December 6, 2021

Respiratory Diseases Gaining Attention for Veterans Disability Benefits, Allsup Reports

Announcements about tracking airborne exposure, as well as three conditions - asthma, rhinitis, sinusitis - added for VA disability benefits for service in Southwest Asia, signal important changes 

Belleville, Illinois — December 6, 2021 The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and Biden Administration continue to announce developments highlighting increased attention to respiratory disability experienced by U.S. veterans, according to Allsup, a nationwide provider of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) representation and veterans disability appeal services.

The VA recently reported plans to study evidence about service connection for the development of rare respiratory cancers and other conditions among veterans, as well as to accelerate its efforts to track and review medical evidence for veterans, according to news announced last month. In addition, the VA announced a few months ago its addition of three presumptive conditions - asthma, rhinitis and sinusitis - related to particulate matter exposure for veterans seeking service-connected disability benefits.

“Clearly, there is an interest in better understanding the impact of military service and the development of respiratory conditions, with recent presumptive status provided for asthma, rhinitis, sinusitis in certain geographic areas, and efforts to better evaluate a service connection to lung cancer and cancers of the larynx and trachea,” said Brett Buchanan, Allsup VA-Accredited Claims Agent.

“Veterans can only benefit from a better understanding of the types of exposure they face when entering areas of conflict and conditions such as open burn pits, mechanical fumes, air pollution, sand, dust and other particulate matter they encounter in the course of serving their country,” Buchanan said.

These developments are vital for veterans to access important health care and benefits, and can point toward areas of risk for currently active military professionals, Buchanan added.

Specific to the three presumptive respiratory conditions, veterans must have served in the Southwest Asia theater of operations beginning Aug. 2, 1990, to the present, or Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Syria or Djibouti during the Persian Gulf war beginning Sept. 19, 2001, to the present. Applicants must also have acquired these conditions within 10 years of active separation from military service.

Veterans still may encounter obstacles when filing VA disability appeals. “Even though this is a positive step forward in helping veterans receive benefits, it is not guaranteed,” Buchanan explained. “The chances of being denied remain high, which is how Allsup can help. Our team of VA-accredited claims agents fully understand the VA disability process and know how to prepare thorough and accurate appeals if warranted.”

Allsup Veterans Disability Appeal Services® helps veterans with navigating their VA disability appeals process, which includes Higher-Level Review, Supplemental Claims and appeals directly to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals. Only 34.2% of appeals were approved by the BVA in FY2020, pointing to the importance of having expert appeals assistance.

For more information, visit or call (888) 372-1190.


Allsup and its subsidiaries provide nationwide Social Security disability, veterans disability appeal, return to work, and healthcare benefits services for individuals, their employers and insurance carriers. Allsup professionals deliver specialized services supporting people with disabilities and seniors so they may lead lives that are as financially secure and as healthy as possible. Founded in 1984, the company is based in Belleville, Illinois, near St. Louis. Learn more at and @Allsup or download a free PDF of Applying for Social Security Disability Insurance: Getting It Right The First Time.