Posted by Gregory M. Rada | August 2, 2021 | Disability Compensation
The VA announced today that it will immediately begin processing and granting claims for service connection for asthma, rhinitis, and sinusitis as presumptively related to exposure to particulate matter during service in the Southwest Asia theater of operations or in Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Syria, or Djibouti.
The Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Denis McDonough, stated that he “determined that the evidence provided was sufficient to establish presumptions of service connection for these three respiratory conditions.”
The VA will now grant presumptive service connection for asthma, rhinitis, or sinusitis if any of those conditions manifested within 10 years of a qualifying period of military service. This means you will have to prove that you had asthma, rhinitis, or sinusitis that first started within 10 years from the date of your discharge.
As for qualifying locations and time periods, you are eligible for presumptive service connection if you served in the Southwest Asia theater of operations from August 2, 1990, to the present. Southwest Asia includes Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, the neutral zone between Iraq and Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, the Gulf of Aden, the Gulf of Oman, the Persian Gulf, the Arabian Sea, the Red Sea and the airspace above these locations.
Additionally, you are eligible for presumptive service connection if you served in Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Syria, or Djibouti beginning September 19, 2001, to the present.
The VA will be reaching out to veterans who previously applied for service connection for these conditions and who have qualifying service, however, if you are eligible for presumptive service connection, you should submit an initial claim or reopen your prior claim as soon as possible instead of waiting for the VA to contact you.
If you’ve never applied for service connection for these conditions before, you would submit a VA Form 21-526EZ to make an initial claim. If you previously made a claim for these conditions and were denied, you can reopen the claim by filling a Supplemental Claim using VA Form 20-0995.
Gregory Rada is a Veterans Benefits Attorney who practices Nationwide. He graduated from the University of Connecticut School of Law, and has been practicing law for eight years. Gregory Rada believes in fighting for fellow veterans. Learn more about his experience by clicking here.