For more information, click on the campaign ribbon as well as the various links below:
VA establishes presumptive service connection for rare respiratory cancers for certain Veterans: The Department of Veterans Affairs is adding nine rare respiratory cancers to the list of presumed service-connected disabilities due to military environmental exposures to fine particulate matter. The following list of rare respiratory cancers have been added to VA’s regulations through an Interim Final Rule published in the Federal Register on April 26, 2022:
VA determined, through a focused review of scientific and medical evidence, there is biological plausibility between airborne hazards and carcinogenesis of the respiratory tract — and the unique circumstances of these rare cancers warrant a presumption of service connection. The rarity and severity of these illnesses and the reality these conditions present, is a situation where it may not be possible to develop additional evidence, prompted VA to take this action.
VA will begin processing disability compensation claims for Veterans who served any amount of time in the Southwest Asia theater of operations beginning Aug. 2, 1990, to the present, or Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Syria or Djibouti beginning Sept. 19, 2001, to the present.
Any Veteran who has or had one of the listed cancers at any time during or after separation from military service may be eligible for disability compensation benefits. VA will contact impacted Veterans and survivors to inform them about their eligibility and will provide information on how to apply. But you might not want to wait on the VA contacting you! Veterans, survivors or dependents who had claims previously denied for any of these respiratory cancers are encouraged to file a supplemental claim for benefits.
If you are a Veteran, survivor or dependent applying for the first time, file a new claim here: VA File a Claim Read the final ruling: https://www.regulations.gov/document/VA-2022-VBA-0014-0001
To apply for benefits, Veterans and survivors may visit https://www.va.gov or call toll-free at 800-827-1000. You can also go to the Rockland County Veterans Service Agency and file a claim. The veterans' counselors will be able to help you. They are located at 20 Squadron Blvd., Suite 480, New City, New York 10956. Call to set up an appointment - 845-638-5244.
A few locations where you can find New York State Division of Veterans' Services offices: New York State Division of Veterans’ Services - VA Medical Center, P.O. Box 100 P.O. Box 100 2094 Albany Post Road Building 1 – Room 18 Montrose , NY 10548 Phone: (914) 788-4367 New York State Division of Veterans’ Services - West Point US Military Academy (every other Friday) 622 Swift Road Building 622, Room 113 West Point , NY 10996 Phone: (845) 831-2000 ext 215449 Orange County Veterans Service Agency 111 Craigville Road Goshen , NY 10924 Phone: (845) 291-2470 and Rockland County Veterans Service Agency - 20 Squadron Blvd., Suite 480, New City, New York. Call them at 845-638-5244.
Gulf War Veterans' Presumptive Illnesses
Certain illnesses are associated with Gulf War service in the Southwest Asia theater of military operations from August 2, 1990 to present. Medically unexplained illnesses (also commonly referred to as Gulf War illness or Chronic Multi-symptom illness) are a significant concern for some Veterans who served during the Gulf War.
VA offers eligible Veterans a free Gulf War Registry health exam to find possible long-term health problems related to Gulf War service. VA also offers health care, disability compensation, and other benefits to eligible Veterans. Their dependents and survivors may also be eligible for benefits.This section covers specific issues that affect veterans who served in the Middle East from 1980 to the present time. https://www.publichealth.va.gov/exposures/gulfwar/index.asp
Gulf War Veterans who:
• Served in the Southwest Asia Theater of Operations
• Have a condition that is at least 10 percent disabling by Dec. 31, 2026
• Specific presumed conditions are:
Medically unexplained chronic multi-symptom illnesses that exist for six months or more, such as:
• Chronic fatigue syndrome • Fibromyalgia • Irritable bowel syndrome
• Any diagnosed or undiagnosed illness that warrants a presumption of service connection, as determined by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs
• Fatigue • Skin symptoms • Headaches • Muscle pain • Joint pain • Neurological or neuropsychological symptoms • Symptoms involving the upper or lower respiratory system • Sleep disturbance • Gastrointestinal symptoms • Cardiovascular symptoms • Weight loss • Menstrual disorders
Gulf War Veterans who:
Served in the Southwest Asia Theater of Operations or in Afghanistan on or after September 19, 2001 manifest one of the following infectious diseases to a degree of 10 percent or more within 1 year of separation:
• Brucellosis • Campylobacter jejuni • Coxiella burnetii (Q fever) • Nontyphoid Salmonella • Shigella • West Nile virus • Malaria (or when accepted treatises indicate the incubation period began during a qualifying period of service)
Manifest to a degree of 10 percent or more at any time after separation:
• Mycobacterium tuberculosis Visceral leishmaniasis
Gulf War Deployed Veterans who:
• Served any length of time in the Southwest Theater of Operations during the Persian Gulf War, or
• Served any length of time in Afghanistan, Syria, Djibouti or Uzbekistan on or after September 19, 2001 and
• Manifests one of the following to any degree within 10 years from the date of separation from military service: Asthma • Rhinitis • Sinusitis, to include rhinosinusitis https://benefits.va.gov/BENEFITS/factsheets/serviceconnected/presumption.pd
Veterans who served in Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) may have been exposed to a range of environmental and chemical hazards that carried potential health risks.
Join the Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry to document your exposures and health concerns.
Veterans Health Issues: If you served in Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) any time after October 7, 2001, you may be at risk of certain health conditions. Learn about these conditions and what to do to take care of your health.
Gulf War Military Service Areas:
Gulf War Service:
For VA benefit purposes, Gulf War service is active military duty in any of the following areas in the Southwest Asia theater of military operations at any time August 2, 1990 to present.
This includes Veterans who served in Operation Iraqi Freedom (2003-2010) and Operation New Dawn (2010-2011). Southwest Asia theatre of military operations: Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, U.A.E., Oman, Gulf of Aden, Gulf of Oman, Persian Gulf, Red Sea, Arabian Sea Iraq Kuwait Saudi Arabia The neutral zone between Iraq and Saudi Arabia Bahrain Qatar The United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.) Oman Gulf of Aden Gulf of Oman Waters of the Persian Gulf, the Arabian Sea, and the Red Sea The airspace above these locations
The Post-9/11 GI Bill (Chapter 33) helps you pay for school or job training. If you’ve served on active duty after September 10, 2001, you may qualify for the Post-9/11 GI Bill (Chapter 33).
Find out if you can get this education benefit.
At least one of these must be true:
Note: If you’re a member of the Reserves who lost education benefits when the Reserve Educational Assistance Program (REAP) ended in November 2015, you may qualify to receive restored benefits under the Post-9/11 GI Bill.
What if I qualify for other VA education benefits too?
You’ll have to pick which benefit you’d like to use. This is an irrevocable decision, meaning you can’t change your mind.
What benefits can I get through the Post-9/11 GI Bill (Chapter 33)?
You can receive up to 36 months of benefits, including:
VA Publication with information about VA Benefits: https://www.va.gov/opa/publications/benefits_book/2021_Federal_Benefits_for_Veterans_Dependents_and_survivors.pdf
Vaccinations and Gulf War Veterans :
VA and research organizations continue to evaluate possible causes of Gulf War Veterans' chronic multisymptom illnesses, including vaccinations. If you have health concerns, talk to your health care provider or contact your local VA Environmental Health Coordinator to help you get more information from a health care provider. https://www.publichealth.va.gov/exposures/gulfwar/sources/vaccinations.asp