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Service Connection

Service Connection

Veterans often call Bergmann & Moore and ask questions about how to get service-connected by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for their disability compensation benefits claim. Service connection is often referred to as getting a claim granted, winning a claim, or prevailing on a claim. 

There is no time limit for a Veteran to file a claim for service connection.

Veterans who suffered injuries, wounds, and illnesses while serving in the military want to know how to quickly obtain service connection because it opens the door to VA disability payments and healthcare. 

Types of Service Connection

VA’s rules for winning service connection are complicated because there are five different ways a Veteran may obtain service connection:

  1. Direct Service Connection 

  2. Secondary Service Connection

  3. Presumptive Service Connection

  4. Service Connection for an Aggravated, Pre-Existing Condition

  5. Service Connection Caused by VA Treatment or Vocational Rehabilitation

Because there are five ways for a Veteran to be granted service connection, and because each has a distinct set of lengthy rules, finding an advocate in order to navigate VA’s claims process is vital.

No Time Limit to File Claim

Veterans frequently ask about time limits to file a VA claim. Under the law, there is no time lime to file a claim for disability compensation benefits.

In most cases, medical conditions are straightforward, such as when a Veteran was hurt or became ill during service. In that situation, a Veteran usually files a claim at the end of military service or shortly thereafter.

However, many Veterans don’t begin suffering medical symptoms until several years after service. In that case, a Veteran can still file a VA claim several years later.

For example, the cancers and conditions associated with exposure to hazardous toxins such as Agent Orange didn’t appear in Vietnam or other contaminated areas. The cancers often appear decades after returning home from a war zone or exposure.

Similarly, illnesses related to hazardous exposures during the Gulf War, to open burn pits in the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars, or asbestos on Navy ships take years to appear.

Mental Health Conditions

For many more Veterans, mental health conditions such as posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, or anxiety can develop several years or decades after military service due to psychological trauma.

 

This can be true for Veterans who deployed to a war zone, suffered military sexual trauma, or was involved in a training accident where the symptoms emerge years later.

 

Other Services

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), also referred to as posttraumatic stress or posttraumatic stress syndrome, is caused by experiencing a traumatic event. Even though the event has passed, many people continue to experience symptoms for months or even years afterward.

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), also referred to as posttraumatic stress or posttraumatic stress syndrome, is caused by experiencing a traumatic event. Even though the event has passed, many people continue to experience symptoms for months or even years afterward.

Burn Pit Exposure

Bergmann & Moore recognizes that many veterans from the Gulf War era, Operating Enduring Freedom (OEF), Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF), Operation New Dawn (OND), and Operation Freedom’s Sentinel (OFS) may have been exposed to hazardous materials that were burned as a form of waste management.

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