In the 90s and 2000s, the United States military used burn pits to dispose of various materials like human waste, jet fuel, trash, chemicals, paint, plastic and other products. Many of the soldiers who spent time around the burn pits have now developed cancers and lung diseases in their 20s and 30s. These soldiers have filed health insurance claims with the Veterans Administration (VA). Unfortunately, the VA has denied nearly 80% of the claims, declaring that they don’t have sufficient evidence to link the burn pits to the cancer and other diseases.
One VA official said that they’re still studying the possible correlation between the burn pits and the diseases. However, she claims that many veterans are declined veterans benefits because they apply 10 years after they were exposed to the burn pits. She points out that other issues could have caused the soldiers to develop cancer in that time period.
Some politicians have urged the VA to offer care to soldiers who were exposed to burn pits. Veterans have stated that information about burn pits is not widespread, and many doctors have never even heard of burn pits. As a result, many veteran advocates are striving for more research on the effects of burn pits and how they could potentially cause deadly diseases. They also urge the VA to offer assistance to these veterans, whose claims have largely been denied.
How can a veteran appeal a claim after it’s been denied?
If a veteran’s claim for disability benefits is denied, they might benefit from hiring an attorney. An attorney could help them appeal the decision by submitting more evidence or attending a hearing with a judge. The attorney might also help them collect evidence to prove that their health issues are directly caused by their military service.