How do I get disability compensation for Presumptive Conditions?

There is a large cloud of misunderstanding around the VAs Presumptive Condition List. Many veterans think that just because they have a disease that is listed on the VA Presumptive Condition list that they will automatically get a disability compensation payment. If you are reading this, it is for likely two reasons.

  1. You have a disease on the VA’s Presumptive list and are unsure about how to get a claim filed
  2. You filed a claim on your own thinking it would be a slam dunk, then got denied, and you are wondering why


There are many resources on the Internet that list off VA Presumptive Conditions, but many do not tell you about the pitfalls involved with filing a claim for possible disease. Let’s dig into it and see how we can correct course.

I think what really gave me pause (and frankly irritated me to no end) was the VAs use of the word “presumptive.” My thinking, and stop me if this sounds familiar, was “If you’re presuming that I have the disease, just pay me out!” Right? Not quite.

There are actually two presumptions going on: Presumption of Exposure and Presumption of a Service Connection. So let’s unpack those a bit.

Presumption of Exposure


The presumption of exposure means the veteran served a qualifying length of time, in a specified area, during a specified time, for a specific time frame. Sounds very specific.

Here’s an example, The VA presumes certain diseases in relation to the conditions at Camp Lejeune IF the veteran served for at least 30 days cumulative between the dates of 1 Aug ’53 and 31 Dec ’87. By having those time stamps on your claim, there is a higher likelihood of getting your claim approved. There are others, of course, but I won’t get into them here. But your VCE can help you with this if you need it.

Presumption of Service Connection


This is where it gets tricky. The Presumption of Service Connection is where the VA will actually replace the medical nexus with an assumption. Telling us that the disease or condition is more likely than not caused by your service. Remember a medical nexus is a link between diagnosed disability and an in-service event.

“Hold on, you mean I don’t need a medical nexus?”

Sort of. The VA presumes the medical nexus, but you still have to provide the diagnosis.

Common mistakes


Many vets think that by merely filing a claim without a medical diagnosis is okay. “I mean, I was there, I can prove I was there, and I got the disease.”

Yes, that’s right: but you still need a medical diagnosis of the disease or condition. While the VA has a possible list, that list just concedes that there is a large group of service members that served all at the same place, along the same time frame, and have all developed similar symptoms or diseases. This does NOT mean that everyone who served in that place at those times will get an automatic disability compensation payment. It also does not mean that a simple, straightforward claim that you file will automatically be a winning claim.

How we can help


We have Veteran Claims Experts that have submitted hundreds of winning claims on Presumptive Disease. We can talk to you to find out more about your claim then develop a winning strategy. With a 90% success rate, you should consider VA Claims Insider if you feel you need assistance OR if your Presumptive Disease claim was already denied.

Have questions about anything we spoke about today? Please reach out! We would love to clarify and help you qualify for the VA compensation you deserve!

Steve Rush is apart of VA Claims Insider Team and a retired Air Force Disabled Veteran. You can contact him at [email protected]

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