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June 03, 2021

New Legislation Includes Presumption Status for Long List of Respiratory Illnesses

Senate leaders have introduced a new legislative package, titled the Comprehensive and Overdue Support for Troops (COST) of War Act of 2021. This package represents one of the most ambitious, sweeping attempts by Congress to address the long-term effects of burn pits and other toxic exposures on veterans who served in wars overseas. This new legislation would reclassify several lung illnesses and cancers as presumptively connected to burn pit and other toxic exposures during military service. This presumption means that veterans suffering from these illnesses no longer have to prove that the illness is a direct result of their military service. They simply must show that they currently suffer from one of the included illnesses and that they served in the designated areas and time frames. This change is anticipated to affect around 3.5 million veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan that have been exposed to burn pits.