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If you were exposed to toxic substances or chemicals while serving on active duty in the United States military, any illness resulting from this exposure could qualify you for disability benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Compensation from the VA could be life-changing, especially if you are unable to maintain employment after your military career.
While these benefits are crucial for many veterans, the reality is that the VA denies many toxic exposure claims. Filing West Virginia veterans’ chemical and toxic exposure claims can be complicated, and a mistake could result in an unfair denial. Let an attorney at our firm advise you on your VA disability claim.
Military veterans exposed to toxic or hazardous substances often end up with multiple health complications. There are many types of exposure on military bases, and each substance has the potential to cause different medical conditions.
Cancer is one of the most common and devastating conditions tied to chemical and toxic exposure. From leukemia to lung cancer, these claims can result from exposure to chemicals at multiple military facilities. Other conditions related to toxic or chemical exposure include:
Certain conditions are presumed to be the result of chemical exposure. A West Virginia attorney can advise former servicemembers on whether they are suffering from a condition which is presumptively service-connected.
The risks of chemical or toxic exposure during active duty military service have changed over the years. Previously, exposure due to chemical warfare was the primary cause of disabling conditions in veterans. Nowadays, servicemembers are more likely to come into contact with a hazardous spill at a military base or while deployed overseas.
Exposure to hazardous materials can also occur during combat training and day-to-day duties, or even through contaminated groundwater. As long as a veteran can establish that his or her disability is tied to toxic chemical exposure during active duty military service, he or she could be entitled to benefits.
VA disability benefits are only available for veterans who were exposed to toxic substances during active duty service. While former servicemembers who suffer from disabling conditions due to chemical exposure do not have to identify the exact moment or circumstance surrounding their exposure, they must create a nexus between their impairments and their military service. Veterans can do this by establishing an indication or pattern of mishandling chemical substances on military bases.
It is important to remember that VA toxic exposure benefits might not be available for every veteran. A former servicemember may only obtain disability compensation from the VA if he or she was discharged under honorable conditions.
For some veterans, a career in the military has unfortunately resulted in severe medical consequences. Many former servicemembers were entirely unaware that they had been exposed to dangerous substances during their active duty service.
If you are living with the consequences of exposure to hazardous materials, you could be entitled to benefits through a West Virginia veterans’ chemical and toxic exposure claim. Call right away to discuss your prospective claim.
Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law