Intro

Discover the latest news affecting YOUR military disability right here!

Since the majority of our news will cover legal issues that can be dragged out for a long time, if you'd like an update on an issue, let us know, and we'll do what we can. Most of the time, no post=no update.

This page is strictly for the latest and upcoming news. If you are looking for specific information about the current disability system or your disability, see our blog or our website, www.MilitaryDisabilityMadeEasy.com, for all the answers you'll need.

Monday, April 25, 2022

Nine Respiratory Cancers added to the Burn Pit and Other Particulate Presumptive List

Starting tomorrow, April 26th, 2022 the VA will grant presumptive service-connection for nine respiratory cancers to veterans who served in Southwest Asia on or after August 2, 1990 or in Afghanistan, Syria, Uzbekistan, or Djibouti on or after September 19th, 2001.

 

All of the cancers on the following list are all so rare that they have little-to-no medical research to prove their cause. These rare cancers, however, have a higher-than-usual incidence rate in veterans who served in these locations during these times. Because of this, the VA looked into published research of similar conditions and found a compelling argument that these rare cancers could plausibly be linked to particulate exposure, despite the lack of direct evidence. 

 

Since these cancers are so rare, the research necessary to undeniably prove their cause is unlikely to ever be performed. Thus, the VA is adding these cancers to the Presumptive List to ensure that the effected veterans are able to have their conditions service-connected without the usual evidential requirements.  

 

The new Presumptive Respiratory Cancers include:

·       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

·       Large cell carcinoma of the lung

·       Salivary gland-type tumors of the lung

·       Sarcomatoid carcinoma of the lung

·       Typical and atypical carcinoid of the lung

 

All claims for these conditions that are received on or after April 26th, 2022, or that are pending at any level of the VA system (claims, appeals, etc.) on this date, will qualify for presumptive service-connection as long as they meet the service requirements. 

 

If you have not claimed these conditions before or have been denied in the past, go ahead and submit a new claim so you can start receiving your deserved benefits!

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Huge Increase in VA Disability Rates for 2022

The largest increase in VA Disability Rates since 1983 is now in effect!

Starting December 1, 2021, veterans will see a 5.9% increase in their VA Disability Rates, including their Special Monthly Compensation Rates.

Congress increases VA compensation rates based on inflation, and with the cost of living skyrocketing over this past year, the COLA has reached an unusually high increase of 5.9%. 

Curious what your new 2022 VA Disability payment will be? You can find all the new rates in our VA Disability Chart and Special Monthly Compensation Rates Table

These new rates will be automatically reflected in your next payment. You do not need to do anything to receive the 2022 VA Disability Rates. 

Thursday, November 11, 2021

New Model to Increase Access to Benefits for Conditions caused by Exposure


In honor of Veterans Day, the Biden Administration released a plan to improve the VA’s system of handling conditions caused by exposures during service.  

Currently, if a condition is not included on the VA’s Presumptive List, the burden of proof falls on the veteran. The veteran must show what they were exposed to, how much, and how often, as well as provide evidence that similar exposures are known to cause their medical conditions. 

 

With little to no access to this type of evidence, this burden is often too great, leaving many veterans unable to receive the benefits they require for their conditions. 

 

In response to the President’s request, the VA is hoping to ease this burden by testing a new presumptive decision model from November 15th, 2021 to April 1, 2022. 

 

During this period, the VA will use the new model to consider an association between military exposures and some respiratory conditions, including constrictive bronchiolitis and various respiratory cancers. The VA will use the most current medical research, military environmental research, and veterans’ claim and health data to identify any causal connections between the environments and these respiratory conditions.

 

After this pilot period, the VA will then finalize the model and start using it to identify other presumptive conditions prevalent in the veteran population.

 

In order to ensure that the VA has the most current veteran data, the VA is encouraging all veterans with conditions that they believe are due to exposure but are not yet on the Presumptive List to submit new claims, even if previous claims have been denied. The VA plans to use this data to guide their efforts in evaluating future presumptive conditions.

 

In addition to this new presumptive decision model, the Biden Administration is acknowledging the lack of training among professionals working with veterans who have been exposed. 

 

The White House Fact Sheet states, “Some claims adjudicators may not have up-to-date awareness of recent policies related to conditions newly presumed to be service-connected. ... [And] veterans often find that their providers and compensation and pension examiners are not well-trained to understand or treat veterans’ exposure concerns.”

 

To address this concerning lack of training for VA professionals, new training programs are launching to ensure “a basic level of competence” for all VA providers and adjudicators.