The hardest part of obtaining VA disability benefits will be convincing the Veterans Administration that you are disabled due to active military service. There are five types of disability types to help you determine if you should be receiving VA disability benefits:

1) Direct Service Connection

In this instance, you will need to supply the VA with medical records that proves your disability was diagnosed during the time you were serving.  You will also need to prove that the condition continues to negatively affect you today.

2) Presumptive Service Connection

Presumptive disability benefits are the "who," "what," "when," and "where" form of veteran's compensation.  A veteran is entitled to presumptive disability benefits when the VA predetermines that your disability is connected to your "time," "place," and "type" of military service.

(Recently, the VA announced that several Vietnam vets qualified for presumptive illness benefits related to Agent Orange exposure.) 

3) Aggravation Service Connection

You must be able to provide evidence that your condition existed prior to your military service and has worsened as a result of service.

4) Secondary Service Connection  

You must be able to provide evidence to the VA that your disability or injury is the result of another service connected disability or injury. It's possible to obtain this rating by proving that a service connected condition caused a new disability, or made a pre-existing or non-service connected disability worse.

5) Injured as a result of VA medical treatment

Veterans who sustatin injury due to poor treatment at a VA hospital may be elgible for VA disability benefits.  These benefits may also be granted to veterans who have an existing injury that was aggravated due to malpractice at a VA hospital.

James R. Keller
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Howard R. King 12/31/2012 11:46 AM
I served in the U.S. Army from 1970-1976 and again from 1980-1994, when i retired with 10% disability due to respiratory problems which manifested themselves beginning in 1981 and continued to trouble me so that I had to be hospitalized three times prior to my honorable discharge on 30 June 1994. I moved from Raeford, NC to Tolleson, AZ in 2003. Since that time my disability payments have stopped. The VA office at 3333 N. Central Avenue in downtown Phoenix, AZ informed me last week that it appeared they had no forwarding address from the time of my move from NC to AZ, which may be the reason this happened. I had gone to see them because my repiratory problems are still debilitating and seem to be getting worse, despite treatment I am receiving. That is how I found out what has apparently happened. I went to see them to try and get a re-evaluation of my condition and to see if my disability could be reinstated.
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Rafael B. Rivera Quinones 10/08/2014 08:38 PM
I'm a Viet Nam veteran 1967- 1968. I have a service conection on Heart Schemia Disease due to Agent Orange.I was recently diagnosed with PIN after a Prostate biopsy and I need to know if I can claim that as service conection due to Agent Orange. Thank you.
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