After years of pressure from lawmakers in Congress, VA has finally rolled out an open burn pit registry by which veterans can document exposure to airborne hazards, including smoke from burn pits. The potential effects of open air burn pits were first raised in 2008, and since that time, hundreds of veterans have returned home with significant respiratory problems and other issues.
A new study has concluded that aircrew and maintainers who flew the C-123 Provider during the post-Vietnam era were likely exposed to hazardous levels of dioxin-contaminated Agent Orange. The Air Force used the UC-123 during Vietnam to spray Agent Orange, and the planes were subsequently returned to the United States and used by the Air Force Reserve as cargo aircraft, without any decontamination or exposure testing for Agent Orange.
Tax season is here and it never hurts to save another dollar. This year, servicemembers can choose from several free, military-specific editions of popular online tax preparation software. In addition, anyone (military, veterans, civilians alike) with an individual or family adjusted gross income (AGI) of less than $58,000 for 2013 is eligible to receive free in-person or online tax preparation and filing assistance from a variety of sources.
The Department of Defense calls traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) “one of the signature injuries of troops wounded in Afghanistan and Iraq.” TBIs can cause many physical and mental impairments, and the VA doesn’t always link those impairments to the TBI.
Now, based on a 2008 report from the Institute of Medicine entitled Gulf War and Health, Volume 7: Long-Term Consequences of Traumatic Brain Injury, the VA has added a new subsection (d) to 38 C.F.R. § 3.310 stating that if a veteran has a service-connected TBI along with any of five diagnosable illnesses, then those illnesses are automatically presumed service-connected as secondary to the TBI.