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NVLSP’s Burn Pits Claims Assistance Program: One Year After the Enactment of the PACT Act

Released 8/10/23 | Tags: Agent Orange, Burn Pits, Toxic Exposures, Veteran's Benefits

NVLSP’s Burn Pits Claims Assistance Program: One Year After the Enactment of the PACT Act


ARLINGTON, VA –The National Veterans Legal Services Program (NVLSP) issued the following update on its Burn Pits Claims Assistance Program on the one-year anniversary of The Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics Act (PACT Act).

“NVLSP is gratified to be able to assist veterans at no cost who have been suffering from the devastating impact of toxic exposure to secure long overdue benefits for them and their families,” said NVLSP Executive Director Paul Wright.  “Even though the deadline to file a claim or intent to file and receive the maximum amount in back benefits under the PACT Act is August 14, it is important to note that there is not a deadline to apply for benefits under the PACT Act, and NVLSP is dedicated to continue helping veterans who may need extra assistance in securing their much-needed benefits.”

Since its inception, NVLSP’s Burn Pits Claims Assistance Program has successfully obtained disability benefits for dozens of veterans suffering from a number of conditions covered under the new law, including asthma, sinusitis, and rhinitis. Going forward, the Burn Pits Claims Assistance Program will continue to represent veterans seeking to obtain service connection for conditions related to their exposure to toxic burn pits overseas, with priority for (1) veterans who were previously denied service connection for a burn-pit-related condition that is not presumptively service-connected under the PACT Act, including sleep apnea, GERD, and gastrointestinal issues or (2) veterans whose claims for a condition that is presumptively service connected under the PACT Act were denied after passage of the PACT Act on August 10, 2022.

Here are just two veterans that worked with NVLSP’s Burn Pits Claims Assistance Program:

Sergeant Navarro joined the U.S. Marine Corps after 9/11 and found NVLSP after being denied benefits for her asthma.  “I was disheartened by my experience with other lawyers who were for profit. NVLSP was completely different. I could not have asked for a better advocate. I am now receiving the benefits I should have a long time ago. As my condition worsens, I know that I am at least covered now.”

Veteran Devon Monroe joined the Navy in 2002 to help fight the global war on terrorism.  Mr. Monroe sought NVLSP’s assistance for coverage of his sinusitis. “Without NVLSP, I would have potentially filed the claim incorrectly or not at all.  My NVLSP attorney explained everything in great detail and knew how the VA operates.  I knew I had found the right person to help me with this process.”

Veterans who have not yet filed an initial claim or whose claim for a PACT Act condition was denied before August 10, 2022 are encouraged to reference NVLSP’s self-help guides for such claims for information on how to file or appeal their claims. These self-help guides, along with an intake form for NVLSP’s Burn Pits Claims Assistance Program, can be found at https://www.nvlsp.org/what-we-do/burn-pits-claims-assistance-program/.

The National Veterans Legal Services Program (NVLSP) is an independent, nonprofit veterans service organization that has served active duty military personnel and veterans since 1981. NVLSP strives to ensure that our nation honors its commitment to its 22 million veterans and active duty personnel by ensuring they have the benefits they have earned through their service to our country. NVLSP has represented veterans in lawsuits that compelled enforcement of the law where the VA or other military services denied benefits to veterans in violation of the law. NVLSP’s success in these lawsuits has resulted in more than $5.4 billion dollars being awarded in disability, death and medical benefits to hundreds of thousands of veterans and their survivors. NVLSP offers training for attorneys and other advocates; connects veterans and active duty personnel with pro bono legal help when seeking disability benefits; publishes the nation's definitive guide on veteran benefits; and represents and litigates for veterans and their families before the VA, military discharge review agencies and federal courts. For more information go to www.nvlsp.org.

Media contact:
Patty Briotta, office 202-621-5698, patty@nvlsp.org

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