VA reviewing World War II mustard gas claims


The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is reviewing previously denied claims from World War II Veterans who participated in full-body testing for mustard gas or Lewisite in the 1940’s. The claims are being reconsidered as part of Public Law 115-48, Section 502.

The law extends a presumption of exposure to mustard gas or Lewisite to those previously denied Veterans who served during WWII at one of the 22 specified sites or any other site VA determines is appropriate, and such service is consistent with the places, types, and circumstances of service of the Veteran.

The law added six new sites to the list of DOD identified locations where full-body testing took place. The added locations are: Fort McClellan, Alabama; Huntsville Arsenal, Alabama; Fort Detrick, Maryland; Horn Island Installation, Mississippi; Camp Crowder, Missouri; and Toole Army Depot, Utah. In addition, Virginia has added Camp Howze, Texas, to the list.

“We are firmly committed to finding those World War II Veterans who participated in full-body mustard gas or Lewisite testing and ensuring that they have an opportunity to file a claim for related disabilities,” said Paul R. Lawrence, Ph.D., VA”s under secretary for Benefits.

VA has contacted identifiable World War II Veterans with a previously-denied claim for exposure to mustard gas or Lewisite to re-adjudicate those claims.

World War II Veterans who were previously denied benefits for mustard gas or Lewisite exposure and have not been contacted by VA, should call (800) 827-1000 to request that their claim be reviewed.

For more information go to


Donna Stratford

Donna is a public affairs specialist in Veterans Benefits Administration Corporate Communications. She spent most of her career in government public affairs and communications. She recently completed Rating Veterans Service Representative training. Donna is an Air Force Veteran and retired from the Air Force Reserve.


  1. kerry pardue    

    I am sure that a lot of these soldiers died before your announcement. It is critical that the VA contacts the wifes, children of these Veterans as they are entitled to compensation for the error in not assisting or providing assistance when a claim was filed.

  2. Donna Stratford    

    VA has contacted all of the impacted Veterans we are aware of and have information for. The hope is that this outreach effort will be able to reach those that we don’t have electronic records for or their families.

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