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VA Adds Six New Presumptive Conditions Related to Service

WASHINGTON —

Over the course of the last six months, the Department of Veterans Affairs has begun processing service-connected disability claims for six new presumptive conditions related to environmental exposures during military service.

In May 2021, VA started implementing provisions of the William M. Thornberry National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021, 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. Officials advise using 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 because of in-service exposure to environmental hazards. 

Officials also advise veterans to stay plugged in to http://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 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 visit VA’s website at www.va.gov or call toll-free at 1-800-827-1000.

(Courtesy of VA)

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