A new congressional budget estimate has found that healthcare and disability benefits for veterans affected by burn pit exposure would cost more than $282 billion over ten years.
Known as the Honoring Our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics, the legislative proposal would give millions of veterans health care and monthly payments from the VA.
However, according to the Congressional Budget Office, it comes at a price. If approved, $84.9 billion in the first four years and $281.5 billion between now and 2031.
The bill would establish 23 presumptive conditions linked to burn pit exposure in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere. In addition, the effects of dust and other pollutants found in these deployment regions.
Furthermore, it would expand the eligibility to veterans who have difficulty filing claims. This includes Vietnam veterans with hypertension and those exposed to Agent Orange.
“Our nation has a solemn duty to care for those suffering long-term, negative health effects from toxic exposures during their military service,” DAV National Commander Stephen Whitehead said.
However, Congress has concerns about the cost and how the VA would handle the addition of 3.5 million veterans to its hospitals and monthly disability payments.
The VA determines whether other illnesses should be connected to burn pit exposure and other pollution. They intend to announce qualifying illnesses such as some cancers and rare lung diseases next year.
“This is only the beginning of our efforts, and we will keep moving ahead with urgency,” VA Secretary Denis McDonough said.
How To Get Presumptive Disability Benefits
Head over to our guide on Presumptive Conditions, it provides a better understanding of what they are and how they work. You may be entitled to disability benefits based on the area you served in. File a presumptive claim to get the benefits you deserve.
If you or a Veteran you know needs help to develop a claim strategy, Contact Veteran Ratings. Veteran Ratings has a 95% chance of success in acquiring the rating and benefits you deserve.
Have a question? On the fence? Contact us for more information. We are here for you — we proudly serve those who served. Veterans are our only priority because they made this the land of the free through their bravery and sacrifice.