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One of the best ways to manage your health is to develop a long-term health care plan with your VA providers. VA’s new toxic exposure screening can help you plan for future concerns. If you’re enrolled in VA health care, you'll receive an initial screening and a follow-up screening at least once every 5 years. If you’re not enrolled but meet eligibility requirements, you’ll have an opportunity to enroll and receive the screening.
We have a few quick facts that’ll help you know what to expect with VA’s new toxic exposure screening.
What to expect
During your screening, you’ll be asked if you believe you experienced toxic exposures during your military service. The screening is quick—it only takes around 5-10 minutes to answer the questions. You can even complete the screening during one of your regular health care appointments.
You can decline the screening. If you decline, it’ll be offered to you the following year.
Document possible exposures
The new toxic exposure screening documents different kinds of exposures. There are several types of possible exposures or hazards you may have experienced during your military service. If you report a potential toxic exposure, it’ll be included in your health record.
Plan for your long-term health
The screening makes your VA health care team aware of any potential exposures to toxins during your military service. Your VA health care team can provide ongoing care with a focus on early diagnosis and treatment of any health concerns that might be connected to your exposure(s).
After your screening, VA will provide information about benefits, registry exams, and clinical resources. Being screened is separate from joining a VA environmental health registry, like the Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pits registry.
Even if you don’t have concerns now, you might in the future. You’ll be screened at least once every 5 years. The screening is not part of the VA benefits claims process. Learn more about filing a claim by visiting va.gov.
How to get screened
You may receive the screening at your next VA health care appointment. If you want to be screened sooner, contact your local VA facility and ask to be screened by the Toxic Exposure Screening Navigator.
The screening isn’t diagnostic, but it identifies and records potential exposures. If needed, it’ll support you in connecting with your VA health care team. You can always send your VA health care team a Secure Message if you have questions or concerns.
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