Countless military personnel were exposed to burn pits, giant fires used to dispose of waste, while serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. Despite that fact that exposure can lead to dangerous illnesses, such as lung disease, the Department of Veterans’ Affairs has made it nearly impossible for those suffering from an exposure-related illness to win disability benefits.
A recent ruling by a judge under the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office for Workers’ Compensation Program, however, may pave the way for affected veterans to obtain justice.
Ruling Provides Relief for Private Contractor Suffering from Lung Disease
Veronica Landry’s case was part of the recent ruling. Landry, a private contractor, was exposed to burn pits while working in Iraq and developed lung disease upon her return home. The court found that her disease is related to burn-pit exposure.
The military community is hopeful that the court’s holding will push the VA, which, thus far, has offered only nominal assistance to the nearly 64,000 service members and retirees who were exposed to burn pits, to do more.
As Rosie Torres, founder of Burn Pits 360, stated, “I believe this is a case of common sense and victory for military contractors and we can only hope that the same common sense is applied to our military war heroes and their widows.”
Those Affected by Burn Pit Related Illnesses Should Apply for Disability Benefits Right Away
As the case above confirms, the dangers of burn-pit exposure should not be trivialized. If you are a veteran and you believe you are suffering from a burn-pit exposure related illness, we encourage you to apply for disability benefits right away. If you receive a denial or an unacceptable rating decision, do not worry - we are here to help. With decades of combined experience overturning VA denials, we are confident we can win you the benefits you are entitled to.
Once you have your initial decision, send us a note or give us a call at (877) 629-1712 so that we can discuss your options for an appeal. After all, you served, and you absolutely deserve your benefits.