A very important part of our law practice at Rebecca W. Geyer & Associates is providing assistance to veterans and their surviving spouses, helping them obtain VA benefits. As the 2019 winter holidays approach, we are gratified to learn about a bill recently introduced in Congress called the “Veterans Burn Pit Exposure Recognition Bill”.
What is the Veterans Burn Pit Exposure Recognition Bill all about?
Many servicemen and women were exposed to pollution sources in the Middle East during the 1990-1991 Persian Gulf War, and/or in Afghanistan and Iraq beginning in 2001. Those pollution sources included oil well fires and so-called “burn pits”. (The military uses burn pits to dispose of refuse, including food waste and household trash, but also plastics, batteries, computer parts, animal carcasses, hospital waste, furniture and more. Soot from those pits often coated work and housing areas with a fine green-black powder and many developed chronic coughs, sinusitus and other respiratory symptoms. Some physicians attribute rare cancers, some respiratory diseases and other health conditions to exposure to these conditions. Several veterans’ service organizations, including Disabled American Veterans and Paralyzed Veterans of America, have been pushing for this legislation.
The bill is designed to get rid of “red tape” because no longer would veterans need documentation to prove that they were exposed to toxic chemicals. “All you have to do is prove you were there and that you have a disease,” explained the two congressmen (both medical doctors) who sponsored the Burn Pit Registry Enhancement Act.
At Geyer Law, we work to assist veterans and their surviving spouses obtain the benefits they deserve, including disability benefits, education and training, therapy, and housing grants. As this new legislation moves through Congress, our attorneys are making time to meet with veterans and beneficiaries to help them organize their records so as to be prepared to benefit once the Burn Pit Registry Enhancement Act becomes law.