PACT Act Adds 3 New Locations to VA List of Known Radiation Exposures

PACT Act Adds 3 New Locations to VA List of Known Radiation Exposures

The Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics Act of 2022 (PACT Act) signed into law in August has extended the list of known radiation exposures for veterans.

Ultimately this shift enables veterans who may have served in or around radioactive areas to receive quicker care through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) without as many hurdles.

How do presumptive locations and conditions benefit veterans?

By giving the VA a rubric of what possible health conditions are correlated to certain periods and locations of active military duty, the list of presumptive conditions of toxic exposure makes it far less difficult for veterans to access the disability benefits they earned.

Instead of having to prove that their disease or condition was caused by service, the VA can check their condition against known lists of toxic exposures, and approve treatment far quicker. The PACT Act has also codified what effort is required to expand the presumptive conditions list, clearing the way for the VA to add new conditions, locations, and dates of service as more data emerges about service-connected toxic exposures among veterans.

What new locations have been added to the list of presumptive radiation exposure?

The PACT Act added three new categories for Cold War and Vietnam-era veterans whose disabilities can now be presumed to be caused by ionized radiation. They are:

  • Veterans who participated in the cleanup of Enewetak Atoll from Jan. 1, 1977, through Dec. 31, 1980
  • Those who participated in the cleanup of an Air Force B-52 bomber that had been carrying nuclear weapons off the coast of Palomares, Spain, from Jan. 17, 1966, through March 31, 1967
  • Veterans who responded to the fire onboard an Air Force B-52 bomber carrying nuclear weapons near Thule Air Force Base in Greenland from Jan. 21 to Sept. 25, 1968

What conditions are presumably caused by radiation exposure at these locations?

Ionizing radiation causes a number of known diseases, oftentimes cancer. The VA’s list of known disabling conditions caused by radiation exposure is:

  • All forms of leukemia except chronic lymphatic (lymphocytic) leukemia;
  • Thyroid cancer;
  • Breast cancer;
  • Lung cancer;
  • Bone cancer;
  • Liver cancer;
  • Skin cancer;
  • Esophageal cancer;
  • Stomach cancer;
  • Colon cancer;
  • Pancreatic cancer;
  • Kidney cancer;
  • Urinary bladder cancer;
  • Salivary gland cancer;
  • Multiple myeloma;
  • Posterior subcapsular cataracts;
  • Non-malignant thyroid nodular disease;
  • Ovarian cancer;
  • Parathyroid adenoma;
  • Tumors of the brain and central nervous system;
  • Cancer of the rectum;
  • Lymphomas other than Hodgkin’s disease;
  • Prostate cancer; and
  • Any other cancer.

For veterans who served in the cleanups and emergency situations that have been added to the presumptive location list, accessing the medical care promised during your service may be easier with the passage of the PACT Act.

If your condition wasn’t previously considered a formal presumptive exposure and has been added to the VA’s list because of the PACT Act’s updated locations, you can work with a professional to apply for benefits or, if you have filed for benefits before, you may need to file a supplemental claim.

Berry Law specializes in working to file or appeal for benefits the country owes our veterans for their dedication and sacrifice. To find out if you or your family could benefit from the PACT Act legislation, contact the team at Berry Law today.

Berry Law

The attorneys at Berry Law are dedicated to helping injured Veterans. With extensive experience working with VA disability claims, Berry Law can help you with your disability appeals.

This material is for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship between the Firm and the reader, and does not constitute legal advice. Legal advice must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case, and the contents of this blog are not a substitute for legal counsel.

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