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TERA Medical Opinions for the VA

TERA Medical Opinions for the VA

The Department of Veterans Affairs is responsible for approving and providing benefits for Veterans’ disability claims. In addition to firearm injuries, benefits can be awarded after potential exposure to toxic substances, or “TERA participation.” TERA stands for Toxic Risk Exposure Activity.

A TERA medical opinion is a medical exam to see if a Veteran possibly participated in a toxic risk exposure activity for PACT Act-related claims. The PACT Act provides clear details on the types of disabilities that can qualify someone for VA benefits, especially those that are related to hazardous toxic exposure while in the military.

Our VA-accredited attorneys can talk with you about how to get a TERA medical opinion in your pursuit of benefits.

What is Toxic Risk Exposure Activity (TERA)?

If you were exposed to any of several toxic hazards during your military service, even if you were not on active duty, you could be eligible for benefits. The following substances are recognized as being TERAs:

  • Mustard Gas – containing lewisite, Nitrogen, Sulfur mustard
  • Agent Orange – herbicide widely used in Vietnam
  • Ionizing Radiation Exposure – can result in cancer or several other disabilities
  • Camp Lejeune – contamination in water, which led to multiple serious conditions
  • Burn pits – combustion areas for military waste management, with jet fuel often used as an accelerant, which is toxic when burned

Our attorneys can consult with you on these, and other TERA situations, when you call us for a free consultation. If one of these situations applies to your service history, you will need to get a C&P exam and an official medical opinion.

Reasons a Claim Might Fail

Your claim may be denied benefits if your TERA exposures are vague. The claim needs you to list the specific chemicals involved and to identify that you were exposed where and when you say you were. Details are incredibly important. You also must have been officially diagnosed with the disability you are claiming and provide details about it.

You also may not be successful if there is not enough proven scientific information correlating your disability and one of the above hazards, such as sleep apnea being tied to burn pits and jet fuel toxins. The evidence here must be substantial.

Most disabilities could have multiple explanations, so if there are other explanations found that would more likely explain your disability, it likely will not be attributed to your military service.

Talk to an Attorney About Getting a TERA Medical Opinion

Your exposure to toxic substances might qualify you for Veterans benefits but there is a rigorous process of confirming your service-connected diagnosis and getting it approved. It is our job to help you out. For a free consultation, please call Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law – we can take on clients from anywhere in the country who might have experienced a Toxic Risk Exposure Activity.

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