VA disability law can be daunting for many eligible veterans who want to submit a VA disability claim or wish to appeal a negative disability determination. One of the main concepts that is difficult for service members to understand is which injuries or illnesses VA disability will cover. The answer is “only those disabilities that the applicant can prove are service connected.”1
What Is Considered a Service Connected Injury?
During my experience representing disabled veterans, it has become apparent to me that many VA disability claims are denied because the VA has determined the injury or illness is not service connected. Service connected means “an injury or illness that was incurred or aggravated during active military service.”2 In VA decision letters language similar to the following is often used: