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The Sergeant First Class (SFC) Heath Robinson Honoring our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act.

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced the expansion of VA disability benefits available to veterans who served in Southwest Asia. Gulf War and post-9/11 veterans are now able to receive a presumption of service connection for conditions related to toxic exposures from their deployments. Veterans deployed to the Southwest Asia theater may have been exposed to smoke from burn pits and unpaved roads, industrial air pollution, sand, dust, and exhaust from diesel and other internal combustion engines.

A medically unexplained chronic multi-symptom condition (such as fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, or irritable bowel syndrome, or leishmaniasis

VA Disability compensation is a monetary benefit paid to Veterans. They are determined by VA to be disabled by an injury or illness incurred or aggravated during active military service. These disabilities are considered to be service-connected. The Veteran must have been separated or discharged under conditions other than dishonorable to be eligible for compensation. Monthly VA disability compensation varies with the degree of VA disability and the number of eligible dependents. Veterans with severe disabilities may qualify for additional special monthly compensation (SMC). 

These illnesses are now presumptive:


  • Asthma that was diagnosed after service

  • Chronic bronchitis

  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)

  • Chronic rhinitis

  • Chronic sinusitis

  • Constrictive bronchiolitis or obliterative bronchiolitis

  • Emphysema

  • Granulomatous disease

  • Interstitial lung disease (ILD)

  • Pleuritis

  • Pulmonary fibrosis

  • Respiratory (breathing-related) cancer of any type

If you served in any of these locations and time periods, we’ve determined that you had exposure to burn pits or other toxins. We call this having a presumption of exposure. On or after September 11, 2001, in any of these locations:

  • Afghanistan

  • Djibouti

  • Egypt

  • Jordan

  • Lebanon

  • Syria

  • Uzbekistan

  • Yemen

  • Bahrain

  • Iraq

  • Kuwait

  • Oman

  • Qatar

  • Saudi Arabia

  • Somalia

  • The United Arab Emirates (UAE)

  • The airspace above any of these locations


  • Functional gastrointestinal disorders

  • Chronic fatigue syndrome

  • Fibromyalgia

  • Other undiagnosed illnesses, including but not limited to cardiovascular disease, muscle and joint pain, and headaches

  • Particulate Matter Exposure - The Southwest Asia theater of operations refers to Iraq, Kuwait, the neutral zone between Iraq and Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, the Gulf of Aden, the Gulf of Oman, the Persian Gulf, the Arabian Sea, the Red Sea, and the airspace above these locations. Veterans who believe they may be eligible for presumptive service connection due to asthma, rhinitis, sinusitis, or other related respiratory conditions are encouraged to apply for VA disability benefits.

  • A veteran who served in Southwest Asia can be service-connected for "undiagnosed illness" without direct evidence of a nexus between his or her service and the illness. For the purposes of this section, Southwest Asia includes Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, UAE, Oman, the Gulf of Aden, the Gulf of Oman, the Persian Gulf, the Arabian Sea, the Red Sea, and the airspace above. VA also considers service in Afghanistan to be included.

To Be Eligible You Must have a Current Diagnosis 



Welcome to The VA Disability Advocate, where we understand the challenges and emotions veterans experience while navigating the complex process of filing a VA disability claim. I am Albert L. Thombs Jr.,  "The VA Disability Advocate," your dedicated advocate; I'm providing you with valuable insights and guidance to help you approach your claim with the right mindset. Filing a claim can be daunting, but with empathy, information, and support, you can increase your chances of success and obtain the benefits you deserve.

The VA Disability Advocates Main Office is Located in Las Vegas, NV. We Represent Veterans throughout the United States. 702-209-5722 

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