March 20, 2022 marks the 19and anniversary of the start of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). This anniversary gives us the opportunity to reflect on the sacrifices of those who served in a conflict that lasted nearly nine years and cost the lives of nearly 4,500 soldiers and injured more than 31,000. If you served in the OIF and have a disability or illness, you may be eligible for VA benefits and services.
Additional presumptive conditions related to particulate exposure
Those who served in OIF, or the Southwest Asia Theater of Operations and other locations, may now be eligible for compensation for medical conditions believed to be related to exposure to fine particulate matter. .
Veterans and survivors who believe they can be compensated for asthma, rhinitis, or sinusitis that developed within 10 years of separation from military service are encouraged to file a claim for benefits.
Those who served in the following locations are presumed to have been exposed to particulate matter and may qualify for the new presumption:
- Southwest Asian theater of operations from August 2, 1990 to the present day.
- Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Syria or Djibouti from September 19, 2001 to the present day.
The Southwest Asia theater of operations refers to these locations and the airspace above them:
- Saudi Arabia.
- The neutral zone between Iraq and Saudi Arabia.
- The United Arab Emirates.
- The Gulf of Aden.
- The Gulf of Oman.
- The Persian Gulf.
- Arabian Sea.
- The Red Sea.
For more information on the new presumptive conditions, visit the Airborne Hazards and Burn Pit Exposures – Public Health page.
VA is committed to providing veterans with the medical care, benefits, and services they have earned. For the most up-to-date list of service-related disabilities, please see Exposure to Specific Environmental Risks | Veterans Affairs (va.gov).
File a disability claim
If you suffer from an illness or condition related to particulate matter, exposure, or any other exposure to the military environment, we encourage you to file a claim. For more information on how to file a VA disability claim, click here.
If you were previously denied service connection for one of the new conditions, but symptoms developed within 10 years of military service, you will need to file another application. Be sure to use VA Form 20-0995, “Request for Decision Review: Supplementary Request” when filing. The claim form must include the name of the diagnosed medical condition. If you have additional questions about the claims process, visit VA.gov or call 1-800-827-1000.
To learn more, visit www.va.gov/disability/eligibility/hazardous-materials-exposure/.