Service Connection by Chronicity and Continuity of Symptomatology (VSO)
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Presenters: Rick Spataro
Length: 89 minutes
Recorded: December 2022
This webinar was presented by Richard V. Spataro, Director of Training and Publications on Thursday, December 8, from 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM Eastern.
Of the many theories by which veterans can prove entitlement to service-connected disability benefits, chronicity and continuity of symptomatology are two of the most misunderstood. Under these theories, veterans can be granted VA benefits without a medical nexus opinion. Unfortunately, VA adjudicators often overlook these theories when not expressly raised by the veteran. And when VA adjudicators do address these theories, they often misapply the associated rules. It is important for advocates to understand how veterans can establish service connection using these theories, so that they can present persuasive arguments to the VA and know when to seek review of VA denials of benefits when chronicity or continuity of symptomatology is at issue.
This 90-minute webinar will cover the following and more:
- The rules for establishing service connection based on chronicity and continuity of symptomatology, including the distinctions between direct and presumptive service connection under these theories
- The disabilities that can be service-connected by chronicity and continuity of symptomatology
- The evidence needed to support a claim based on chronicity and continuity of symptomatology
- Tips for developing lay statements sufficient to establish continuity of symptomatology
- How to handle challenging situations, such as the lack of supporting medical evidence
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