Airborne Hazards and Burn Pit Exposures
How to Get Care
VA health care is available to Veterans who may have been exposed to burn pits or other environmental hazards. If you are concerned about the potential health effects of environmental exposures we encourage you to talk to your health care provider, apply for VA health care, and file a claim for compensation and benefits.
- You do not need to file a claim or participate in the VA Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry to receive care from VA. Learn more about eligibility for VA health care.
- If you are already enrolled in VA health care, contact your facility’s environmental health coordinator for more information and resources on getting care for environmental exposures.
If you served in Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) in Afghanistan or Operations Iraqi Freedom (OIF) or New Dawn (OND) in Iraq, you can receive free VA health care for up to 5 years after separation.
Taking advantage of this enhanced eligibility period may help your VA claim for compensation, benefits, and health care later. Veterans who served in other campaigns and regions or during other time periods can check their eligibility for VA health care.
- Your eligibility may depend on when and where you served, for how long, or if you were discharged due to a disability that was the result of or made worse by something that happened to you while on active duty.
- To receive financial compensation and benefits for health conditions related to your military service, including burn pit exposure, you must file a VA claim.
Service Connection for Airborne Hazard Exposures
Currently, VA evaluates each individual Veteran’s circumstances on a case-by-case basis to determine whether the health conditions they are experiencing are connected to their exposure to airborne hazards.
Through this process, we consider the unique experiences and needs of each Veteran including:
- Your number of deployments
- The length and proximity of your exposure
- The presence of other air pollution and other environmental hazards
If you are concerned about the health effects of your exposure to airborne hazards, talk to your health care provider and visit the resources below:
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