Many veterans who are currently experiencing severe medical problems do not know that they may be eligible to receive service-connected compensation benefits. To qualify, evidence must show that the veteran’s disease or injury started during active service or full-time duty in the Army, Navy, Coast Guard or other U.S. armed forces.

Although there are four categories of service-connected compensation benefits, the two most common are direct service connection and presumed service connection.

Proof of a direct service connection requires evidence that the veteran suffered an injury or disease while in active service. The occurrence does not have to be linked to the veteran’s specific military duties. If military service records do not provide sufficient evidence of such occurrence, other confirming information may be used. This might include sworn statements from the veteran’s friends, family members or other members of the military unit.  Successive medical records that include timely notations of related symptoms or a triggering event are also important tools.

Examples of disabilities that appear many years after an in-service triggering event include : Noise induced hearing loss; cancer caused by exposure to radiation, toxic substances or excessive sunlight; degenerative diseases caused by traumatic injury, and such mental disorders as post-traumatic stress disorder.

If the disability is one that Congress has recognized as having a presumed service connection, the veteran will need to provide much less evidence. For example: The VA’s current list of conditions linked to Agent Orange exposure during the Vietnam War includes nine types of cancer, Type 2 diabetes, and 36 types of soft tissue sarcoma.

To qualify for service-related compensation, a Vietnam veteran with one of the nine listed conditions will immediately be deemed eligible to receive compensation benefits after submitting a current treating physician’s diagnosis.

In proving the relationship between onset of an injury or disease and active duty, the VA relies on a burden of proof that aims not only at being fair, but also at acknowledging its respect for those veterans who’ve served. The VA standard is best reflected by the scales of justice – should arguments that support or dispute the veteran’s entitlement to compensation benefits be equal, the veteran’s entitlement will prevail.

Not only the individual veteran but also the veteran’s spouse, children, and dependent parents may be entitled to monthly compensation benefits that far exceed those of other government programs.

For information on applying for veterans benefits, contact the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs at 213-744-4825 or online at dmva.co.la.ca.us  To find an attorney who specializes in appealing compensation claim denials contact California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform at 800-474-1116 or online at canhr.org

Many veterans who are currently experiencing severe medical problems do not know that they may be eligible to receive service-connected compensation benefits. To qualify, evidence must show that the veteran’s disease or injury started during active service or full-time duty in the Army, Navy, Coast Guard or other U.S. armed forces.

Although there are four categories of service-connected compensation benefits, the two most common are direct service connection and presumed service connection.

Proof of a direct service connection requires evidence that the veteran suffered an injury or disease while in active service. The occurrence does not have to be linked to the veteran’s specific military duties. If military service records do not provide sufficient evidence of such occurrence, other confirming information may be used. This might include sworn statements from the veteran’s friends, family members or other members of the military unit.  Successive medical records that include timely notations of related symptoms or a triggering event are also important tools.

Examples of disabilities that appear many years after an in-service triggering event include : Noise induced hearing loss; cancer caused by exposure to radiation, toxic substances or excessive sunlight; degenerative diseases caused by traumatic injury, and such mental disorders as post-traumatic stress disorder.

If the disability is one that Congress has recognized as having a presumed service connection, the veteran will need to provide much less evidence. For example: The VA’s current list of conditions linked to Agent Orange exposure during the Vietnam War includes nine types of cancer, Type 2 diabetes, and 36 types of soft tissue sarcoma.

To qualify for service-related compensation, a Vietnam veteran with one of the nine listed conditions will immediately be deemed eligible to receive compensation benefits after submitting a current treating physician’s diagnosis.

In proving the relationship between onset of an injury or disease and active duty, the VA relies on a burden of proof that aims not only at being fair, but also at acknowledging its respect for those veterans who’ve served. The VA standard is best reflected by the scales of justice – should arguments that support or dispute the veteran’s entitlement to compensation benefits be equal, the veteran’s entitlement will prevail.

Not only the individual veteran but also the veteran’s spouse, children, and dependent parents may be entitled to monthly compensation benefits that far exceed those of other government programs.

For information on applying for veterans benefits, contact the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs at 213-744-4825 or online at dmva.co.la.ca.us  To find an attorney who specializes in appealing compensation claim denials contact California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform at 800-474-1116 or online at canhr.org