The Gulf War ended several decades ago, but its ramifications still affect many of its Veterans. While Gulf War Veterans suffered injuries or illnesses easy to connect to their military duties, others have lived with respiratory or other conditions due to burn pit exposure.
During the Gulf War, open-air burn pits were used frequently to remove waste near military sites. However, these lead to unintended medical consequences for many Veterans. Even today, it can be tough for those Veterans to know whether they qualify for disability benefits due to exposure to Gulf War burn pits.
Today, we will break down the Gulf War Burn Pit Registry in detail. We’ll also explore who’s covered for burn pit exposure and related conditions.
The Gulf War Burn Pit Registry, also called the Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry or AHOBPR, is a special registry designed to help Veterans find resources and information about their conditions related to burn pit exposure.
Burn pits were a common feature throughout the Gulf War and many operations in Iraq and Afghanistan over the past few decades. As a result, some Veterans have developed service-related illnesses or injuries due to burn pit exposure.
Burn pits included burning:
Once burned, toxic compounds enter the air. In turn, Veterans, especially those near the burn pits, would inhale these toxic compounds. Burn pits were especially hazardous to service personnel stationed near or around burn pits, including those who spent a lot of time around burn pits due to duty postings.
The AHOBPR is a registry that:
The AHOBPR is also important because it has information about who qualifies for certain VA-related benefits. The AHOBPR is a good organization to join if you suspect you have one or more service-related conditions because of your time spent near burn pits.
When you join the AHOBPR, you may benefit from several important factors.
The AHOBPR includes a wealth of information about the potential hazards and side effects associated with burn pit exposure.
In particular, the AHOBPR can tell you:
All of this can be very informational and helpful if you have lived with one or more conditions for several years but have never been able to put a name to those conditions.
For many Veterans, information is all they need to file a successful benefits claim and start receiving the disability benefits they deserve for their service.
Speaking of benefits, the AHOBPR can help you seek out the right resources to file a disability benefits application, like knowledgeable Veterans law attorneys. Many Veterans don’t know where to start in terms of legal recourse. The AHOBPR can help with this point and many others.
Perhaps more than anything else, the AHOBPR is a close-knit organization that allows Veterans to connect with one another. It’s tough to explain the symptoms or feelings associated with burn pit exposure. When you join the AHOBPR, you may connect with Veterans who know exactly what you went through and who suffer from the same conditions or illnesses that you do.
Most importantly, the AHOBPR is a community resource that grows more knowledgeable and important each year. By joining the AHOBPR and reporting your symptoms and where you were stationed, you allow other Veterans to benefit from the same resource pool.
The AHOBPR is only useful if more Veterans continue to join it regularly. Therefore, it’s a good idea to join the AHOBPR purely to ensure that medical advancements come as quickly as possible. The more information medical experts know about burn pit exposure in the Gulf War, the faster they can develop treatments.
To qualify for disability benefits due to burn pit exposure from the Gulf War specifically, Veterans must have served in the Gulf War after August 2, 1990. However, other Veterans may also qualify for disability benefits from burn pit exposure during the Iraq war and other military operations.
The relevant dates include:
These groups include a vast majority of service personnel who participated in those operations. Furthermore, to qualify for disability benefits due to burn pit exposure, you must have served in or around burn pit waste removal sites during your active service.
For example, it’s not enough to simply have served in the Gulf War. You must also have been stationed at a military site with a burn pit. Your military records should have a list of all the bases or locations you were stationed at. You can use resources from the AHOBPR to discover whether a burn pit was at any of your previous postings.
Recently, the VA allowed three medical conditions to be listed as “presumptive conditions” for the purposes of disability benefits. These include asthma, rhinitis, and sinusitis. If you have experienced any of the symptoms of these conditions, you might qualify for disability benefits automatically since they are listed as presumptive for Veterans exposed to burn pit toxins.
Put simply — it means you may have an easier time receiving benefits for one of the above three conditions. However, many Veterans suffer from other conditions or chronic illnesses due to burn pit toxin exposure. So, even if you don’t have asthma, rhinitis, or sinusitis, don’t give up.
Knowledgeable Veterans law attorneys can help you establish a link between your current illness or injuries and your time spent around burn pits. In addition, upcoming legislation will likely expand the presumptive conditions list for burn pit exposure. The fight for further Veterans’ benefits is always ongoing.
If you’re still unsure whether you qualify for burn pit benefits, it might be a good idea to take the Burn Pit Rapid Assessment. This quiz can help you determine whether burn pits and airborne hazards were related to your military service. It’s a good way to jog your memory if you aren’t fully sure whether airborne hazards contributed to your current illnesses or conditions.
Not at all. If and when you join the AHOBPR, you can still apply for disability benefits (including for secondary conditions) and even receive total disability if you qualify. All the AHOBPR does is grow the knowledge pool that the VA and medical organizations use to pursue relevant medical advancements.
There’s no reason not to join the AHOBPR if you suspect that any part of your condition or illness is due to burn pit toxin exposure. You deserve to be compensated for your service and for being exposed to hazardous toxins that still affect your day-to-day life.
At the end of the day, it’s always tough to tell whether you qualify for benefits from the VA. But if you were exposed to burn pit hazards, you might be eligible for significant benefits to cover the cost of medical bills associated with your condition(s).
When maximizing your benefits, you should turn to Berry Law right away. We’re experienced Veterans law attorneys and can help you not only file a successful benefits claim for your condition but also proceed smoothly through the appeals process and overturn a claim denial if you have legitimate grounds.
Furthermore, we can provide you with more information about the Gulf War Burn Pit Registry if you are interested. Contact us today for more information and a free case evaluation.
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