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.

Rita BarnesRita Barnes
00:03 20 Jan 22
This is a great group of people who really care about your well being. They all treated me as though I was family and helped me with my work comp case in more ways than the average would have.Thank you Jason and Thank you Tina! For doing an awesome job.
Cortex ButlerCortex Butler
18:09 29 Dec 21
I am a Veteran of United States Air Force and was awarded my first 30% in 1996 and have been fighting for my rating for 26 years I came to Perkins and Studdard in 2019 while my mom was in a terrible incident and was given to much anesthesia and through GODS Grace she was spared her life, She is disabled since 2018 and I have been struggling with my life and issues and yet I didn’t call the law firm every 10 minutes or call being rude anytime, I mentioned this as I got to know Jessica more than just a phone call and Mr Studdard was always available when not working on other cases or in court, They always called back and Never had to do a call back, My Review is Simple in Life there peaks and valleys and it doesn’t stop because you have issues, Perkins & Studdard took my case in 2019 in 2021 I received my 100% from VA, I Was Never Rude, I was Never Promised Success, I Was Never Lied too and I was Always Treated with Respect, Friendliness, and Kindness the Real Stuff not a (Money Thing) If You want a firm that Cares about the Client and will work on your case even through a pandemic, Will not lie, will not promise anything will communicate your case and will Give you their Best ALWAYS THIS IS THE Best Law Firm for VETS HANDS DOWN Perkins and Studdard THERE IS NO OTHER 100% we had 5 calls Total Case That’s Taking Care Of Business
annetteMomma nokesannetteMomma nokes
14:29 12 Sep 16
Jason and his paralegal Lisa were on point and on top of their game when it came to handling my worker's comp. injury case. I tried going it alone and the insurance carrier pushed me around. They denied extra physical therapy. They denied injections the doctor recommended to ease my pain. When I turned my case over to Jason things turned around, QUICK. They were at all times attentive and on top of my case. I cannot recommend Jason and his staff enough. If you are hurt at work, this is the firm you want on YOUR side.
Sheila KirklinSheila Kirklin
23:11 12 May 16
Jason Perkins, was my lawyer in a workers comp. case, my case has settled now, and I am very happy for all Jason and his office hard work on my case, he was always there to help me out with any questions that I had or help I needed. Jason is a excellent lawyer and if I ever need another one I would only go to Perkins,Because I believe they would be able to help me in any situation I am in need of..
Anna PabonAnna Pabon
23:16 13 Sep 15
I recommend Perkins Law Firm. Everyone I came in contact with there was very nice. Kim was very helpful and any time I had a question she made sure I got an answer. Ann Margaret really took the time to explain things to me.

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