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  • Job duties beyond the job description can lead to qualification for VA Disability benefits

VA Disability is a benefit that pays monthly cash payments to veterans who have become disabled due to their military service.  To receive VA disability, the veteran must show that they have a current disability and that such disability was caused or aggravated by an event during their military service.  There are several diseases that the VA presumes are connected to certain jobs during military service.  If a veteran performed any of these duties during their service, and has any of the listed disabilities, they are awarded VA disability compensation without being required to show that their service caused their disabilities.  Often the VA will wrongly deny a veteran VA disability compensation because their  official job title did not include the duty that is required to raise the presumption.  Proving that  these duties were actually performed can be key to establishing qualification for VA disability compensation.

Often, members of the military are ordered to do activities that are beyond their official job titles.  These extra job duties can trigger presumptions for different types of VA Disability benefits.  One example is the presumption for herbicide exposure in Thailand during the  Vietnam war.  Veterans who have certain forms of cancer and who were exposed to the herbicide can receive VA disability compensation.  To trigger the presumption, the veteran must show that they were working on the perimeter of the base.  There are several jobs, like a records clerk, that did not require the service member to work on the perimeter.  They can still receive benefits if they can show that some of their duties, such as delivering mail, required them to work on the perimeter.  Another example is the presumption for PTSD for veterans who were engaged in combat.  We recently represented a cook that was on a ship that was attacked by a Kamikaze in World War II.  He was able to show that he endured the shaking of the boat when it was attacked and was able to meet the combat presumption for PTSD.

If you have been denied for VA disability compensation, you should hire an experienced accredited attorney to make an appeal to the VA.  An attorney can help determine the presumptions and gather the necessary evidence to satisfy the presumption.