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War Related Illness and Injury Study Center

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Complex Exposure Threats Center (CETC)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


Which Veterans are eligible for a CETC evaluation? 

Veterans who served as Explosive Ordnance Disposal specialists or were involved in anomalous health incidents while in the military are eligible for a CETC clinical evaluation through the VA’s War Related Illness and Injury Study Center (WRIISC). Veterans who do not meet this criteria but were deployed to an area of combat and have medically unexplained symptoms may be eligible for a WRIISC clinical evaluation. As the CETC infrastructure expands, more Veteran groups who may have been exposed to complex or poorly defined environmental hazards may become eligible groups for CETC evaluations. In addition, CETC has open research protocols that some Veterans may be eligible for that do not require a comprehensive clinical evaluation for enrollment.

How does a Veteran get a CETC evaluation?

Veterans who have either served as (1) Explosive Ordnance Disposal specialists in the military or (2)have reported an Anomalous Health Incident may request a War Related Illness and Injury Study Center (WRIISC) consult from their VA primary care provider for the CETC clinical evaluation. VA primary care providers need to specify on the WRIISC consult that the purpose of the consult is to request a CETC clinical evaluation. Details on the WRIISC referral process is available here.

Research enrollment is also available to those receiving clinical services at CETC as well as to larger military cohorts who meet eligibility criteria of the studies. As studies are approved and ready, recruitment information for Veterans and Service Members will be posted here and shared during clinical encounters.

What type of provider can refer a Veteran for a CETC clinical evaluation?

CETC requests that VA primary care providers refer Veterans to the CETC program to ensure that VA clinical information obtained through the CETC evaluation is communicated to the Veteran’s local VA health care team.

Is the CETC evaluation part of the VA’s Compensation and Pension (C&P) exam?

The CETC evaluation is not part of the VA’s compensation and pension (C &P) process. However, information gathered from the CETC evaluation may be used by the Veteran to support their C & P claim. Additionally, Veterans seen in CETC will meet with a social worker who will be available to provide information and guidance on how the VA’s C & P process works.