By Jodee Dietzenbach
On August 2, 2021, the VA announced new presumptive conditions related to exposure to particulate matter. The VA will now begin processing claims for asthma, rhinitis, and sinusitis on a presumptive basis for Veterans who were exposed to particulates in Southwest Asia and certain other areas. For a Veteran to qualify, the condition(s) must also have manifested within 10 years of a qualifying period of service.
Veterans who served in the Southwest Asia theater from August 2, 1990 to the present may qualify. The Southwest Asia theater includes Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, the neutral zone between Iraq and Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, the Gulf of Aden, the Gulf of Oman, the Persian Gulf, the Arabian Sea, the Red Sea, and the airspace above these locations.
Veterans who served in Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Syria, or Djibouti beginning Sept. 19, 2001 to the present may also qualify.
The VA has expressed an interest in using a holistic approach to determining presumptives for toxic exposure going forward.
To file a new claim for benefits, go to VA.gov or contact a Veterans Service Organization (VSO). For a list of VSOs, see: https://www.va.gov/vso/
If you want help with a VA disability appeal, contact Jodee Dietzenbach for a free case evaluation at 563-583-9101.