To get veterans benefits, you have to prove you have a service connected disability. If you aren’t sure whether your condition is related to military service, we recommend hiring a VA disability attorney. From our experience working with other clients, we understand how a service connected disability affects every facet of life. For this reason, we do our best to make sure you get the disability benefits you deserve. Continue reading to learn the 5 ways you can prove a service connected disability.
Direct Service Connection
A direct service connection is one of the easiest to prove. Like the name suggests, your injury or illness is directly connected to the time you spent in the military. An example of a direct service connection would be if you stepped on a land mine and ended up having your leg amputated. The amputated leg would be directly connected to your military service, making you eligible for VA disability benefits.
Presumed Service Connection
The Department of Veterans Affairs assumes that certain medical conditions were caused by military service within certain areas and periods of time. Since the VA presumes certain conditions to be caused by your military service, you don’t carry the burden of proof.
You may be eligible forif you were:
- A prisoner of war (POW)
- Exposed to Agent Orange
- Exposed to radiation
- A Gulf War veteran
A disability attorney will be able to determine whether you are eligible for VA benefits based on when and where you served. For example, veterans may file VA disability claims if they developed Parkinson’s disease after serving in the Republic of Vietnam between January 9, 1962 and May 7, 1975.
During the Vietnam War, the U.S. military used a chemical called Agent Orange to destroy crops and forest cover in Vietnam and Korea. Unfortunately, Agent Orange caused irreversible illnesses, cancer, and permanent genetic damage. As a result, the VA assumes that certain conditions like Parkinson’s disease were caused by Agent Orange exposure.
Pre-Existing Condition Aggravated by Military Service
Did you have a pre-existing condition prior to military service? It’s not uncommon for certain medical conditions to get worse while serving in the military. If this story sounds familiar, you may want to contact one of our disability lawyers.
Just because a disability wasn’t directly caused by military service, doesn’t mean you aren’t eligible for benefits. A disability attorney can help you prove that your pre-existing condition worsened due to military service. Your entrance medical exam should show that you had a pre-existing condition. Medical records after military service can prove that the conditioned worsened as a result of your military service. You may not qualify for disabled veteran benefits if you have a condition that would have worsened over time regardless of military service.
Secondary Service Connection
It’s not uncommon for a service connected disability to cause another medical condition. For example, veterans diagnosed with service-connected diabetes can later develop heart disease. If your secondary illness would never have happened if not for the first service connected disability, you may be eligible for veteran benefits.
Service Connection from Injury Caused by Treatment in VA Health Care System
Were you injured while being treated in the VA health care system? If so, you may be eligible for compensation. Call our local attorneys today.
Our Kalamazoo disability lawyers are dedicated to helping you get the VA benefits you deserve for a service connected disability. To schedule your consultation with one of our disability lawyers, call the VA Disability Group at 1-844-VET-LAWS (838-5297).