Veteran’s Disability And Diabetes

When someone thinks of veterans’ disability compensation or benefits, he may think that the benefits only apply for physical or psychological injuries that were sustained in war. However, there are a wide range of service-related illnesses and conditions that may be covered if the veteran meets other conditions. One of these illnesses is diabetes.

Generally, diabetes can be compensable as a service related illness depending on when the veteran began to exhibit symptoms. In some cases, the symptoms appear several years after the veteran separates from service, and this causes some difficulties in establishing a connection between the diabetes and the veteran’s service.

Some veterans who served in the Vietnam War or were otherwise exposed to Agent Orange may be able to have diagnosed conditions of diabetes mellitus also known as type II diabetes automatically presumed to be service connected if the veteran showed symptoms while still serving, or within a year of separating from service. For the presumption to apply, the veteran’s Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) disability rating for diabetes must be at least ten percent. Others who do not fall within the category for automatic presumption can rely on their medical records to show when they began to exhibit symptoms of diabetes, or sought and received medical treatment for the disease, and then connect the timeline to their military service.

In order to receive benefits, the veteran will likely have to be examined by a VA doctor, who can give his opinion as to the connection between the disease and the veteran’s service. Veterans who are diagnosed with diabetes within a year of discharge from active duty are generally encouraged to apply for benefits. Veterans can apply for benefits based on the illness itself, as well as, complication related to the illness.

Diabetes is an illness that can sometimes affect a sufferer to such degrees that it results in amputations and other procedures and medication that may leave the person unable to work or carry on other activities. How a veteran treats or controls his diabetes has an effect on his VA disability rating, which ultimately determines how much the veteran will receive in benefits. Therefore, for example, if the person can control their diabetes with a medically approved diet and some medication, he may receive a lower VA rating and receive less in benefits.

Veterans may still have another avenue for receiving benefits for diabetes through Social Security Disability benefits if the condition has lasted for more than twelve months and restricts the veteran’s ability to work. VA may apply for and receive VA benefits and SSDI benefits at the same time.

Let Us Assist You

If you are a veteran who is suffering from a service-related injury or illness, you may qualify for medical and financial benefits. Veterans’ disability claims can be complicated and time-consuming depending on your condition, and having an experienced veterans’ disability attorney can make a difference.

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