Veterans' military records contain records of radiation exposure or accounts describing duty-related exposure.
Veterans and their survivors do not need to contact the Department of Defense (DoD) to confirm radiation exposure activity before applying for VA compensation benefits. VA will request this information from DoD when a Veteran or a Veteran's survivor applies for disability compensation or survivors' benefits for health problems associated with the exposure.
VA asks DoD’s Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) to confirm Atomic Veterans participation in U.S. atmospheric nuclear tests from 1945 to 1962, and the occupation forces of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, through a program called the Nuclear Test Personnel Review. VA also asks DTRA to provide the actual or estimated radiation dose received by a Veteran when necessary.
VA does not need to confirm your exposure to ionizing radiation during military service before we determine if you are eligible for an Ionizing Radiation Registry health exam. Contact your local VA Environmental Health Coordinator to ask about getting an exam.
VA has adopted improvements to the compensation claims process recommended by the Veterans' Advisory Board on Dose Reconstruction (VBDR) which provides guidance and independent oversight of the claims process for Atomic Veterans.
One major improvement was consolidating the handling of radiation claims at the Jackson, Mississippi VA Regional Office.