VA adds respiratory cancers to service-connected disabilities

Published 7:30 am Friday, May 6, 2022

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The Department of Veterans Affairs is adding nine rare respiratory cancers to the list of presumed service-connected disabilities due to military environmental exposures to fine particulate matter.

The following list of rare respiratory cancers will be added to VA’s regulations through an Interim Final Rule published in the Federal Register on April 26, 2022:

  • 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.

VA determined through a focused review of scientific and medical evidence there is biological plausibility between airborne hazards and carcinogenesis of the respiratory tract — and the unique circumstances of these rare cancers warrant a presumption of service connection.

The rarity and severity of these illnesses and the reality these conditions present is a situation where it may not be possible to develop additional evidence prompted VA to take this action.

VA will begin processing disability compensation claims for veterans who served any amount of time in the Southwest Asia theater of operations beginning August 2, 1990, to the present, or Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Syria, or Djibouti beginning Sept. 19, 2001, to the present.

Any veteran who has or had one of the listed cancers at any time during or after separation from military service may be eligible for disability compensation benefits. For more information contact Covington County Veterans Service Officer Brian Foshee at 334- 428-2687 or on Wednesdays at Conecuh County Veterans Service Office at 251-578- 7036.