Burn Pits – Exposure While In Iraq and Afghanistan

Unfortunately for many veterans, burn pits may be the “Agent Orange” of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Open burn pits were used throughout Iraq and Afghanistan to dispose of all sorts of trash, including among other things, vehicles and human waste.  Many veterans and military contractors were repeatedly exposed to the smoke and other fumes from this burning.

Dr. Anthony Szema’s Testimony About Burn Pits

The Veterans Administration has taken the position that there is insufficient evidence to show that there is any long term harm from this exposure.  However, Dr. Anthony Szema has testified that the materials being burned have been linked to a whole host of medical problems including neurological, reproductive and immune system disorders, liver and kidney diseases, and certain types of cancer.  Dr. Szema also mentioned that he noticed a trend in his practice of younger veterans developing “a variety of respiratory illnesses”.  You can read some of Dr. Szema’s testimony before the Senate Democratic Policy Committee here.

No Current Presumptions About Burn Pit Related Disabilities

When they file for disability compensation benefits, veterans who served in Vietnam receive a presumption that they were exposed to Agent Orange and that certain medical conditions were caused by Agent Orange exposure.  The same is true for individuals who served in Iraq and Afghanistan who develop certain medical conditions including chronic fatigue syndrome, certain gastrointestinal disorders, and figbromyalgia among others.  However, there are currently no presumptions for individuals who develop conditions as a result of exposure to smoke and fumes from burn pits.

Proving A Disability Related To Burn Pit Exposure

The lack of a presumption does not mean that you cannot receive disability compensation benefits for a medical condition developed as a result of burn pit exposure.  Instead, it just means that you will have to demonstrate a nexus between your service-connected exposure and the disabling medical condition.   Our firm handles applications for disability compensation benefits for veterans and appeals for the denials of those applications.  If you would like a free consultation with one of our attorneys accredited to represent veterans in disability compensation claims, simply complete the “Need Help” form on this page or call the phone number on the right side of this page.

Travis Studdard is an attorney who focuses on representing veterans in VA disability compensation claims.  He regularly writes about issues that are important to veterans and their families.

You can subscribe to his Veterans Disability channel on YouTube.

I saw Travis on some YouTube videos. It was the way he worded things, I just felt compelled to contact them about my situation, he seemed trustworthy. Travis told me he thought he could help me. I was hesitant, but proceeded. The claim process was long, but my claim was granted. They are organized and punctual. Jessica and Travis are a strong team. I feel the Lord led me to Perkins & Studdard. I consider Travis an advocate and friend. ThanksCorby Reese
It has been a pleasure working with Jason and firm, very knowledgeable and professional, He did awesome job to get settlement that I need for my workmen comp case which was fair in my case, cause the insurance company was trying low ball me and not give me nothing but Jason fix that ….I truly recommend Perkins&studdard any workmen comp case that you have and also want thank Tina also for helping me along this process Thank you Perkins&studdardjahbari swint
Thank you Jason and Tina for everything you've done. Much appreciated. Great law firm! Great results!! Thank you!!! (Austin and Valerie)Valerie Mellinger
Travis and the team working on my VA claim are awesome. I’m happy with their integrity and diligence on working on my claim.Chris “Greybeard” Mullennix
I can't express enough how great it was to work with Perkins Studdard. They are extremely knowledgeable, professional and keep you aware of everything happening with your case. Very friendly from the front office to Mr. Perkins. I would HIGHLY recommend Perkins Studdard!James Strickland
I recommend Travis for an Veteran that has been dealing with constant denial with claims. He also , cover cost for my nexus letter when I ran into financial troubles , that helped me win my case.edwin Cook
I highly recommend Travis Studdard to represent anyone looking to help with VA claims. The VA is very difficult to deal with when attempting to get benefits from service connected injuries, at least that's my experience. Travis and his team knows the VA system and the legal procedures to help you get what you deserve. Travis was kind and passionate with me throughout this process and therefore, I highly recommend this law firm to represent DAV's.Terry Hembree
Such an awesome team. They spoke to me like a person and helped me through every decision with knowledge.Kevin Collett
Highly recommend this firm. Did exactly what they said they were going to and fairly timely. The VA is sometimes extremely difficult to navigate but this took all the leg work away from me and got me the result I thought was fair.Andrew Boone
Amazing staff, very informed along with excellent communication. Within just a few weeks of work, Mr Studdard was able to make things happen that normally take years! Highly recommendJacob Sylvester

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