diagnosed with a different condition that you believe is linked to burn pit exposure but does not appear above, you could still be eligible for service-connected compensation.

The VA’s Stance on Burn Pits

Even as evidence points in the direction of a link between burn pit exposure and various illnesses, VA has been slow to acknowledge a connection. As of May 2018, the VA.gov page dedicated to burn pits refers to the “temporary” irritation one can suffer from exposure but goes on to say that the symptoms usually disappear after your exposure is over.

The page also cites a nearly-decade-old report alleging that high allergen levels in places such as Iraq contribute more to lung problems than burn pit exposure does.

What this means is, when seeking VA disability benefits for a condition(s) related to burn pit exposure, you likely face an uphill battle. Our team of attorneys works to gather the most compelling evidence in support of your claim. This may include expert medical opinions and the latest medical research to prove to VA that your exposure to burn pits caused your current medical ailments.

Fighting for VA Disability for Burn Pit Exposure

To obtain VA disability compensation benefits for a medical condition caused by burn pit exposure on a direct basis, we must show three things to VA:

  1. A current diagnosis of a disabling condition;
  2. Evidence of an in-service injury, illness, or event; and
  3. A nexus, or link, between the two.

Diagnosis of a Disabling Condition

If you have a diagnosis of a disabling condition you believe to be caused by your exposure to burn pits while serving in the military, you already have the first thing you need to start the process of pursuing benefits from VA. Medical evidence, including diagnoses, lab reports, and doctors’ statements, help build your claim.

Establishing Service Connection

No matter what your disabling condition is, in most cases, to receive VA disability you must prove that it was caused by your military service. In the case of burn pit exposure, you must prove that your exposure to burn pits was at least as likely as not to have caused your disability. As mentioned, this can be challenging, as VA has not yet acknowledged the hazard posed by burn pits.

Call Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick LTD Today for a Free Case Evaluation

The team at Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick LTD is made up of experienced attorneys and advocates who have the knowledge and resources to fight for the benefits you deserve.  For a free case evaluation with a member of our team, call us at 800-544-9144.

« Return to the Veterans' Resource Center

SUGGESTED READING

OUR CLIENTS LOVE US, AND SO WILL YOU. SEE WHAT CCK CLIENTS HAVE TO SAY.

  • It has been one of the best legal experiences that I have personally encountered. Their follow up and their follow thru has been on perfect terms. Wow, they have given me a celebrity experience! Impressive! Read More » K. Nade, October 2017
  • These people are FANTASTIC!!! I highly recommend this firm to Veterans everywhere. Honest Legal Help like this is priceless and they are extremely skilled. So Satisfied with the results...5 stars!! Read More » Anonymous, October 2017
  • I cannot begin to say how grateful I am to this Firm. From the Class A staff to the Lawyers, there are no complaints. Everyone treated me fantastic!! After 30 yrs of fighting on my own, they were able to win my case in less than 15 months. Read More » C. Marie, September 2017
  • My case was initially rejected by the VA but with the thorough review by CC&K , the VA agreed with the case that CC&K made and awarded my initial rating of 30% retroactive to 1975. Read More » Edward M., September 2017
  • We had struggled for eight plus years, with the VA, and got nowhere. Our case was sent to CC&K and in less than one year, we were they won all his back pay and 100% rating. We could not be more pleased. We highly recommend this firm for anyone struggling with the VA. Read More » Anonymous, September 2017
  • I thought I could go it alone. I filed several disability claims through the VA only to be denied over and over again. I knew I needed help. I found that help with the law firm of Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick. They filed for me and won. Read More » Gene W., July 2017
  • I'm so glad we sought the help of CCK on my husband's VA claim. We had been going back and forth with the VA for 5 years on his claim without seeing any progress. Then we found CCK and the case was resolved in about a year! Read More » Sarah C., June 2017
  • I was fighting for my VA disability compensation for 10 years. I was ready to give up and then CCK took my case. I immediately felt at ease because they kept me informed every step of the way and there was so much less stress for me. Read More » Raul B., March 2017
  • Badge
  • Badge
  • Badge
  • Badge
  • Badge
  • Badge
  • Badge
To Top
Click to call
x

CONTACT US FOR A FREE CASE EVALUATION