The Department of Veterans Affairs has updated its list of presumptive symptoms, which include asthma, rhinitis, and sinusitis. Apparently, the VA thinks that the long-term effects of exposure to burn pits is a problem so they threw the Afghanistan Veterans a bone.
00:00 VA has announced new presumptive conditions for Afghanistan Veterans
1:16 What gets thrown into a burn pit?
3:54 Presumptive conditions related to particulate matter exposure
5:28 VA says they will file a presumptive VA claim for you 😝
7:13 VA understands that veterans are concerned about burn pit exposure
Presumptive status for a disease means that a veteran can simply say “I served in Afghanistan” and it is sufficient proof to receive disability benefits. Presumptive status does not have to be proved. Presumptive status is why you see horror stories of veterans receiving the maximum benefit amounts for everything from PTSD to Agent Orange exposure without any proof that their condition was a result of their service. Presumptive status can be a double-edged sword though, as it is a way for the VA to deny claims quickly and prevent applicants from being subjected to red tape. Presumptive status also allows veterans to receive compensation very quickly after filing their claims.
In this case, presumptive status means that if you served anywhere in the Middle East, you can receive compensation for asthma and breathing problems despite never having had any such diagnosis prior to your date of separation. Presumptive status is essentially a get-out-of-jail-free card. Presumptive status does not require that you prove anything; it just allows you to be compensated if certain conditions are met.
Presumptive Service Connection for Respiratory Conditions Due to Exposure to Particulate Matter
Exposure to specific environmental hazards
Interview with Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough
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