The VA presumes that certain disabilities are caused by military service. You may be able to file a claim for VA chronic conditions if you are a former prisoner of war, a Vietnam veteran exposed to Agent Orange, an atomic veteran, or a Gulf War veteran with an undiagnosed illness.
For example, the VA assumes certain cancers are caused by Agent Orange exposure. If your veteran disability claim for veterans attorneys in Kalamazoo, MI as soon as possible.was wrongly denied, call our
What is a Chronic Condition?
Congress recognized that veterans were being denied VA benefits for conditions that were likely caused by their military service due to a lack of in-service evidence demonstrating the condition began while on active duty. In response, Congress enacted powerful legislation creating “chronic conditions.” Our veteran disability attorneys can help you take advantage of this legislation so you can receive the VA benefits you deserve for chronic conditions.
Generally, three things must be proven to establish service-connection for VA disability compensation:
- A current diagnosis
- In-service documentation demonstrating the onset of the condition (typically symptoms or a diagnosis)
- A “medical nexus” connecting them (causation)
Why Was My Claim Denied?
Typically, if service-connection is denied it’s because a medical nexus doesn’t exist. Proving a medical nexus requires a doctor’s expert opinion linking previous symptoms with the current diagnosis. There must also be supporting rationale. This is the most difficult thing to prove when seeking chronic disability benefits, and acquiring a medical opinion can be difficult. Many doctors are unwilling to provide medical opinions. Veterans are uncomfortable seeking medical opinions. And oftentimes, medical opinions lack supporting medical rationale.
What Chronic Conditions Can I Claim with the VA?
If a veteran has one of the chronic conditions listed in 38 CFR §3.307- 3.309 and that condition manifested itself to a compensable degree within one year after separation from active duty service, then the condition will be “presumed” to have started while on active duty and the VA will concede the medical nexus required.
The VA also recognizes that some chronic conditions take years to manifest. To receive, the VA gives Hansen’s disease (leprosy) and tuberculosis 3 years to manifest after active duty service. Multiple sclerosis gets 7 years.
A VA chronic condition does not need to be in a veteran’s military service treatment records. All that needs to be proven is that the condition “manifested” itself within the prescribed timeframes set forth in the regulations. Some of the more common chronic conditions veterans are diagnosed with include arthritis, diabetes mellitus, nerve impairments such as Bell’s palsy and carpal tunnel syndrome, primary anemia, kidney stones, valvular heart disease, hypertension, stomach ulcers, and seizures (epilepsy).
As indicated in 38 CFR 3.309(a):
“The following diseases shall be granted service connection although not otherwise established as incurred in or aggravated by service if manifested to a compensable degree within the applicable time limits under § 3.307 following service in a period of war or following peacetime service on or after January 1, 1947, provided the rebuttable chronic provisions of § 3.307 are also satisfied.”
- Anemia, primary
- Atrophy, progressive muscular
- Brain hemorrhage
- Brain thrombosis
- Calculi of the kidney, bladder, or gallbladder
- Cardiovascular-renal disease, including hypertension
- Cirrhosis of the liver
- Diabetes mellitus
- Encephalitis lethargica residuals
- Endocarditis (Covers all forms of valvular heart disease)
- Hansen’s disease
- Hodgkin’s disease
- Lupus erythematosus, systemic
- Myasthenia gravis
- Other organic diseases of the nervous system
- Osteitis deformans (Paget’s disease)
- Palsy, bulbar
- Paralysis agitans
- Purpura idiopathic, hemorrhagic
- Raynaud’s disease
- Sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral
- Sclerosis, multiple
- Thromboangiitis obliterans (Buerger’s disease)
- Tuberculosis, active
- Tumors, malignant, or of the brain or spinal cord or peripheral nerves
- Ulcers, peptic (gastric or duodenal)