Starting tomorrow, April 26th, 2022 the VA will grant presumptive service-connection for nine respiratory cancers to veterans who served in Southwest Asia on or after August 2, 1990 or in Afghanistan, Syria, Uzbekistan, or Djibouti on or after September 19th, 2001.
All of the cancers on the following list are all so rare that they have little-to-no medical research to prove their cause. These rare cancers, however, have a higher-than-usual incidence rate in veterans who served in these locations during these times. Because of this, the VA looked into published research of similar conditions and found a compelling argument that these rare cancers could plausibly be linked to particulate exposure, despite the lack of direct evidence.
Since these cancers are so rare, the research necessary to undeniably prove their cause is unlikely to ever be performed. Thus, the VA is adding these cancers to the Presumptive List to ensure that the effected veterans are able to have their conditions service-connected without the usual evidential requirements.
The new Presumptive Respiratory Cancers include:
- Squamous cell carcinoma of the larynx
- Squamous cell carcinoma of the trachea
- Adenocarcinoma of the trachea
- Salivary gland-type tumors of the trachea
- Adenosquamous carcinoma of the lung
- Large cell carcinoma of the lung
- Salivary gland-type tumors of the lung
- Sarcomatoid carcinoma of the lung
- Typical and atypical carcinoid of the lung
All claims for these conditions that are received on or after April 26th, 2022, or that are pending at any level of the VA system (claims, appeals, etc.) on this date, will qualify for presumptive service-connection as long as they meet the service requirements.
If you have not claimed these conditions before or have been denied in the past, go ahead and submit a new claim so you can start receiving your deserved benefits!