What is a Service-Connected disability?

In-service disability
First, you must have a disease, injury, or event that occurred during service that resulted in a disability. Or you had a preexisting disability that was aggravated by service. https://www.attorneyforveterans.com/lawyer-attorney-1325495.html

Examples of a knee disability from service may include: injuring your knee during unit sports, knees were hurt in a car crash during service (on-base accident or an IED explosion), or injured your knee in combat during combat operations (jumped over a cliff during a mortar attack, slamming your knee into something during combat operations). https://www.attorneyforveterans.com/lawyer-attorney-1645439.html

Stated another way any injury that occurred coincident with your service and was not the result of willful misconduct, and is chronic (does not really go away), may be considered as a service-connected disability.

Incurring an injury years after service is not a service-connected injury.

Wow, that is all that is needed – – not so fast. The VA will look at the injury and determine if it is chronic and connected.

Examples of a disease in service are multiple sclerosis (MS) or any disease that occurred during your active-duty service, and in some cases reserve duty, resulting in a disability.

Aggravated Preexisting disability
An example of an aggravated disability is you had asthma prior to entering service, were assigned to a facility where people smoked, resulting in a worsening of your asthma.

Examples of an event is witnessing a terrible situation (death, traumatic stressor [combat]), being raped also referred to as Military Sexual Trauma (MST).

Medical evidence, usually in your service treatment records is required to substantiate the in-service disability. An exception is for combat veterans, since treatment records are often nonexistent in a combat zone. Or your disability is falls within a presumptive time period or the symptoms and Chronicity can be connected to service.

That brings us to the second element discussed here, nexus.

Nexis – connection
You need a connection between your present disability and the in-service disability.

Current Disability
This element is the easiest, as you have a current disability. However, if you have a condition that no longer exists then you do not have a current disability.

Examples of a veteran not having a current disability are tonsillectomies in service, removal of gallbladder in service (although scarring and muscle damage may exist as separate claims), or your injury no longer exists (muscle sprain as an example that healed).

Presumptive Period
This is a general explanation of what a service-connected disability requires. There are numerous exceptions to Service-connected disabilities. Such as the presumptive period, for instance, if you claim a disease or injury, within the first year after separation from service, this may be considered having occurred during service.

Certain diseases have a longer presumptive periods than the 365 days after separation, such as Agent Orange diseases, multiple sclerosis, and numerous other diseases.

If you filed a claim, have been denied by the VA, and have a current notice of disagreement filed for the first time after June 20, 2007, please contact our office for assistance. https://www.attorneyforveterans.com/

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