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Presumptive Disability Benefits

What's a VA presumptive condition?


The VA is aware of certain sets of unique circumstances that lead to very specific conditions, that are tied to a veteran’s active-duty service. Based on this awareness the VA presumes that if a veteran meets all the criteria of those conditions the disability must have been caused by the veterans active-duty service and awards disability. This is called a “presumptive service connection.” 


One year from veteran discharge 


A veteran who is diagnosed with a chronic disease within one year of being discharged from active duty should apply for disability compensation under the presumptive condition rule. The proximity of the diagnosis to the active-duty services creates a presumption that the veteran was injured/got sick while on active duty and can, in many cases, be tied to the military service directly. Conditions that qualify include arthritis, diabetes, and hypertension (to name a few). 


Veterans who may qualify for presumptive disability benefits (do you qualify?)


Some of the categories of veterans who qualify for presumptive disability benefits include –


  1. Gulf War Veterans 

    1. Gulf war veterans who served in the Southwest theater of operations (including veterans of Desert Storm, Iraqi Freedom, and Noble Eagle with service in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iraq, Bahrain, Oman, and Afghanistan). 

    2. In order to qualify Gulf war veterans, have to have a condition that is at least ten percent (10%) disabling. (Read more about Gulf War Syndrome here). 

  2. Vietnam War Veterans 

    1. Vietnam war veterans who served in the Republic of Vietnam between January 9, 1962 and May 7, 1975 

    2. Vietnam war veterans who were exposed to agent orange (Read more about agent orange exposure here). 

  3. Former prisoners of war 

    1. Veterans who were prisoners of war must have a condition that is at least ten percent (10%) disabling to qualify.


For a full list of veterans who may qualify and the conditions which may qualify, read the VA’s pamphlet “Presumptive Disability Benefits” (Download here).  Speak with a lawyer.

Find Out If You Qualify

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