How to Prove Service Connection

The short answer to how one proves service connection can be narrowed to 2 words: medical evidence. It cannot be overstated that medical evidence is the key to proving service connection. Sometimes this medical evidence can be developed by the VA through the comp and pen process but more often than not private medical opinions are required to help a veteran prevail. In addition there are different types of service connection to be concerned with. If you are a veteran and you are suffering from a disability that was caused or worsened while you were on active duty for the military, you may be eligible for VA’s service-connected disability compensation.

Direct Service Connection

You have a direct service connection if an incident that occurred in service directly caused a disability that you now suffer from. A direct service connection requires proof that the occurred, medical evidence of your disability, and medical evidence that the current disability was caused by the incident in service.
It’s easiest to prove this if the veteran was diagnosed with the condition during service or there is medical evidence in the service medical records of related symptoms. Without such evidence, a medical opinion from a doctor will often be critical to establishing direct service connection.

Aggravated Service Connection

Aggravated service connection can be established when a veteran suffered from a medical condition before entering service, the entrance medical exam records the existence of this condition, and there is evidence that an event during service worsened the condition. There are special rules associated with aggravated conditions so discussing this matter with a Vet Defender is important.

Presumptive Service Connection

Certain medical conditions are established by law as being presumptively service-connected for veterans who have served at least 90 days. Moreover there are special rules associated with some conditions and events that lead to presumptive service connection. For example the rules on Agent Orange can be used to establish presumptive service connection.

Secondary Service Connection

If you are eligible for service-connected disability compensation for an illness or injury, and that illness or injury has caused another medical condition, you may be eligible for additional compensation based on the theory of “secondary service connection.” One of the most common situations where this arises is if a veteran has a severe back disability and then applies for depression secondary to the back condition. This is how secondary service connection works.

The bottomline with all of the service connection issues is the strength of the arguments arising from the medical evidence. To discuss your service connection case contact the Vet Defender by clicking this link and scheduling an appointment: Schedule an Appointment.