Veterans Disability Info Blog

Empowering Veterans with Multiple Chemical Sensitivity Syndrome

Exposure to harsh chemicals is known to cause a number of adverse reactions, including long-term, life-altering disabilities. You might have heard of veterans suffering a broad variety of health conditions ranging from cancer to infertility from exposure to chemicals such as Agent Orange. A number of recent legislative changes have expanded the availability of VA disability benefits for veterans exposed to Agent Orange, and also to tainted drinking water at the Marine Corps bases at Camp Lejeune and MCAS New River, North Carolina. 

An emerging condition linked to chemical exposure is that of multiple chemical sensitivity syndrome.  As we’ll discuss more in-depth below, this is the development of negative chemical reactions and other symptoms as a result of ongoing exposure to low levels of many common chemicals. If you are experiencing symptoms of MCS and the cause is linked to your qualifying active service, you may qualify for VA disability benefits. 

What is Multiple Chemical Sensitivity Syndrome? 

As explained by OSHA, Multiple Chemical Sensitivities (MCS), as it is described in their literature, is “a highly controversial issue.”MCS is defined as “an adverse physical reaction to low levels of many common chemicals.” While chemical sensitivity is often accepted as a reaction to chemicals, there is an ongoing debate concerning whether MCS can be classified as an illness. 

As noted by OSHA, there is not enough scientific evidence to confirm a relationship between the various theories behind MCS and the resulting symptoms. As a result of this, an evaluation must be conducted by a physician who has knowledge of the symptoms of MCS. It can be difficult to find a healthcare professional who is capable of conducting an MCS assessment, particularly given the relatively new recognition of the condition. If you have an appeal, you can benefit from the assistance of a VA disability attorney. 

Symptoms of Multiple Chemical Sensitivity Syndrome

The symptoms reported by sufferers of MCS syndrome include: 

  • Skin problems 
  • Migraine headaches 
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Red or watery eyes
  • Skin problems
  • Nausea 
  • Fast or irregular heartbeat 
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Muscle and/or joint pain 

Whether or not you are entitled to VA disability benefits for this or other conditions depends upon how impactful the symptoms are on your ability to work. A diagnosis for a condition at a 0 disability rating will allow you to receive health care from the VA, but only higher VA disability rating entitle you to tax-free monthly disability payments. 

To support your claim for MCS, it is important to work with health practitioners who are knowledgeable of the condition and understand its symptoms and implications. There is disagreement in the medical world over whether MCS is in fact a medical disorder that has established cause-and-effect relationships between the symptoms and exposure to low-levels of chemicals. Identifying healthcare professionals with this knowledge can be difficult, but an experienced VA disability attorney has them in their network to provide support of the outcome of your claim. 

When Can a VA Disability Lawyer Help? When Your Claim is Denied.

If you are in the process of filing your initial VA disability claim, you can access a huge amount of information for free through the VA online or in-person, and can also receive qualified help free of charge from the VA or a Veterans’ Service Organization (VSO). VA-accredited attorneys are not allowed to accept fees to prepare an initial application, however, we can provide significant value when it comes to appeals.

Your VA disability attorney can handle an appeal for your VA disability claim from start to finish. We step into your shoes and cover all aspects of the appeal, including the collection of evidence, to help ensure the best possible outcome with the VA. As research is emerging related to MCSsyndrome, if your prior claim was denied, an appeal including new research and evidence may lead to a grant. This entitles you to retroactive benefits from the time of your initial application to the present day, generally provided in a lump-sum payment. 

The VA disability attorneys from our law firm can help if you have had your initial claim denied and need to appeal. We are here as your advocates to help and guide you. There is no risk in reaching out to learn about how we can help. 

We are Here to Help

If you are having trouble obtaining benefits, contact us online or at 888.878.9350 to discuss your case.