Presumptions That Help Veterans Obtain VA Benefits

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Presenter: Margaret (Peggy) Costello

Length: 91 minutes

Recorded: August 2023

Approved for 1.5 hours of CLE credit by the Virginia State Bar



Webinar Description:

There are many presumptions in the VA benefits system that make it easier for veterans to obtain service-connected disability compensation. The VA presumes that veterans who served in certain locations during certain periods were exposed to toxins, such as burn pit fumes, herbicides, and radiation. The VA presumes that certain diseases were caused by service, if the veteran was exposed to certain toxins during service, served in a particular location at a designated time, or began to suffer from the disease within a certain period after separation. The VA even presumes that some conditions are secondary to certain service-connected disabilities. The presumption of soundness makes it easier for veterans to establish service connection for disabilities not noted on their entrance examination. The presumption of aggravation helps veterans establish service connection for disabilities that are noted on their entrance examination, if the disability worsens during service. Another special rule helps combat veterans to prove that an injury or disease was incurred in or aggravated during combat. This webinar will help advocates identify when a veteran may be entitled to a presumption that will help them secure VA benefits, when the VA does not properly apply a presumption, and when the VA may rebut a presumption.