The VA presumes that specific conditions diagnosed in certain veterans were caused by their military service. The VA does this because of the unique circumstances of their military service. If one of these conditions is diagnosed in a veteran in one of these groups, the VA presumes that the circumstances of his/her service caused the condition, and disability compensation can be awarded. This list can change and MVAA will make every effort to make updates as they arise.
Veterans within one year after release from active duty diagnosed with chronic diseases (such as arthritis, diabetes or hypertension) are encouraged to apply for disability compensation.
Veterans diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis/Lou Gehrig's disease at any time after discharge or release from qualifying active service may be eligible for compensation if they served a minimum of 90 consecutive days of active service.
If a former POW, regardless of the amount of time they were held in captivity, has any of the following conditions, the VA will presume that the condition was caused by their captivity if they become at least 10 percent disabled any time after military service:
Any of the Anxiety States
Stroke and Complications
Heart disease and complications
Osteoporosis (if the veteran has post-traumatic stress disorder)
If a former POW, who was held for 30 or more days, has any of the following conditions, the VA will presume that the condition was caused by their captivity:
Cirrhosis of the Liver
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Malnutrition (including Associated Optic Strophy Deficiency)
Peptic Ulcer Disease
Pellagra and any other nutritional deficiency
Peripheral Neuropathy (except where related to infectious causes)
Read more about disability compensation for former Prisoners of War.
Veterans who served in the Southwest Asia Theater of Operations during the Gulf War with a condition at least 10 percent disabling by Dec. 31, 2016, may receive disability compensation for chronic disabilities resulting from undiagnosed illnesses. Included are medically unexplained chronic multi-symptom illnesses defined by a cluster of signs or symptoms that have existed for six months or more, such as:
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Any diagnosed or undiagnosed illness that the Secretary of Veterans Affairs determines warrants a presumption of service connection.
Signs or symptoms of an undiagnosed illness include fatigue, skin symptoms, headaches, muscle pain, joint pain, neurological symptoms, respiratory symptoms, sleep disturbance, GI symptoms, cardiovascular symptoms, abnormal weight loss and menstrual disorders.
Read more about compensation for Gulf War veterans.
Veterans who served in the Republic of Vietnam between Jan. 9, 1962, and May 7, 1975, are presumed to have been exposed to Agent Orange and other herbicides used in support of military operations. If a Vietnam veteran has any of the following conditions, the VA will presume that the condition was caused by exposure to Agent Orange:
Chloracne (or similar acneform disease)
Chronic B Cell Leukemias
Diabetes Mellitus (Type II)
Ischemic Heart Disease
Peripheral Neuropathy, early-onset
Porphyria Cutanea Tarda
The VA has also recognized that certain birth defects among veterans' children are associated with their service in Vietnam or Korea. This includes:
Birth defects in children of women veterans
Veterans may have been exposed to a range of chemical, physical and environmental hazards during military service, and may be entitled to disability compensation if exposure to these hazards resulted in a disease or injury. Examples include exposure to radiation, mustard gas, asbestos, burn pits, chemical fires and contaminated drinking water at Camp Lejeune.
Read more about compensation for military hazardous exposures.
Veterans and service members who were exposed to burn pit smoke and other airborne hazards can now report their exposure and health concerns on the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry.
The registry will help to monitor health conditions affecting eligible veterans and service members and the data will be used to improve programs. VA will maintain the security of all information provided in the registry.
Registry participants will receive information about ongoing health studies and VA services, and may request a no-cost medical evaluation to discuss their completed questionnaire with a VA or Department of Defense health provider. Other benefits of the registry include helping VA to learn more about the potential health effects of exposure to burn pits and other airborne hazards.
VA will determine eligibility for the Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry based on deployment information from the U.S. Department of Defense. To be eligible, you must be a veteran or service member deployed to contingency operations in the Southwest Asia theater of operations at any time on or after Aug. 2, 1990 (as defined in 38 CFR 3.317(e)(2)), or Afghanistan or Djibouti on or after Sept. 11, 2001. These regions include the following countries, bodies of water and the airspace above Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Djibouti, Gulf of Aden, Gulf of Oman, Oman, Qatar, United Arab Emirates and waters of the Persian Gulf, Arabian Sea, and Red Sea.