The full VA list of presumed burn pit conditions for 2022 - Berry Law (2023)

Written byBerry lawam 8. September 2022 inMilitary fire pits

Burn pits have caused many chronic medical problems for America's veterans. By exposing veterans to toxic substances,burn pitsdiseases such as bronchitis, sinusitis and asthma.

Because of the dangers associated with exposure to fire pits, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) recently added three new conditions to its list of presumed medical conditions.

If you're a veteran seeking disability benefits after a burn pit exposure, it may now be easier to obtain compensation. Today, let's explore the full list of probable burn pit VA conditions for 2022.

What are burn pits?

The US military used so-called open-air garbage incineratorsburn pitsfor decades in the past. After 2001, the military used many fire pits in the Middle East in military operations in Qatar, Djibouti, Iraq and Saudi Arabia.

The Department of Defense (DoD) has since closed most of these open-air cremation pits, largely due to the hazards in the air causing negative health effects such as respiratory illness.

Fire pits were open ground where the US military could dispose of waste products on site. These products contain:

  • Aluminiumdosen
  • petroleum and other lubricants
  • plastics and rubber
  • particulate matter
  • Grind
  • Various metals
  • Holz
  • chemicals
  • Human waste and medical waste

When burned, these materials released various compounds into the air that eventually affected service members due to toxic exposure. Over time, professionals medically linked burn pits to damage or injury to:

(Video) New Burn Pits Presumptive Conditions VA Disability 2022 Update

  • eyes, mouth and ears
  • High
  • The gastrointestinal tract
  • Internal organs
  • The cardiovascular and respiratory systems
  • And more

Burn pits have affected numerous veterans. Although burn pits are no longer operational, their effects through chronic health issues still seriously affect US veterans.

What are Presumptive Conditions?

Presumptive conditions are medical conditions associated with a veteran's military service. Being in the military exposes service personnel to combat hazards, workplace hazards, and toxic hazards, all of which can have serious health consequences.

For example, hearing loss is sometimes considered a presumptive condition for veterans who work on the flight decks of aircraft carriers. Since the veterans in question are exposed to loud noises during their workdays, it is logical that the exposure caused their hearing damage.

In another example, exposure to Agent Orange likely caused presumptive conditions in the form of medical problems or diseases that develop over time. Several studies have shown medical associations between exposure to Agent Orange and certain medical conditions.

Presumed service conditions allow veterans to receive disability benefits without demonstrating a military connection, unlike many other benefit claims. If a veteran is diagnosed with a presumptive medical condition, they may be eligible for VA benefits much more quickly.

In addition, each group of presumed conditions includes various secondary service-related disabilities. These may justify additional compensation through VA disability benefits.

What are Presumptive Conditions for Burn Pit Victims?

Military veterans who have worked near or near burn pits may suffer from a variety of suspected conditions. According to VA studies, veterans who have stood near fire pit smoke or have been exposed to fire pits for an extended period of time are at greater risk of experiencing adverse effects or developing presumptive conditions.

As of August 2021, the VA officially recognizes three new presumed medical conditions for burn pit victims: asthma, sinusitis, and rhinitis.

(Video) Burn Pit Exposure Presumptive Conditions. Which Veterans Qualify & What Are The Conditions?

Asthma caused by burned pits

The VA categorizes asthma after contact with a burn pit under diagnosis code 6602. Asthma is a condition in which swollen bronchi in the lungs or swollen airways make breathing difficult.

Military veterans with asthma are required to be tested. Unfortunately, the test has to be done during an asthma attack, so it's difficult to define and measure accurately. Once measured, a veteran can receive a disability rating between 10% and disability.

In addition, veterans with asthma may receive additional benefits if they have qualifying secondary disabilities such as acid reflux disease or sleep apnea.

Sinusitis caused by burn pits

Sinusitis occurs when the tissue lining the sinuses becomes inflamed or swollen. Symptoms include earaches, headaches, fatigue, sore throats, and runny noses — and it can also cause secondary disabilities like bronchitis, laryngitis, and sleep apnea.

The VA assigned sinusitis diagnosis codes 6510 through 6514. Veterans can receive a disability rating of between 10% and 50% depending on their symptoms and how many incapacitating sinusitis episodes they experience annually.

Rhinitis caused by burn pits

Rhinitis is the inflammation of the mucous membranes in the nose. Viral infections or allergic reactions such as hay fever often cause rhinitis. This reaction causes symptoms like runny nose, sneezing, itching and congestion. Rhinitis has three diagnosis codes:

  • Diagnostic code 6522 for allergic or vasomotor rhinitis. This code could result in a disability rating between 10% and 30%
  • Diagnostic code 6523 or bacterial rhinitis. This code could result in a disability rating between 10% and 50%
  • Diagnostic code 6524 or granulomatous rhinitis. This code could result in a disability rating between 20% and 100%

Like other presumptive burn pit conditions, rhinitis may qualify veterans for additional benefits from secondary disabilities such as asthma, sinusitis, and sleep apnea.

Do other terms become presumptive terms?

Other terms may become presumed terms in the future. Congress hasn't passed it yetVeterans' Right to Breath Act. However, this bill may add several other diseases to the list of presumed conditions associated with exposure to burn pits if the Senate passes it in the future.

(Video) 🔥 Burn Pit Exposure Presumptive Conditions Revealed: Burn Pit VA Disability Rating Explained (NEW!)

these conditionscan eventually include:

  • lung cancer
  • lung infection
  • Interstitial lung disease
  • COPD
  • Chronic bronchitis and constrictive bronchitis
  • emphysema
  • granulomatous disease

If this law is passed, veterans will not have to demonstrate a direct link between their condition and their exposure to Agent Orange. Obtaining disability benefits would then be much easier for these veterans.

Currently, veterans exposed to cremation pit poisons can only claim asthma, sinusitis, or rhinitis as presumptive conditions for their benefits. As mentioned above, the VA may add other conditions to this list in the future.

If you think you may have been exposed to toxins or burn pits while on duty, it may be advisable to join the VA Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry. This registry allows you to provide the VA with information about your experience of burn pits and potential symptoms beyond the three presumptive conditions currently recognized by the VA.

This will increase medical knowledge about exposure to burn pits and the potential side effects or symptoms that they can cause. You do not have to be on the registry to receive VA health benefits or to apply for benefits.

Additionally, participation in the registry will not adversely affect your ability to receive disability benefits or make a claim. However, it may expedite the VA to list other conditions as "presumptive" for yourself or other veterans.

How do you know if you qualify for compensation?

As of this writing, veterans may be eligible for presumptive medical conditions or benefits for exposure to cremation pits if they:

  • Served in Afghanistan, Djibouti, Uzbekistan or Syria during the Gulf War 19 September 2021 to present
  • Served in the Southwest Asia theater of operations 2 August 1990 to present

The VA added these qualifications in August 2021 alongside the three alleged conditions related to exposure in fire pits. Additionally, veterans must have suffered one of these conditions within 10 years of retirement from active duty to be eligible for VA benefits related to cremation pit exposure.

(Video) New VA Respiratory Presumption: Particulate Matter and Burn Pits

The best way to ensure you qualify for disability compensation is to consult with knowledgeable veterans attorneys like Berry Law. Veterans Attorneys can work with you when filing an initial claim for disability benefits, reversing a denied benefit claim, and investigating the veteran benefits your putative condition may provide you.

Contact Berry Law today

As you can see, the legal situation regarding presumed conditions for exposure in fire pits is constantly evolving. It can be difficult to maximize your earned benefits after military service.

Ultimately, if you are a veteran who served in Afghanistan or anywhere burn pits existed, you should contact Berry Law. With our support, you can receive disability benefits to compensate you for asthma, rhinitis, and other primary or secondary conditions.

Have you already applied for benefits from the VA? Berry Law can walk you through itappeals processcancel a refusal. With our help, you'll get the benefits you deserve to cover your medical expenses and more.

Contact us todayfor a free consultation and case assessment.


Airborne hazards and fire pit exposure | healthcare

Veterans' Right to Breath Act | congress

(Video) New Burn Pits VA Presumptive List Effective NOW

10 things to know about fire pits | v.a


What conditions are presumptive for VA burn pit registry? ›

The following are presumptive conditions: Brain cancer. Gastrointestinal cancer of any type. Glioblastoma.

What are the 20 new presumptive conditions? ›

These illnesses are now presumptive:
  • Asthma that was diagnosed after service.
  • Chronic bronchitis.
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Chronic rhinitis.
  • Chronic sinusitis.
  • Constrictive bronchiolitis or obliterative bronchiolitis.
  • Emphysema.
  • Granulomatous disease.
Nov 8, 2022

What are the 23 new presumptive conditions? ›

Chronic bronchitis. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Chronic rhinitis. Chronic sinusitis.
What Toxic Exposure Conditions Are Now Presumptive?
  • Brain cancer.
  • Gastrointestinal cancer of any type.
  • Glioblastoma.
  • Head cancer of any type.
  • Kidney cancer.
  • Lymphatic cancer of any type.
  • Lymphoma of any type.
  • Melanoma.
Aug 9, 2022

What are the 20 new presumptive conditions for burn pits and other toxic exposures? ›

Presumptive Conditions Caused By Burn Pit Exposure
  • Rhinitis.
  • Sinusitis.
  • Asthma.
  • Squamous cell carcinoma of the larynx.
  • Squamous cell carcinoma of the trachea.
  • Adenocarcinoma of the trachea.
  • Salivary gland-type tumors of the trachea.
  • Adenosquamous carcinoma of the lung.
Aug 11, 2022

Is sleep apnea a presumptive condition for burn pit exposure? ›

No. Unfortunately, sleep apnea is not one of the conditions that the VA currently presumes is caused by burn pits.

What are the presumptive conditions? ›

What are “Presumptive Conditions”? If you are diagnosed with a chronic disease within one year of active-duty release, you should apply for disability compensation. Examples of chronic disease include: arthritis, diabetes or hypertension.

Can the VA deny a presumptive condition? ›

Any disabilities must have a clear in-service connection, or else the VA will deny the claim.

Is sleep apnea a presumptive condition? ›

Currently, sleep apnea is not a presumptive condition, so Veterans must file a claim on an individual basis if they are seeking disability compensation and/or increased health care eligibility. VA encourages Veterans who are concerned about possible sleep apnea to discuss it with their primary care provider.

Is High blood pressure a presumptive condition? ›

Presumptive Service Connection for Hypertension

If a veteran is eligible for presumptive service connection, VA will presume the condition was caused by service. Hypertension is eligible for presumptive service connection based on exposure to Agent Orange.

What are the presumptive conditions of the PACT Act 2022? ›

The PACT Act also lists two new presumptive conditions related to Agent Orange, a herbicide mixture used during the Vietnam War. The two conditions are: High blood pressure (hypertension) Monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS)

Will VA disability rates increase in 2023? ›

2023 VA disability pay rates, which are effective December 1, 2022, have a year over year increase of 8.7% based on the latest cost-of-living adjustment (COLA).

What are presumptive benefits for burn pits? ›

In August 2021, the VA added three presumptive conditions related to particulate matter exposure. The new presumptive conditions are asthma, rhinitis, and sinusitis. To be eligible for benefits, you must have gotten one of these conditions within 10 years of your separation from active service.

What is an example of a presumptive disability? ›

What is an examples of a presumptive disability? Presumptive disabilities include blindness, total hearing loss, and loss of speech or limbs. The Social Security Administration includes more presumptive conditions, like cerebral palsy, that can qualify SSI recipients for expedited disability benefits.

What percent disability is burn pit exposure? ›

Over two thousand veterans who have filed burn pit claims are receiving VA disability compensation, according to the VA. A 60% disability rating for burn pit exposure entitles you to over $1,000 a month in disability compensation.

How much does the widow of a 100% disabled veteran receive? ›

If your partner dies with a 100% disability, you may qualify for Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC). This refers to tax-free monthly benefits sent to the surviving spouses of disabled veterans. Per VA, the base compensation you can receive in 2022 is $1,437.66 per month.

What are the 14 diseases associated with Agent Orange? ›

Requirements for Agent Orange presumptive diseases
  • Bladder cancer.
  • Chronic B-cell leukemia.
  • Hodgkin's disease.
  • Multiple myeloma.
  • Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.
  • Prostate cancer.
  • Respiratory cancers (including lung cancer)
  • Some soft tissue sarcomas.
Oct 12, 2022

What is the VA rating for burn pit sinusitis? ›

#3: Sinusitis “Presumptive” to Burn Pit Exposure with a rating of 0%, 10%, 30%, or 50%. If you served in the Gulf War region during the presumptive period, the VA assumes your Sinusitis is related to burn pits.

What medical conditions are secondary to sleep apnea? ›

8 Conditions Linked to Sleep Apnea
  • PTSD. The most common condition that sleep apnea is connected to is PTSD. ...
  • Depression. ...
  • Stroke. ...
  • Hypertension. ...
  • Heart Disease. ...
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) ...
  • Asthma. ...
  • Sinusitis & Rhinitis.

What are the new VA rules for sleep apnea 2022? ›

However, in February 2022, VA proposed changes that would reclassify sleep apnea ratings to 0 percent, 10 percent, 30 percent, or 50 percent, with 100 percent for sleep apnea seeming even harder to qualify for. Asymptomatic sleep apnea would not be compensated under the tentative regulation.

Is it a mandatory 50% if issued a CPAP by the VA? ›

Yes, Sleep Apnea is a VA disability and it's rated under diagnostic code 6847, Sleep Apnea Syndromes (Obstructive, Central, Mixed). The most common VA rating for Sleep Apnea is 50%, which requires the use of a breathing assistance device such as Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine.

Do I need a diagnosis for presumptive conditions? ›

Presumptive Conditions Caused by Ionizing Radiation

Manifesting does not mean medical diagnosis, only that evidence shows the existence. Because service connection is presumed, it is not required to produce evidence for service connection – only evidence of the manifestation of the disorder or disease.

What heart conditions are VA presumptive? ›

Presumptive Service Connection for Heart Conditions

Other veterans with at least 90 days of continuous service can be eligible for presumptive serivce connection for conditions such as arteriosclerosis, endocarditis and myocarditis.

How long do presumptive VA claims take? ›

The VA estimates that it takes them 94 days to review a VA disability application. However, many cases take much longer than that. Here are some factors that can shorten or extend the time it takes to reach a decision: Type of claim filed.

What conditions automatically qualify you for VA disability? ›

You may be able to get VA disability benefits for conditions like these:
  • Chronic (long-lasting) back pain resulting in a current diagnosed back disability.
  • Breathing problems resulting from a current lung condition or lung disease.
  • Severe hearing loss.
  • Scar tissue.
  • Loss of range of motion (problems moving your body)
  • Ulcers.
Feb 9, 2023

Why do most VA claims get denied? ›

The VA requires significant evidence to grant disability benefits. This includes an official diagnosis, extensive medical records, and any other information and documentation relevant to your claim. If you or your doctor do not provide enough evidence to support your claim, you will likely be denied.

What conditions are considered permanent disability by the VA? ›

Certain types of service-connected disabilities automatically are deemed to support a VA rating of Permanent and Total Disability. They include the irreversible loss of use of both hands, both feet, one hand and one foot, loss of vision in both eyes, or the Veteran being permanently bedridden.

Is sinusitis a presumptive condition? ›

After a newly formed internal VA process was conducted to review scientific evidence, the proceeding recommendations were to add presumptions of service connection for some chronic respiratory conditions. Asthma, rhinitis, and sinusitis are now identified as presumptive conditions.

What is the VA rating for sleep apnea without CPAP? ›

If you have a CPAP and you also have chronic respiratory failure or similar conditions, you can get a 100 percent rating. If you don't need a CPAP but experience chronic, excessive daytime sleepiness you get 30 percent. The most common rating for service-connected sleep apnea is 50 percent based on needing a CPAP.

Is sinusitis a presumptive disability? ›

Typically, the VA will only approve a VA disability claim for chronic sinusitis, as the condition can be long-term or permanent. As of 2021, the VA began using a presumptive service connection process for eligible veterans who could have been exposed to sinusitis-causing pollution during their service.

Do I need a nexus letter for presumptive conditions? ›

Understanding Presumptive Service Connection

For most VA disability claims, a veteran seeking benefits must provide a nexus between their impairment and an event which took place during their military service that caused it.

What are VA secondary conditions to high blood pressure? ›

Common VA Secondary Conditions to Hypertension

There are several VA secondary conditions commonly associated with hypertension, including ischemic heart disease, kidney disease, and stroke.

Is high blood pressure a VA disability claim? ›

Hypertension as a VA Disability

Hypertensive vascular disease (hypertension and isolated systolic hypertension) is considered a potential VA disability under the Federal Schedule for Rating Disabilities, Code 7101 (Diseases of the Heart).

Will the PACT Act increase VA disability? ›

The new law speeds up disability payouts to those individuals, with potential payments of $3,000+ a month. Why are presumptive benefits important? Until until now, the VA has placed the burden on veterans to provide evidence of a service connection between their illnesses and a particular burn pit.

How much will the PACT Act pay? ›

“Thanks to the PACT Act, generations of veterans will be able to get the care and benefits they deserve.” Depending on the severity of a veteran's injuries, he or she may be eligible for up to $4,000 in disability compensation.

Who is eligible for PACT Act 2022? ›

PACT Act signed into law. ON ENACTMENT (AUGUST 10, 2022): Veterans who served in the Republic of Vietnam, Thailand, Laos, certain provinces in Cambodia, Guam, or American Samoa (or their territorial waters), or the Johnston Atoll (or a ship that called there) during specific time periods may enroll in VA health care.

At what age does VA disability stop? ›

Your VA benefits will last for your whole life. Even if your disability is classified as less than total and not permanent, if you've been collecting benefits for 20 years or more, the amount of your benefit won't go down.

At what age does VA disability become permanent? ›

20 Years: Continuous Rating

If, after twenty years, a service-connected disability is rated at or above the originally assigned rating level, it may not be lowered below the original level.

What is the 55 year old rule for VA disability? ›

Based on the results of the exam, your disability rating may increase, decrease, or stay the same. Once you turn 55, you are typically "protected" and will no longer have to attend an exam to prove that your condition has not changed unless there is reason to suspect fraud. This is sometimes called the 55-year rule.

What is a presumptive benefit? ›

Presumptive disabilities are medical conditions that qualify for disability benefits and can be easily identified or “presumed.” When applying for SSI, you can also apply for PD. Because SSI applications take so long to review, PD allows individuals to receive more immediate help.

What are presumptive conditions for VA Afghanistan? ›

Veterans who served in Afghanistan can qualify for a presumptive service connection if their illness started while they were on active duty or after September 19, 2001, and resulted in a 10% or higher disability rating.

What are 3 examples of presumptive testing? ›

Luminol, leuchomalachite green, phenolphthalein, Hemastix, Hemident, and Bluestar are all used as presumptive tests for blood.

What are the four types of presumptive tests? ›

A comparative study was conducted of the sensitivity and specificity of phenolphthalein, tetramethylbenzidine, leucomalachite green, and orthotolidine as presumptive tests for blood.

What is a presumptive test example? ›

Presumptive tests are not definitive and further confirmatory tests are always required. They are used extensively in forensic science. Examples are the Duquenois-Levine test for marijuana and Scott's test for cocaine. In general analytical chemistry, presumptive tests are often called spot tests.

Can the VA deny a presumptive disability? ›

Any disabilities must have a clear in-service connection, or else the VA will deny the claim.

What are the presumptions for burn pits? ›

In August 2021, the VA added three presumptive conditions related to particulate matter exposure. The new presumptive conditions are asthma, rhinitis, and sinusitis. To be eligible for benefits, you must have gotten one of these conditions within 10 years of your separation from active service.

What illness is caused by burn pits? ›

More specifically, chronic respiratory conditions have been associated with exposure to particulate matter. Many forms of cancer have also been linked to dioxins. The main dioxin released by burn pits is TCDD, also one of the major toxins in Agent Orange. TCDD has been linked to cancer and other serious illnesses.

What are presumptive diseases recognized by the VA? ›

What are “Presumptive Conditions”? If you are diagnosed with a chronic disease within one year of active-duty release, you should apply for disability compensation. Examples of chronic disease include: arthritis, diabetes or hypertension.

How much disability do you get for burn pit exposure? ›

Total impairment entitles veterans to 100% disability.

Is GERD a presumptive condition? ›

There is no presumptive regulation that includes GERD.

Is COPD and sleep apnea a VA disability? ›

The Veteran's service connection for sleep apnea, chronic bronchitis, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and allergic bronchospasms are rated under a single 50 percent disability rating that is assigned pursuant to the criteria under DC 6847.

Can burn pits cause arthritis? ›

One of the study's main conclusions found that military burn pit and military waste disposal exposures were associated with rheumatoid arthritis autoantibody expression, thus, may affect the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis.

Is high blood pressure a presumptive condition? ›

Presumptive Service Connection for Hypertension

If a veteran is eligible for presumptive service connection, VA will presume the condition was caused by service. Hypertension is eligible for presumptive service connection based on exposure to Agent Orange.


1. PACT Act HELPS Veterans File Presumptive VA Disability Claims! Burn Pits, Toxic Exposure, etc.
(MAX VA Disability)
2. VA Disability Claims for Burn Pits, Agent Orange, and More | PACT Act | theSITREP
(U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs)
3. New Burn Pits Benefits for Veterans and Dependent Survivors!
(Hill and Ponton, P.A.)
4. 9 New Veteran Presumptive Conditions & Burn Pit Benefits
5. Common VA Disabilities Related to Burn Pits | VA Disability Lawyers
(Berry Law - Veterans)
6. President Biden signs PACT Act. What does this mean for vets VA claims?
(Dewayne Kimble)


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