Service connected disability claims are for injuries or illnesses that were caused by service or pre-existing conditions that
were aggravated by service. This can be for physical and/or emotional trauma. There must be a chronic problem that exists
today in order to file a claim for service connection.
A veteran can also file a claim for service connection under “presumption.” VA presumes that specific disabilities diagnosed
in certain veterans were caused by their military service. VA does this because of the unique circumstances of their military
service. If one of these conditions is diagnosed in a veteran in one of these groups, VA presumes that the circumstances of
his/her service caused the condition, and disability compensation can be awarded. There are currently four major categories
of veterans under presumption:
- Former Prisoners of War
- Vietnam Veterans (exposed to Agent Orange)
- Atomic Veterans (exposed to ionizing radiation)
- Gulf War Veterans (undiagnosed Illness)
It important to note that there are specific requirements surrounding each category and there are specific medical conditions
as well. New medical conditions are being added on a regular basis. Be sure to check with a Veteran Service Officer for
more information on Presumptive Disability Benefits.
A claim for service connection is about what you can prove happened in service, not what you know happened. It is very important
to have an accredited veteran service officer serve as your advocate. They will help you gather all necessary forms and evidence
for your claim and assist you in the claims process.
Click here to learn about what happens after you file a claim for service connected disability compensation.