There are many conditions which are presumed to be service-connected based on location, time, and circumstances of services. In these cases, the veteran patient does not need to prove specific causation. They need only show they meet eligibility criteria and have a specific diagnosis in order to qualify for valuable benefits and care. No proof beyond exposure to risks and diagnosis of condition is needed to establish connection.
Included in this category are certain conditions related to the following service:
- Gulf War veterans with chronic disabilities;
- veterans who served on active duty or resided at Camp Lejeune for thirty days or more between August 1, 1953 and December 31, 1987;
- all veterans who develop amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's disease;
- veterans exposed to Agent Orange and other herbicides in the republic of Vietnam between January 9, 1962, and May 7, 1975;
- veterans who participated in radiation risk activities as defined in VA regulations while on active duty, active duty for training, or inactive duty training;
- veterans with certain chronic and tropical diseases; and
- prisoners of war.
Combat veterans have a lower burden of proof when seeking benefits for PTSD. Combat-related PTSD may be demonstrated through a diagnosis which is consistent with the time and conditions of service. There is no need to prove a specific traumatic event as causal.