Field Background

Attorneys Devoted to Veterans Benefits

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    Are there any new presumptive disabilities for the VA?

    Usually, in order for a veteran to receive benefits for a disability, the veteran has to prove that a current disability is caused by an in-service disease or injury, or that the condition itself started in service. There are a few special exceptions where the VA will presume that a current condition is related to service. These presumptive disabilities involve when:

    1. certain conditions arise within a year of service
    2. a veteran was exposed to an herbicide such as Agent Orange
    3. a veteran was a prisoner of war
    4. a veteran was exposed to radiation
    5. the veteran served in a tropical area
    6. a veteran had service in the Southwest Asia theater of operations

    The list of which diseases are presumptive differs for each kind of service. Periodically, and especially for the Agent Orange presumptive conditions, the VA adds new diseases to the list of presumptive conditions. These changes are made based upon recommendations of the National Academy of Sciences which in turn bases its findings on the latest scientific studies. In recent years, the VA has added new presumptive conditions for those who were exposed to Agent Orange. These include: diabetes mellitus, ischemic heart disease and prostate cancer. The latest study from the National Academy indicates that stroke may soon be added to the list.

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