Posted: February 24, 2012
Between 1945 and 1962, approximately 180,000 military personnel were exposed to radiation from atmospheric nuclear tests or as part of the occupying forces in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan. These so-called "atomic veterans" may be eligible for benefits from the U.S. government if they contracted one of 21 different forms of cancers that can be traced to radiation exposure during their service.
Under the "Radiation exposure Compensation Act of 1990," veterans that were exposed and developed cancer could receive a one-time benefit of $75,000 or monthly disability payments of up to $2,673. Widows and children of atomic vets are eligible as well if their relative died before receiving benefits.
To learn more about the benefit for atomic vets and how to file a claim, visit the Defense Threat Reduction Agency or Department of Justice (DOJ) website. You can also call the DOJ at 800-729-7323 for more information.
More information about military-related radiation exposure can be found on the Department of Veterans Affairs website. Additionally, the National Association of Atomic Veterans website has a variety of information and resources for veterans and their families.
Please share this information with anyone who you believe may be eligible, including the families of veterans you serve.
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