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Update from Secretary of VA Affairs RE: new presumptives and new airborne exposures.



  • HadIt.com Elder



Toxic Exposures Announcement



Today, I announced two very important decisions that will affect millions of Veterans who served in the Vietnam War and in Southwest Asia, Afghanistan and Uzbekistan during the Persian Gulf War and after September 11, 2001. It is important to note that the process by which these decisions were made is just the first step; this will be an iterative, Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)-driven process to identify potential presumptions of service connection.


Many of our Nation’s Veterans have waited a long time for changes to presumptions of service connection for benefits, and I look forward to working with the VA Toxic Exposure team to implement changes such as the following as swiftly as possible.


The first decision concerns the addition of bladder cancer, hypothyroidism and Parkinsonism to the list of those conditions presumptively associated with exposure to Agent Orange. This implements provisions of the William M. Thornberry National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021 (P.L. 116-283), and VA will apply the provisions of court orders related to Nehmer v. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, which may result in an earlier date for entitlement to benefits for Veterans who served in the Republic of Vietnam during the Vietnam era. Vietnam era Veterans and their survivors, who previously filed and were denied benefits for one of these three new presumptive conditions, will have their cases automatically reviewed without the need to refile a claim and will receive a letter from VA on the status of their claim.


The second decision involves Veterans who served in Southwest Asia, Afghanistan and Uzbekistan during the Persian Gulf War and after September 11, 2001. After a thorough review of the scientific evidence around toxic exposures, including the report from the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine, I am directing initiation of rulemaking to consider creating presumptions of service connection for chronic respiratory conditions associated with exposure to airborne hazards during military service in Southwest Asia, Afghanistan and Uzbekistan during the covered periods of conflict, which may include asthma, sinusitis and rhinitis. Our approach to this process will be holistic, and we will base our decision on science, in fulfilling our responsibility to Veterans who may have suffered disability due to their service.


These decisions will affect millions of Veterans and families, and I encourage everyone in VA to always keep in mind the tremendous impact that we will be making in their health and quality of life as we go through these processes. I look forward to working with you as we further our goal of improving the lives of all Veterans.


For more information, please go here: Airborne Hazards and Burn Pit Exposures - Public Health (va.gov).




Denis McDonough

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As someone who has interstitial lung disease (and the doctors don't know how or where it came from), this is a step in the right direction. The VA denied my claim because there were no presumptives for this back in 2015. I wonder what this does for that now.

Thanks for sharing.

Sgt. Wilky

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  • HadIt.com Elder

Thanks  Brokensoldier for posting this info!

The VA has a lot on their plate-

the review of Blue Water Navy AO claims that now fall under Nehmer, and

the review of those AO claims identified above , as new AO presumptives-I assume they will review past denials...?

I am always concerned when VA states this:

 "will have their cases automatically reviewed without the need to refile a claim and will receive a letter from VA on the status of their claim."

The VA forgot widows like me and some Vietnam vets here, when they "reviewed" claims with denials of the 3 new  presumptives when IHD, Parkinson, and Hairy Cell B became AO presumptives ( 2010 I think/)

Good thing I filed my AO IHD death claim myself. 

They denied it at first saying my husband's SMRs revealed no IHD in his SMRS- and I whipeout a scathing CUE, the next day after I got that VA BS, telling this idiot that most Vietnam vets were still kids in Vietnam and would have never been inducted into the Mil at all of they had any form of heart disease. VA reversed and awarded. Violation of 38 CFR. 4,6.

I bet there are "millions" who could be affected by these decisions, but I also bet many vets and survivors , who were denied in the past for these types of claims, will never find out this news.

It should be on every main TV news station. But former Sec Wilkie only mentioned the Blue Water AO decision once, at Fox News.

My neighbor ,20 years retired,was upset that a civilian was picked to be the new VA Secretary, but us civilians see things far differently than the status quo sometimes.

I see AMU advertising here at hadit- and I was their first civilian graduate, with honors, every other enlisted student was on the GI bill, or maybe officers were using a different form of financial aid.I was first enrollment on DEA Chapter 35.


AMU Amerian Military University 



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