DEFINITION OF SERVICE CONNECTED
Service-Connected Disability means death or disability was incurred or aggravated during active service in the line of duty. Basically, you need to show that the original incident caused a particular condition for which you received treatment and how that treatment has continued. If you stop receiving treatment for a time, or if more than a year passes between the time you are discharged from service and you file your claim, proving the existence of a “nexus” becomes harder. Many denied veterans' benefits are often the result of an inability to prove that a “Nexus” Exists.
1. Direct Service Connection. While a direct service connection
can be established in any number of ways, this meaning of
establishing service connection usually means that it is clear
evidence of a disability, an incident that occurred while the veteran
was in service, and evidence of "linkage" between the two.
2. Service Connection by Aggravation. In this type of claim, the veteran usually has some evidence that a condition existed before the veteran's time in service (usually an entrance examination), accompanied by evidence of an incident occurring in-service and again, evidence of linkage between the two.
3. Service Connection by Legal Presumption. Certain conditions or diseases are presumed to be service-connected. There are lists of these conditions and their presumptive periods. Most of these conditions must manifest to a degree of 10 percent or more within one year from the date of separation.
4. Secondary Service Connection. This type of service connection will occur when one disability is the result of another service-connected disability. One of the most famous cases is of a WW II veteran who was treated for tuberculosis with a medication known to cause hearing loss. In the Court of Appeals decision, the hearing loss was a disability with a secondary service connection.
5. Connection due to injury caused by treatment in the VA healthcare system. 38 U.S.C. 1151 states that if a veteran is injured because of VA hospitalization, treatment, rehab or therapy that is not the fault of the veteran, the injury is treated as service-connected.
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