Houston VA Benefits Attorney – Mustard Gas Disability Claims

Federal regulations have authorized the Veterans Affairs (VA) to pay disability compensation to U.S. Veterans who were exposed to mustard gas or lewisite. Unfortunately, over 90% of disability claims involving mustard gas have been denied since 2005, and in July 2016, the Arla Harrell Act was introduced to the U.S. Senate to try and make it easier for veterans (who have a disability from mustard gas) to receive benefits. This doesn’t change the fact, however, that if you’re a veteran suffering the debilitating effects of mustard gas, then you rightfully deserve benefits from the VA.

Houston VA Benefits Attorney | Mustard Gas Disability | Herren Law

If you were exposed to mustard gas or lewisite during active military service, then call Houston VA benefits attorney William Herren as soon as possible. At Herren Law, we’ll work with you, one-on-one, to develop a plan for filing for VA benefits. We will walk through the entire process and, if necessary, we will represent your case in front of the VA. For a free, no-obligation consultation with veterans benefits attorney William Herren, call our Houston law office today at (713) 682-8194.

VA Benefits Denials

One reason why there are so many denials is the fact that it’s incredibly difficult to prove exposure to mustard gas, especially since service records are highly unavailable. The VA has acknowledged that exposure to mustard gas may be linked to disabilities and that “the VA is committed to identifying, locating and fairly compensating all WWII veterans who developed disabilities because they were exposed to mustard gas, whether through DoD testing or on the battlefields abroad.”

Some statistics say that there are about 60,000 World War II veterans who were exposed to mustard gas as part of secret experiments by the U.S. military, and due to a vow of secrecy, these stories weren’t made public until 1990. The VA has attempted to reach out to Veterans, but as mentioned above, nearly all disability claims since 2005 have been denied.

Are You Eligible for Compensation?

Despite the denials, Title 38 CFR 3.316 states that “veterans who experienced full-body exposure to nitrogen, sulfur mustard, or Lewisite during active duty who later developed certain health conditions may be eligible for disability compensation.” Some specific elements required for eligibility include:

  • You must be a Veteran who was discharged under conditions other than dishonorable.
  • You must have been exposed to mustard gas in one of the following ways:
    • During field or chamber testing
    • During battlefield conditions in WWI
    • Present at the German air raid on the harbor of Bali, Italy, in WWII
    • Engaged in manufacturing and handling of blistering agents during military service

What Evidence Do You Need?

If you meet the criteria for eligibility, then you’ll need to present clear and thorough evidence to the VA. These evidence requirements include:

  • Evidence that shows exposure to mustard gas during military service
  • Evidence that shows one of the diseases or disabilities listed in 38 CFR 3.316(a) or medical evidence showing a connection between the disease and the disability based on exposure to mustard gas

After filing a disability claim with the VA, the VA will review (and possibly request) pertinent records for chemical exposure.

Contact Herren Law Today for a Free Consultation

As a U.S. Veteran, you rightfully deserve the benefits promised to you for the disability you acquired. Because of the complications involving VA benefits and disabilities related to mustard gas exposure, it is critical to get an experienced and prominent VA benefits attorney on your side. At Herren Law, we’ll diligently go through all of your records, gathering as much evidence as possible with the goal of showing a strong and clear case of mustard gas exposure during your military service. If you would like to speak with a leading VA attorney about your case, you can call our Houston law office by dialing (713) 682-8194. Free consultations are available.