Exposure to particulate matter via burn pits is known to present certain health risks for Veterans. To help Veterans proactively monitor their health and to gain greater insight into which conditions may be service-connected, the VA created the Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry (AHOBPR) in 2014.
You are not required to participate in the registry in order to receive VA disability benefits. The process is separate from the Compensation & Pension (C&P) exam used to evaluate your claim for disability benefits. However, you can submit notes from the registry exam to support your VA claim if you choose to do so.
Criteria for Participation
Veterans can choose to participate in the registry if they were deployed to the Southwest Asia theater of operations after August 2, 1990, or Afghanistan or Djibouti on or after September 11, 2001. This includes deployments to Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Djibouti, Gulf of Aden, Gulf of Oman, Oman, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, waters of the Persian Gulf, Arabian Sea, and Red Sea. Operations and campaigns that qualify include Desert Shield and Desert Storm (ODS/S), Iraqi Freedom (OIF), Enduring Freedom (OEF), and New Dawn (OND).
Veterans do not currently need to be experiencing symptoms to participate in the registry, nor do they need to remember any specific instances of exposure to airborne hazards. The goal of the registry is to evaluate the potential for health issues.
How to Start the Process
If you wish to participate in the registry, visit the secure registry portal. You will need to log in using your DS Logon credentials issued by the Department of Defense (DoD). This helps to protect the security of your personal health information.
When you finish the online questionnaire, you are encouraged to print a copy for your personal records. After you complete the questionnaire, you will be invited to schedule an environmental health evaluation at the nearest VA medical facility. As with the Agent Orange Registry health exam, the purpose of this evaluation is to document your exposures and symptoms while identifying any potential areas of concern.
Do You Need to Speak to an Experienced VA Disability Benefits Attorney?
Veterans with conditions occurring as the result of burn pit exposure are entitled to monthly cash compensation and access to medical care. If you are struggling to access your VA disability benefits, the office of Sean Kendall, Attorney-at-Law, is here to help. Contact us today to schedule a free, no-obligation initial consultation.