Of the five strategies by which a veteran can establish the link between a service incident and disability required for VA compensation claims, the direct service connection is usually the first method to which veterans turn. The phrase “direct service connection” means exactly what it says: the veteran’s current disability is a direct result of an incident that occurred or a disease that was diagnosed during the period of military service.
The direct service connection is also the first strategy that VA board members are trained to use when evaluating claims. A qualified disability lawyer will do everything possible to establish that the link between your disability and a presumptive service incident qualifies as a direct service connection.
How to Prove the Direct Service Connection for Successful VA Compensation Claims
There are three types of evidence generally used by veterans and their legal counsel to establish the direct service connection:
- Medical documentation of the current disability
- Lay or medical evidence of a precipitating incident during service, such as an injury, event, or diagnosis of a related disease
- A medical opinion provided by an expert analyzing the evidence and linking the disability to the precipitating incident, event, or disease
Successful VA compensation claims require the presence of all three of these types of evidence. However, there are several circumstances under which a direct service connection can be established without the presence of the second and third types of evidence. These situations occur when the veteran can prove “chronicity” or “continuity of symptomatology.”
If you think you may be eligible for direct service connection under either of these two special provisions, it is strongly recommended that you consult a qualified disability lawyer no matter how strong you think your case is. It’s always best to go in with more evidence than you think you’ll need when arguing VA compensation claims – after all, your veterans benefits depend on the outcome.
For more information on your Veterans Disability Claim, visit our website. Be sure to download a copy of our free e-book, Veterans Disability Claims; Strategies for a Winning Campaign.