SERVICE CONNECTION

Service Connection is the first hurdle in establishing a successful claim. 

 

To establish service connection, you need at least:

your Certificate of Discharge or Release (DD214), your service medical records, and medical evidence of a current disability. It may also help to have photographs and letters from your time in service, and contemporary statements from service "buddies", and relatives and friends who knew you during and after you served our country.

 

 

 

Direct Service Connection means that your diagnosed condition began during your period of service (or within a year of discharge) and that you are still affected with symptoms; or that the VA has recognized that your present symptoms are "presumptively" connected to your period of service (such as the diseases later suffered by veterans exposed to Agent Orange.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Secondary Service Connection means that your diagnosed condition developed as a result of, or a residual of, another service-connected condition or injury. For example, if you are service-connected for Diabetes and develop diabetic neuropathy in your feet, if you are service-connected for a right knee injury and then you develop problems in your left knee from overuse, or if you are diagnosed with Depression as a result of the consequences of a service-connected physical condition. 

 

To establish secondary service connection, you need at least a "nexus opinion" from a doctor, therapist, or other recognized professional.

This opinion must use specific language recognized by the VA.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Service Connection for Aggravation of a pre-existing condition means that a condition that existed prior to entering the military was aggravated beyond normal progression as a result of your military service. 

 

To establish service connection for Aggravation, you need at least a "nexus opinion" from a doctor, therapist, or other recognized professional.

This opinion must use specific language recognized by the VA.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Service Connection for Injury or Death as a result of VA Medical Treatment means that a claimed disability was caused by or aggravated by treatment at a VA Facility, or that the veteran's death resulted from this disablility or treatment. 

 

To establish a 38 USC Section 1151 claim, you need at least a "nexus opinion" from a doctor, therapist, or other recognized professional. This opinion must use specific language recognized by the VA.