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New Federal Law Expands Benefits To Veterans Exposed To Burn Pits And Toxic Substances, Allsup Reports

·3 min read

More than 20 toxic-exposure related conditions are now listed as presumptive making the application process more favorable to veterans

Brett Buchanan, Director, Allsup Veterans Disability Appeals Services®

“This is a major step in recognizing the serious illnesses and life-altering conditions veterans are facing after long-term exposure to burn pits while serving, said Brett Buchanan, director, Allsup Veterans Disability Appeal Services®.
“This is a major step in recognizing the serious illnesses and life-altering conditions veterans are facing after long-term exposure to burn pits while serving, said Brett Buchanan, director, Allsup Veterans Disability Appeal Services®.

Belleville, Illinois, Aug. 26, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- President Joe Biden has signed into law the bipartisan Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act of 2022, expanding healthcare and benefits for veterans exposed to burn pits during their military service. PACT acknowledges that the burn pit exposure has resulted in more than 20 toxic-exposure related conditions, according to Allsup, a nationwide provider of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) representation and veterans disability appeal services.

Considered to be perhaps the largest healthcare and benefits expansion for veterans from the Gulf War era and those who served in Afghanistan and Iraq, the law designates the medical conditions as “presumptive.” A presumptive condition does not require proof that military service caused the condition, only service in countries where burn pits were used. 

“This is a major step in recognizing the serious illnesses and life-altering conditions veterans are facing after long-term exposure to burn pits while serving, said Brett Buchanan, director, Allsup Veterans Disability Appeal Services®.

“Now that the PACT Act has been signed into law, the next phase begins of drafting and finalizing key regulations,” Buchanan added.  Once the regulations have been established and the law is enacted, 13 toxic-exposure related conditions will be recognized immediately, including:

  • Asthma

  • Brain cancer

  • Chronic rhinitis

  • Chronic sinusitis

  • Constricive bronchiolities or obliterative bronchiolitis

  • Emphysema

  • Glioblastoma

  • Granulomatous disease

  • Interstitial lung disease

  • Pleuritis

  • Pulmonary fibrosis

  • Respiratory cancer

  • Sarcoidosis

“However, the remaining presumptive conditions will be phased in over the next few years starting in October 2023 through 2026. Even with the addition of these 20 presumptive conditions resulting from burn pit and toxic exposures, the effective dates of claims will be subject to the new Veterans Affairs (VA) regulations,” Buchanan added.

October 1, 2023

  • Chronic Bronchitis

  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

October 1, 2024

  • Gastrointestinal cancer of any type

  • Head cancer of any type

  • Lymphoma cancer of any type

  • Lymphomatic cancer of any type

  • Neck cancer of any type

  • Pancreatic cancer

  • Reproductive cancer of any type

October 1, 2025

  • Melanoma

  • Kidney cancer

“The VA application and appeals processes can be complex and lengthy. While this important new law recognizes the damage from burn pit exposure, applications will continue to be denied for any number of reasons. Or if approved, the benefit rating may be inadequate or insufficient. Veterans need skilled professionals who understand the inner workings of the VA department to help them appeal denials and ultimately receive their benefits,” Buchanan said.

Allsup’s VA-Accredited Claims Agents help veterans choose which of the three appeal options are best, based on the individual’s specific situation. They’ve guided veterans from all service branches through this appeals process, helping them secure monthly income, survivor benefits, more access to VA healthcare services and many other vital benefits.

Veterans can contact Allsup for confirmation of their service-connected disability and assistance in determining which path to pursue with their VA disability appeals by clicking here to request a call; or call 1-888-372-1190, Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. CT.

About Allsup 

Allsup and its subsidiaries provide nationwide Social Security disability, veterans disability appeal, return to work, and healthcare benefits services for individuals, their employers and insurance carriers. Allsup professionals deliver specialized services supporting people with disabilities and seniors so they may lead lives that are as financially secure and as healthy as possible. Founded in 1984, the company is based in Belleville, Illinois, near St. Louis. Learn more at Allsup.com/veterans and @Allsup.

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CONTACT: Rebecca Ray Allsup (618) 236-5065 r.ray@allsup.com Samantha Fernandez Pinkston (703) 946-0326 samantha.fernandez@pinkston.co