Service Connection for Chronic Conditions
Last week we posted about Direct Service Connection. One way that you can establish, or prove, service connection is by proving that you suffer from a chronic condition caused by your military service. The VA regulation states that a chronic disease manifested in service, or within certain presumptive periods – which we’ll cover on a separate posting – and subsequent manifestations are service connected unless clearly attributable to other causes. 38 C.F.R. 3.303(b).
There are a few really important things to take away from this part of the regulation. First, you must show that the condition manifested itself during service or within the presumptive periods. This means that if your condition didn’t manifest itself until much later, you will have a much more difficult time proving service connection by chronic condition, or chronicity as the lawyers call it. That doesn’t mean your case is a loser, not at all. You’ll just need to establish it other ways or have someone assist you with the presentation of your claim.
Much of the time, you will still need to have medical evidence to support your claim. You’ll need to prove requirements similar to a direct service connection cases.
With chronic disease shown as such in service (or within the presumptive period under § 3.307) so as to permit a finding of service connection, subsequent manifestations of the same chronic disease at any later date, however remote, are service connected, unless clearly attributable to intercurrent causes.