red, white, and blue star with initials B V A

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced today the immediate processing of disability claims for asthma, rhinitis, and sinusitis based on presumed particulate matter exposure during military service in Southwest Asia and other specified areas. The conditions resulting from the exposure must have been manifested within ten years of a qualifying period of military service.

A VA internal process reviewed scientific evidence that concluded that particulate matter pollution is associated with respiratory conditions for veterans who served in the Southwest Asia theater of operations beginning August 2, 1990 to the present or in Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Syria, or Djibouti beginning September 19, 2001 to the present.

VA will conduct outreach to impacted veterans and survivors to inform them of their eligibility.

Links to the application process, as well as information released today about the newly established presumptive conditions and the relevant countries and waterways that are considered part of the Southwest Asia theater of operations, are found in today’s VA announcement.

The Veterans Service Program (VSP) of the Blinded Veterans Association (BVA) is a one-stop shop featuring a dedicated team of National Service Officers (NSOs). Our NSOs are accredited through the VA Office of General Counsel to assist claimants in the preparation, presentation, and prosecution of claims for benefits at no cost to veterans or their families. VA will not be re-adjudicating previously denied claims for the three new presumptive conditions. A claim needs to be refiled to be considered for service connection. Blinded veterans who have been previously denied for any of these three presumptive conditions, or who would like to initiate the process for the first time through our VSP, may complete an intake form (CLICK HERE).