Particulate matter is the technical term for dust, dirt, soot, smoke, and other solid particles or liquid droplets suspended in the air that can negatively affect a person’s health when they are inhaled. While some types of particulate matter can be seen with the naked eye, others are so small they are only detectible under an electron microscope.
Burn pits are the most common source of particulate matter exposure for military Veterans serving in the post-9/11 era. The military used these pits to dispose of several different types of waste, including rubber, petroleum, plastic, and ammunition. The fumes from these pits released toxic smoke into the air that has been linked to several respiratory conditions.
Receiving a Presumptive Service Connection After Particulate Matter Exposure
A presumptive service connection is beneficial when you’re applying for VA disability benefits because you won’t need to submit evidence proving your condition is the result of your military service. You will only need medical evidence that documents the severity of your condition.
The VA allows for a presumptive service connection if your service occurred in one of the following:
- Southwest Asia from August 2, 1990, to the present
- Afghanistan, Djibouti, Syria, or Uzbekistan from September 19, 2001, to the present
Additionally, you must have been diagnosed with chronic asthma, rhinitis, or sinusitis within 10 years of your military service in the qualifying area. If you were diagnosed with a different respiratory condition, you are still eligible for benefits. However, you will need to receive a service connection on a direct basis by submitting evidence that proves your condition can be linked to burn pit particulate matter or another event related to your service.
Get Help Accessing Your VA Disability Benefits
The process of accessing your VA disability benefits is often confusing, and many Veterans have questions about how the presumptive service connection affects their pending claim. If you believe you’ve been wrongfully denied the benefits you’ve earned in service of your country, the office of Sean Kendall, Attorney-at-Law, is here to help. Contact us today to schedule a free, no-obligation initial consultation.