Veterans Disability Compensation: Medical Conditions Presumptively Service-Connected
Practice Area: Veterans Benefits
The rules on presumptive service-connection are expanded from time to time as new conditions are added.
Veterans who served in Vietnam between 1/9/1962 and 5/7/1975, or were prisoners of war, or were exposed to ionizing radiation, or are Gulf War Veterans with chronic multi-system undiagnosed illnesses, may be eligible for compensation if they have an illness which is presumed to be service-connected. www.publichealth.va.gov/exposure/agentorange/index.asp
Presumptive service-connection can be established for any veteran if you are diagnosed with
(a) chronic disease such as diabetes, hypertension, or arthritis within one year of discharge,
(b) multiple sclerosis within 7 years of discharge, or
(c) Tuberculosis within 3 years of discharge.
If you had continuous active service of 90 days or more, and are now diagnosed with ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease, your condition is presumptively service-connected as well.
If you meet the criteria for presumption, such as a veteran who was exposed to Agent Orange in Vietnam and developed type 2 diabetes, newly-diagnosed related conditions such as diabetic neuropathy can be a basis for an increased rating as a secondary condition. Similarly a veteran who has developed Parkinsons disease or heart disease/heart attack may be able to get increased benefits for this secondary condition.