Are You An Atomic Veteran?


An Atomic Veteran is defined in legislation as a veteran who, as part of his or her military service:

  • Participated in an above-ground nuclear test, 1945 – 1962; or
  • Was part of the U.S. military occupation forces in/around Hiroshima/Nagasaki before 1946; or
  • Was held as a POW in or near Hiroshima or Nagasaki (certain cases).
 Adverse Health Conditions You should Know About


Presumptive Cancers


If you have developed a “Presumptive Cancer,” which is presumed to be due to radiation exposure during your military service, all you have to do is verify that you are an Atomic Veteran to be eligible for disability compensation. Your service connection is established without considering the does received.


There are 21 presumptive cancers defined by law:


1. Leukemia (except chronic lymphocytic leukemia)

2. Cancer of the thyroid

3. Breast

4. Pharynx

5. Esophagus

6. Stomach

7. Small intestine

8. Pancreas

9. Bile ducts

10. Gall Bladder

11. Salivary glands

12. Urinary tract (kidneys, renal pelvis, ureter, urinary bladder and urethra)

13. Bone

14. Brain

15. Colon
16. Lung


18. Lymphomas (except Hodgkin’s disease)

19. Multiple Myeloma

20. Primary Liver cancer (except if cirrhosis or hepatitis B is indicated)

21. Bronchio-Alveolar carcinoma (a rare lung cancer)


Nonpresumptive Cancers or Conditions


If you have developed a “nonpresumptive cancer or condition,” VA will consider additional factors to determine your entitlement to compensation based on radiation exposure. These include the amount of your radiation exposure and the elapsed time between exposure and the onset of the disease. An estimate is based on scientific principles, records maintained by the Department of Defense, and information you provide to VA and the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), which runs NTPR.


What Benefits May I Be Eligible For?


Atomic Veterans who have developed one of several specific cancers or nonmalignant conditions, may be eligible for compensation and/or free VA medical care. This compensation would be in the form of a partial or full service-connected disability allowance, including potential payments to your surviving spouse or children.
For more information contact the Radiation Exposure Compensation Program (RECA) at 800-729-7327.

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