Typically, veterans must establish that their disability is service-connected in order to receive compensation from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). However, in some cases, the VA will take for granted that your condition is service-connected. The conditions that are assumed to be related to a veteran’s military service can be found on the presumptive VA disability list. 

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Conditions That Qualify for a Presumptive Service Connection

Veterans who are diagnosed with a chronic disease within one year of their separation from service can apply for a presumptive service connection. Some of the chronic diseases that qualify include:

  • diabetes
  • hypertension
  • arthritis

Recent veterans who have been diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) after discharge may also establish a presumptive service connection for the disease.

In addition to the presumptive service connections for recent veterans, there are also specific rules for former prisoners of war, Vietnam veterans, Atomic veterans, and Gulf War veterans. For example, Vietnam veterans can receive a presumptive service connection for Type 2 diabetes due to Agent Orange exposure. Veterans with conditions tied to serving during a specific time period can be diagnosed with a disability at any point—they do not need to meet the one-year deadline that applies to those who’ve recently served.

The VA website has a PDF file you can download that lists the different conditions qualifying for a presumptive service connection.

If You Qualify For Veterans Disability Benefits, Your Job Is Only Half Done

However, earning a presumptive service connection is only half the battle. You still need to provide the VA with evidence that demonstrates the severity of your condition, so you can be assigned a proper disability rating. Ratings range from 0% to 100% in 10% increments—and higher percentages earn you additional monthly compensation. In some cases, veterans who have conditions that limit their ability to work may qualify for Total Disability Individual Unemployability (TDIU) benefits.

Do You Need to Speak With a Veterans Benefits Lawyer?

If you need to speak with an experienced veterans benefits lawyer, please contact us online, or call our Virginia Beach office to schedule your free consultation. We have offices throughout Virginia, including Chesapeake, Newport News, Norfolk, and Suffolk.


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