The U.S. military relies on a number of chemical elements to create weaponry and defense materials for overseas maneuvers. However, all people who come into contact with these elements are potentially at risk of metal and chemical poisoning—including U.S. service members.

One material that has been linked to adverse health effects is depleted uranium, which is used for tank armor and munitions designed to penetrate enemy armored vehicles. "Depleted" uranium is 40 percent less radioactive than natural uranium, but has the same toxic chemical properties. The U.S. military began using depleted uranium more frequently during the Gulf Wars, placing veterans of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF), Operation New Dawn (OND), and Bosnian conflicts at risk.

 Veterans may be able to collect VA disability for uranium poisoning due to:

  • Shrapnel. Servicemen and women who are injured by projectiles made with depleted uranium can suffer uranium poisoning. Those most at risk are veterans who have small fragments of depleted uranium embedded in their bodies, had a fragment pass through muscles or other bodily tissues, or had their wounds contaminated by uranium exposure.
  • Inhalation. Veterans who were riding in vehicles that were struck by depleted uranium shells many have inhaled or swallowed tiny airborne particles of uranium, causing the element to travel through the bloodstream.
  • Kidney failure. High doses of depleted uranium in the body have been linked to a number of serious medical conditions, including radiation poisoning, impaired kidney function, and eventual kidney failure.

How to Get Proper Compensation for Your Service Injury

Veterans who are suffering health problems due to uranium exposure must meet certain service requirements to collect disability benefits. Our attorneys can gather the evidence you need to prove the extent of your suffering to the VA and get the full amount of compensation you deserve for your condition. Contact Cuddigan Law today or download a free copy of our book, The Essential Guide to VA Disability Claims, to begin building your case.


Sean D. Cuddigan
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SSA and VA Disability Attorney in Omaha, Nebraska