On April 25, 2022, VA announced that nine new respiratory cancers are now presumed service-connected disabilities due to exposure to burn pits—or more accurately, fine particulate matter.
In a statement, VA Secretary Denis McDonough called the move overdue explaining, “Veterans who suffer from rare respiratory cancers associated with their service deserve the very best America has to offer, but they’ve had to wait for the care and benefits they deserved for far too long . . . that ends now.”
The nine new presumptive conditions are:
- Squamous cell carcinoma of the larynx
- Squamous cell carcinoma of the trachea
- Adenocarcinoma of the trachea
- Salivary gland-type tumors of the trachea
- Adenosquamous carcinoma of the lung
- Large cell carcinoma of the lung
- Salivary gland-type tumors of the lung
- Sarcomatoid carcinoma of the lung
- Typical and atypical carcinoid of the lung
Presumptive service connection is a unique type of service connection that, due to specific circumstance of a Veterans’ service, removes the requirement to provide VA with a link, or nexus, between your currently diagnosed condition and service.
To qualify for the above respiratory cancers, Veterans must have served any amount of time in the Southwest Asia theater of operations beginning August 2, 1990 to the present, or Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Syria, or Djibouti beginning September 19, 2001 to the present
If you have been diagnosed with one of these conditions, have additional questions or need help filing for service connection for exposure to burn pits, please contact our office by calling (404) 692-6494.