Why Do Veterans Struggle to Get Benefits for Burn Pit Exposure?

It is estimated that around four million veterans are currently living with the effects of burn pit exposure, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs. In theory, most or all of these veterans are eligible for disability benefits through the VA, but many of them must fight hard to be able to access those benefits. So why do veterans struggle to get benefits for burn pit exposure?

What is Burn Pit Exposure?

In simple terms, burn pit exposure is when someone suffers from toxic side effects as a result of breathing in smoke from burn pits. These burn pits were commonly used by the military to dispose of various types of waste, some of which are unsafe for humans. People who suffer from this issue often struggle with negative health consequences years after their military service, with the effects often not showing up until long after they have retired.

How Do Veterans Get Exposed to Burn Pits?

Generally speaking, burn pit exposure occurs in veterans when they serve in the military, due to the smoke from the pits blowing downwind. Given how common these burn pits are, or were, it can become nearly unavoidable for someone to be exposed to the toxic chemicals disposed of by the pit. However, even people who have never served in the military in an official capacity may suffer negative health consequences as a result of being too close to burn pits.

What Are the Effects of Burn Pit Exposure?

Due to the sheer variety of substances involved in burn pit exposure, it is nearly impossible to list all the potential health effects. However, broadly speaking, many veterans suffering from this problem have been found to have a high incidence of otherwise rare medical conditions, such as certain types of cancer, as well as Parkinson’s disease. As a general rule, however, it requires a formal medical exam to determine if a specific condition may have been the result of exposure to toxic burn pits.

What Should You Do?

If you are a veteran who suffered from burn pit exposure, you should make sure to speak to a doctor as soon as possible, if you have not already done so. You should also speak to a lawyer with experience handling veterans disability claims. They can help guide you through the process of obtaining benefits and ensure you get the help you need for your condition.

The attorneys of Sullivan & Kehoe place a special focus on assisting disabled veterans. Our veterans’ disability lawyers are still available for remote consultation on your legal issues. Call our office at (800) 395-7830 to schedule a consultation in our New York City, Garden City, Kings Park, Riverhead, or White Plains office, or visit our contact page.

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