Compensation for Atomic Veterans

Q: I have a friend who was in the USAF in the 1950′s and participated in nuclear tests in the desert near Las Vegas, NV. Since that time he has had over 30 skin surgeries. He believes the skin surgeries are related to the nuclear tests, but he has not made any inquiries. He has civilian insurance and has used it for his medical bills. Can anyone tell me if he should report this to the VA or any other government agency? Should he need medical help, would the VA provide it?


A: Monthly VA payments of up to $2,673 are available to those exposed in Japan as part of the clean-up efforts at the end of WWII.

Veterans involved in nuclear testing and atmospheric fallout should NOT file anything with the VA, but instead should file and receive a one-time compensation from the Justice Department under the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act of 1990. There are 21 kinds of cancers covered, but I do not see any mention of skin cancer or problems. ALL cancers are considered on a case-by-case basis, though, so there is hope. Compensation is based on the servicemember’s position: uranium miners, millers, and transporters; onsite participants; and downwinders.

Veterans must furnish their medical and military records as well as the location where they were exposed, information verified by the government. The first step in filing is to get his Film Badge Radiation Exposure History and go from there.

Please check these sites for more detailed information:


  • William J. Fish
    Posted December 19, 2014 2:25 pm 0Likes

    On April 18,1953, I was an onsite-participant with the 1st Battalion, 8th Marine Division,in Upshot-Knothole Sires, Shot Badger a (23kt) tower shot atomic detonation. We were placed in trenches 4000 yards from ground zero. Do to the fact, I was an onsite-participant, an came in contact with an atomic bomb related disease, a (Non-malignant Thyroid, Nodular Disease). I filed for compensation in three states
    only to be denied monetary compensation, On Feb 5, 2013, by Steve D. Gabris, a Veterans Service Center Manager, VA
    Office in Jackson, Mississippi. In no way, should I have been denied monetary compensation for a disease that is associated with ionizing radiation and toxic fallout from the atomic bomb Shot Badger.

    “U.S. Veteran Compensation Programs, 11/29/2014”

    “Thousands receive checks for diseases caught off duty”

    “Why are the Atomic Veterans denied monetary compensation for their diseases, when STDs Veterans are getting life time checks from our government for gonorrhea, genital herpes and other venereal diseases they caught in service.
    The disability payments are made under a provision from three decades ago that entitles them to monthly payments for sexually transmitted they contacted, or aggravated, while in service – even if they became infected on their own time years ago.”

    “Under the rule Congress created at the end of the Vietnam War, even genital warts are considered a service-connected
    condition entitling a vet to the same $100 or more a month
    for the rest of his or her life that those who suffer wounds or battle injuries can receive.”

    Question: Why are the Atomic Veterans being cheated out of
    their Monetary compensation benefits caused by Radiation
    and it’s toxic fallout from the atomic bombs? While the STDs Veterans are getting monetary compensation benefits for theirs? How much longer must we wait? Many of our Atomic Veterans have died with out receiving any benefits
    at all. How much longer will it take our Congress, the Senate and our President to give our Atomic Veterans, their
    monetary compensation benefits they deserve?

    Semper Fi
    William J. Fish
    NAAV Life Member

  • Cynthia Boyd
    Posted February 13, 2015 1:24 pm 0Likes

    Hi – My dad was in Japan the month after the bombs were dropped. He was part of the invasion force. He was there for 3 months. I believe that he was exposed to the “downwind” contamination from the bombs. He was totally disabled by the time he was 37; and dead at the time he was 41. So US government, don’t even try to tell me that the reason he died was other than the contamination from the atomic exposure! I miss him every day of my life. My children never had a grandpa! Please help these families!

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