The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs assumes that certain medical conditions in certain veteran populations were caused by military service. For this reason, you may be eligible to receive VA disability benefits for what is called a “presumptive condition”.
Like the name suggests, the VA will presume certain conditions to be caused by your military service, which means you don’t carry the burden of proof.
If you are interested in filing a VA presumptive condition claim, we recommend hiring a VA disability lawyer.
Understanding Presumptive Conditions
The following groups of people are able to file veteran disability claims for presumptive conditions:
- Former prisoners of war
- Vietnam veterans exposed to Agent Orange
- Atomic veterans
- Gulf War veterans with undiagnosed illnesses
Former Prisoners of War
Former prisoners of war are able to receive benefits for different conditions based on the length of time they were held hostage. For example, all former prisoners of war are able to receive benefits for psychosis, anxiety, or the organic residuals of frostbite as long as the condition is given a VA disability rating of at least 10%.This holds true for all former prisoners of war, regardless of how long they were held. However, you must have been imprisoned for at least 30 days to get compensation for conditions such as chronic dysentery, irritable bowel syndrome, and cirrhosis of the liver. Your condition must also have been given a rating of at least 10%.
There are many more medical conditions that are considered “presumptive” by the VA that aren’t listed here. To determine your eligibility for benefits, we recommend hiring a lawyer for veteran disability claims. That way, you’ll be able to receive disability benefits for former prisoners of war.
Vietnam Veterans Exposed to Agent Orange
During the Vietnam War, the United States sprayed a toxic chemical called Agent Orange to destroy agriculture and forest cover in Vietnam and Korea. If you had military exposure to Agent Orange during the Vietnam War, you may be eligible to receive VA benefits for presumptive conditions. You must have served in the Republic of Vietnam between January 9, 1962 and May 7, 1975. Some presumptive conditions include several forms of cancer, Hodgkin’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease. Hiring legal help for veterans will ensure you receive your benefits for Agent Orange exposure.
You may qualify for benefits if you were exposed to ionizing radiation in the following ways:
- involved in atmospheric nuclear testing
- served or was a prisoner of war in Hiroshima or Nagasaki
- served before February 1, 1992 at diffusion plant in Paducah, KY, Portsmouth, OH, or Oak Ridge, TN
- served before January 1, 1974 at Amchitka Island, AK
The VA assumes that certain medical conditions are related to your radiation exposure during military service. Covered presumptive conditions for atomic veterans include all forms of leukemia (except for chronic lymphocytic leukemia) and various cancers.
Gulf War Veterans with Undiagnosed Illnesses
Medically unexplained illnesses in Gulf War veterans are covered under the VA’s list of presumptive conditions.
However, you must also meet the following requirements for compensation:
- Served in the Southwest Asia Theater of Operations during the Gulf War
- Have disability rating of at least 10% by December 31, 2011
- Have symptoms that existed for at least 6 months
Presumptive conditions covered by the VA include chronic fatigue syndrome, irritable bowel syndrome, and fibromyalgia.
The Kalamazoo VA benefit attorneys at VA Disability Group, PLLC are dedicated to helping clients receive the benefits they need for presumptive conditions. If you are interested in filing a presumptive condition claim, give us a call at 1-844-838-5297.