Are you eligible for new service-connected benefits? Laws are changing and veteran advocates are pushing for more approved presumptive conditions for benefits and services that veterans are in dire need of. It’s important to stay up-to-date about how this impacts you. This post is spotlighting two of the newest moves for presumptive conditions and service connection.
*In May of 2021, the VA added hypothyroidism, bladder cancer and Parkinsonism as presumptive conditions related to exposure from Agent Orange.
-A condition where the thyroid gland is underproducing the needed amount of important hormones.
Symptoms can include fatigue, weight gain, dry skin, muscle weakness, aches, tenderness, and stiffness, increased sensitivity to cold, pain, stiffness, or swelling in your joints, swollen/puffy face, hoarse throat/voice, depression, trouble with memory, thinning of hair, slowed heart rate, constipation, an increase in blood cholesterol level, irregular or heavy menstrual cycles, and an enlarged thyroid gland. For additional information visit the Mayo Clinic’s website here.
-A common cancer that begins in the cells of the bladder.
Symptoms can include feeling the need to urinate frequently, especially throughout the night, pain, burning, and discomfort while urinating, blood in the urine, an intense sensation of needing to urinate but being unable to pass urine, and lower back pain on one side of your body. Read more on bladder cancer here.
-A condition involving movement abnormalities, often due to a loss of neurons. Parkinsonism does NOT mean someone has Parkinson’s disease.
Symptoms can include slow, unsteady movements, shaking and tremors in movement, muscle stiffness, and impaired speech. Read more about Parkinsonism here.
If Parkinsonism isn’t always Parkinson’s disease, what can cause it?
–Exposure to toxins, medications, trauma to the head and neck, neurodegenerative disorders, fluid buildup or lesions in the brain, and some metabolic disorders.
*In August of 2021, presumptive service connection for asthma, sinusitis and rhinitis related to particulate matter exposure (great info on what this means here) began.
We’ve broken down what those three conditions mean previously; read our blog post on this: Presumptive Service Connections-Asthma, Rhinitis & Sinusitis
The VA talks more about these three respiratory conditions in relation to airborne hazards and burn pit exposure here.
What Does This Mean for You?
The VA has communicated that they will be reaching out to veterans who these presumptive service connections may apply to. BUT, you don’t need to wait to hear from them. If you feel you may be eligible for these new presumptive conditions, you can apply with one of two forms:
- First time applying for these conditions? Fill out a VA Form 21-526EZ.
- If reapplying for these conditions, a VA Form 20-0995, Decision Review Request, Supplemental, needs filled out.
Our Team Is Here to Help
Connect with a member of our team for a consultation at no cost to you! We’ll determine if we can help you cut through the red tape and make sure you are receiving maximum benefits and compensation you have earned and deserve. Find the free consultation form and info here.