Military Service Exposure Risks
Military service – wartime service in particular- comes with the heightened threat of severe injury or possibly even death. What is sometimes overlooked is that these men and women who serve often carry an elevated risk of illness due simply to toxic exposures from their everyday work environments, living conditions or other hazardous circumstances. These illnesses may show symptoms immediately or may cause long-term effects that you unnoticed for many years until they pose major health concerns for veterans.
Some veterans who have suffered toxic exposures are granted “presumption of exposure” by the VA. This means that, by virtue of the time and place of service—as verified by military records—a veteran is presumed to have been exposed to a specific known toxin. These presumptive conditions are approved for additional services and disability compensation. This can help a veteran pay for care and prescription drugs while remaining with their community-based healthcare provider – they are not required to access the VA for care.
It is estimated that more than 200,000 Nevadans who’ve served in the U.S. Armed Forces do not utilize the VA system and may not be aware that their current medical conditions could be associated with their service and could be eligible for compensation.
If you’ve served in the US Armed Forces, take the health questionnaire.
This will provide information specific to your service and an option to connect with a Veteran Service Officer who may offer more information and assistance in submitting a VA claim.
Come back to this website for additional information and updates.
For our Veterans – We are glad you’ve taken a step toward learning more about presumptive conditions and what resources are available to you and your family. Visit this website regularly for updates and more information.
For our Healthcare Professional Partners – We are glad you’ve taken a step toward learning more about health risks associated with military service, presumptive conditions and what resources are available to help provide the best care possible to those who have served. Click Here for resources and information for Healthcare Professionals.
Information and Resources for Veterans and Families
If you haven’t taken the Military Service Exposure Risk questionnaire yet, we invite you to do so now. Click here.
Our website will provide you with information to assist you in understanding more about Presumptive Conditions and military service exposure which could potentially cause health conditions. This is just the starting point – it won’t have all the answers as every case is unique and the VA ultimately makes the final decisions.
Look here for additional information, resources, useful links and updates to support you and your family.
What is Exposure and Presumptive Conditions
In some cases, the Department of Veterans Affairs recognizes that certain illnesses are, in fact, caused directly by or linked to military service.
Currently there are six health registries that exist for veterans who have had exposure to certain environmental hazards: Agent Orange, Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit, Depleted Uranium Follow-up, Gulf War, Ionizing Radiation and Toxic Embedded Fragments.
Once registered, veterans will be alerted to potential health issues related to those exposures.
Environmental Health Registry Evaluation for Veterans
The VA’s health registry evaluation is a free, voluntary medical assessment for Veterans who may have been exposed to certain environmental hazards during military service.
The evaluations alert Veterans to possible long-term health problems that may be related to exposure to specific environmental hazards during their military service.
VA has established several health registries to track and monitor the health of specific groups of Veterans.
The registry data helps VA understand and respond to these health problems more effectively.
You may be eligible to participate in one or more of these health registries:
On the Environmental Health Registry Evaluation page, veterans can check their eligibility to participate, review updated registry information and find contact information for the VA environmental health coordinator. These registries can also help the VA track and understand these health problems among veterans, but it’s important to note that participation does not confirm exposure to military-related environmental hazards for the purposes of disability compensation. Veterans must still undergo the VA claims process in order to verify such exposures according to military service records.
Interested in disability compensation?
The registry evaluation is separate from VA’s disability compensation process and does not confirm exposure during service.
Veterans who want to be considered for disability compensation for health problems related to exposure must file a claim for that benefit. During the claims process, VA will check military records to confirm exposure or qualifying military service. If necessary, VA will set up a separate exam for compensation.
Disability Compensation for Presumptive Conditions-
The VA and related military organizations offer additional information about presumptive exposure and related issues. The following are just a few available for your use:
VA Military Exposure Website
Military Exposures & Your Health Newsletter
Agent Orange Newsletter
Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans
The (VA) begins deciding Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2019 claims, Jan. 1, 2020, extending the presumption of herbicide exposure that include toxins such as Agent Orange, to Veterans who served in the offshore waters of the Republic of Vietnam during the Vietnam War. These Veterans can apply for disability compensation and other benefits if they have since developed one of 14 conditions that are presumed to be related to exposure to herbicides such as Agent Orange. For more information about the Blue Water Navy Act and the changes that will take effect visit: https://www.benefits.va.gov/benefits/blue-water-navy.asp.
Exposure Ed App
The VA developed a mobile application “Exposure Ed,” for healthcare professionals, that can helpful for everyone. It’s designed to help you learn about exposures and exposure-related concerns. It provides you with comprehensive and targeted information about the specific health care needs of Veterans. It is free and available for both iOS and Android devices from your app store. A user manual is also available for download at https://mobile.va.gov/app/exposure-ed#AppTrainingMaterials
COVID Coach App
The VA recently launched the COVID Coach app, a new mobile app designed to help both Veterans and civilians cope with feelings of stress and anxiety they may be experiencing during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The app includes practical tools, information and resources that can all be used from the safety of one’s home to track well-being, mood swings and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) symptoms.
A personal goal setting tracker can help users work toward achieving small victories. The mindfulness and sleep tools can be helpful for improving mental health and well-being. The indoor activities tool and staying healthy recommendations have been specifically tailored to the current COVID-19 situation.
Direct links to resources are available within the app for those who may need additional professional support. The COVID Coach can be used independently or while engaged in mental health treatment but is not intended to replace needed professional care.
Download the app on iOS and Android devices or from VA’s Mobile App Store.
The National Center for PTSD has information and resources for managing stress during COVID-19 outbreak.
Check back soon for updates and more resources.