For many veterans, the ability to prove that their disability was caused by military service is the most difficult part of establishing service-connected disability. In most cases you need a “nexus letter”, which is a letter from a medical professional who has reviewed your records and is of the opinion that your disability is related to your military service. Presumptive conditions eliminate this hurdle for certain veterans.
What is a Presumptive Condition?
The government has decided that when a veteran develops certain conditions during or within a specified amount of time after service, it will presume that the condition was the result of their military service. You don’t need to prove nexus. The VA says it is already shown.
You are granted service-connection for presumptive conditions that manifest to a compensable degree within a specified time period after active duty. For most conditions it is one year, but for a few it can be several years.
Examples of presumptive conditions include:
- Brain hemorrhage
- Hodgkin’s disease
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
- Multiple sclerosis (MS)
Presumptive Conditions and Specific Circumstances
Some presumptive conditions are tied to specific circumstances. For example:
- Veterans who served in the Republic of Vietnam between January 9, 1962, and May 7, 1975, are presumed to have been exposed to Agent Orange and other herbicides.
- Specific illness and undiagnosed illnesses with certain symptoms are presumed to be service-connected in Gulf War veterans.
- There are eight conditions for which service-connection is presumed for veterans, reservists and National Guard members who were at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 days between August 1, 1953 through December 31, 1987. The water supply was contaminated.
To learn more about presumptive conditions, please talk to an experienced VA disability lawyer right away.