Current Disability Defined

Service Connection Key Takeaways…

The VA marketing department makes it sound like applying for VA benefits is like a walk in the park. But if you’re a veteran suspecting or already having a service-related disability, you’ll soon find out that the VA process can be more like walking in mud. 

So to summarize and to make things smoother – here are the key takeaways.

  1. Evidence is KING: Strong, evidence-backed applications significantly increase success rates.
  2. Your Role and the VA’s: The VA does offer assistance, but often, it’s the veterans who have to lead the charge for their rights.
  3. Prioritize the Basics: The first step? Secure solid evidence for your claim. Only then, consider wider outreach or more aggressive advocacy.
  4. We’re Your VA Insider Resource:  CaseSix and this guide are here to break down and simplify the VA claims process, ensuring you have some permanent information you need.
  5. Staying in the Loop: VA regulations, including 38 CFR and M-21, change over time. We keep up with these shifts to stay ahead.

We’re on your side, offering advice and insights. And remember, our services are free until you decide to become a full-fledged client. Let’s work together and navigate the VA maze effectively.

Pro Tips:

  • Combine both lay and medical evidence for a robust case.
  • File an “intent to file” to reserve the effective date and use the subsequent year to gather evidence.
  • Secure medical evidence of your present disability and share your history with your doctor. If possible, request a written opinion linking your disability to its service-related cause.

Got VA Benefit Questions?

If the VA rejected your claim, contact us, we can offer a free review and consultation. We’ll make sure the VA followed all protocols and that your evidence is correct and comprehensive. 

Simple VA Combined Disability Calculator

Our calculator is intended to give you a close estimate of your monthly compensation. 

Enter your number of Rated Disabilities; Your Percentage per Condition; Marital, Children and Parent status and Aid and Attendance (AA).  Our VA disability calculator determines your estimated monthly combined disability rating compensation.


The VA’s Definition of a “Current Disability”

Requirement #1. Veterans aiming for a disability rating must have a current disability to get a rating.


1. What is a Current Disability?

    • – You need to have a chronic condition stemming from your time in service to get service connected.
    • – A condition treated in service that has healed without permanent residuals is not considered a chronic condition.
    • – Being exposed to hazards like Agent Orange alone doesn’t meet the criteria for a grant of service connection. But conditions caused by the exposure do.

2. VA’s Help in Gathering Evidence

    • – The VA helps veterans collect medical proof for their disabilities.
    • – Even if veterans can provide evidence, the VA has a “duty to assist” in gathering medical evidence you identify.
PRO TIP: The VA may order medical exams and getting records for you, but, those exams and records may or may not be in your favor.

3. Timing Matters

    • – The VA has multiple timelines which you should always be aware of to avoid having your claim denied because you missed one of the VA’s timelines.

4. How to Describe Your Disability

    • – When filing a claim, be detailed – instead of just “leg”, say “numbness in the left leg”.
    • – For mental disorders, describe your symptoms such as, “Adjustment Disorder. Depression, and/or Anxiety”.

5. Which Disabilities Get Rated?

    • – The disability granted must be a condition that arose during service and has a current diagnosis, with medical evidence establishing a link between the current chronic condition and your active military duty.

6. Proving Your Diagnosis

    • – Medical evidence is typically needed to prove a disability.
    • – While veterans cannot diagnose their conditions, they and their families can describe symptoms.

7. Final Thoughts

    • – Take the time to get all medical documentation ready to prove your claim before submitting your VA claim.
    • – Your accounts of symptoms remain crucial.

Need Assistance?

If the VA denied your claim – CaseSix can help. For a free evaluation, call (410) 803-5049 or use our contact or Free Evaluation form.

Want to Go Deeper?

Discover the Benefits You Earned ... Begins Here.

Whether you believe you have a claim; are certain about it, perhaps you’re considering applying for a rate increase or worse yet – you’re currently fighting the VA, we can provide you with a free assessment of your situation and provide you options!

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