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Presumption of Service Connection Definition

A presumption of service connection is when VA presumes a veteran’s condition was caused by their military service, usually due to a certain exposure.  The presumption of service connection removes the requirement that veterans provide a medical nexus linking their condition to their military service.  Instead, if a veteran served in certain qualifying time periods and locations and has a condition associated with exposure, VA will presume the veteran’s in-service exposure caused his or her condition.  The presumption of service connection may apply to the following groups of veterans:

  • Veterans exposed to herbicide agents, such as Agent Orange
  • Gulf War Veterans
  • Former Prisoners of War (POWs)
  • Atomic Veterans (Ionizing Radiation Exposure)