Presumptive Claim For Veterans With Complex Conditions
Not all veterans suffer from obvious, easily detected problems. From dangerous, sometimes unknown substance exposure such as Agent Orange to the normal wear and tear from military service, there are many problems that either take too long to manifest or can be easily explained by issues that have nothing to do with the military. If you suspect that your current conditions were caused by military service, or if you have chronic pain or mobility issues that aren't showing up on medical scans, consider the presumptive condition system and how a presumptive claim could bring you closer to Veterans Affairs (VA) disability success.
What Is A Presumptive Claim?
The VA can "presume" that your condition was caused by your military service, based on what happened during your military service.
The main difference between a presumptive claim and most other claims is in the language; with evidence, the VA can assume that you have a condition because of supporting information or confirm a condition because the evidence is direct and without a shadow of a doubt. To presume your claim's worth is to accept your disability's military connection without direct evidence. You'll still need to have proof that your disability is real, but you won't need exacting documentation linking it to military service immediately.
Returning to the Agent Orange incident, many veterans were affected by Agent Orange exposure and had to deal with years of denial from both the government and the involved processing companies behind the Agent Orange product. Eventually, people with Agent Orange exposure symptoms such as certain types of Leukemia were presumed to have been affected by Agent Orange. They were in the military at the right time and had the right symptoms, but there's still no direct incident report saying that one caused the other. With a presumptive claim, that's enough.
Other Presumptive Claim Examples
You don't have to be suffering from something as extreme as cancer from chemical exposure to qualify for a presumptive claim. In this PDF document from the VA, multiple examples of possible presumptive claims are available, such as Gulf War Syndrome (which is also used in the ongoing conflicts in other parts of the Middle East) and Korean War conditions.
Being involved in conflicts other than major headlines won't stop you from getting a presumptive claim. Many countries have unique threats from both conflict and nature, and simply being in another culture while dealing with hardship can deliver many life-threatening or altering issues, such as diseases in jungles or toxins from desert pests.
For the modern conflicts in the Middle East, new and active data can be gained by veterans reporting their conditions and getting treatment as soon as possible. If you need help bringing all of the evidence together, a personal injury lawyer can help you arrange the documentation and get you to the right civilian medical professionals when VA wait times are an issue.
Contact a lawyer to discuss your claim and ways to create a strong, presumptive link if the standard route is nothing but claim denials.