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Episode 41: Exposure During Military Service: How to Refile for Successful Compensation

For the 41st episode of The Veterans Voice, our host Amanda Mineer explores exposure in the military and its relation to cancers and other diseases. Reviewing current and past VA decisions, Amanda discusses what service members and their families should do if they think their cancer or condition was caused by exposure during military service.

To provide examples of the types of exposure our service members may have faced, Amanda discusses the effects of Camp Lejeune’s recent water contamination as well as the severe impact of Agent Orange.

Exposure can be classified as any chemical hazard or hazardous material that a service member may have come in contact with during their time in the military. When a veteran files a claim with the VA for disability benefits, the VA will determine if the veteran’s cancer or disease is service-connected.

Amanda explains that the VA uses a rating system for a service member to get compensation. However, this system often misclassifies an illness’s severity or denies claims altogether.

Stressing the importance of filing, Amanda discusses how requirements for compensation in the VA can shift, meaning that even if a veteran’s claim is initially denied, it does not mean that it will be denied forever.

With this, Amanda emphasizes the importance of always filing even if your symptoms are non-presumptive. 

To further dig into the concept of denied claims, Amanda welcomes Jerry from Stanton, who has developed laryngeal cancer from his exposure to Agent Orange while in the service. 

Jerry details how his initial claim was denied because he was in Thailand during the Vietnam War and not actually in Vietnam.

Amanda discusses that the VA has since recognized that many veterans were exposed to Agent Orange while in Thailand.

Highlighting the importance of reopening previously denied cases, Amanda urges veterans to never go through the process alone, and provides resources for those who need help with their claims.

Amanda then touches on recent legislation proposed to help veterans find accredited representation. 

To further divulge the appeals process, Amanda gives listeners an inside look into wait times, denied appeals and more. Listen to the full episode for Amanda’s full advice and informative tips.

If you need help getting the VA disability benefits you deserve, you can request a free consultation here. 

Amanda and the rest of the team will happily help you file a claim, appeal a decision, or help you get the benefits you’re entitled to.