Can I get Veterans’ Disability benefits for sarcoidosis?

Sarcoidosis is listed as a chronic condition with a presumptive service connection by The United States Department of Veterans Papers Showing the Diagnosis of SarcoidosisAffairs (VA). This means, the VA recognizes that there could be an association between your disease and your military service. As long as you can provide evidence that your sarcoidosis appeared within the “presumptive period” given for that illness, you may be eligible for VA benefits. For sarcoidosis, you must have been diagnosed with this disease within one year of separation from service.

What it Means to Have a Presumptive Service Connection

The VA recognizes that some diseases may have developed while a veteran was serving in the military, and there may be conditions caused or aggravated by this service. There are over 40 diseases listed by the VA that are considered presumptively service connected. However, certain criteria must be met to be eligible for disability benefits for a presumptive service connected condition. This criteria can include any of the following:

  • Proving that a chronic disease was diagnosed within one year of separation from service
  • Proving that the condition is serious enough to receive a minimum of 10 percent on the disability evaluation within that period of time
  • Proving active duty for at least 90 continuous days

How the “Presumptive Period” Impacts Your Claim

For some diseases caused by military service, the presumptive period is flexible and fairly open-ended. For example, veterans who were prisoners of war or exposed to radiation are entitled to benefits under presumptive service connection at any time they appear after leaving service. Likewise, it’s generally easy to prove this connection if a veteran has a clear medical diagnosis of a disease within the presumptive period.

But if the diagnosis is not so clear-cut, the veteran will need evidence to prove his claim. Not only will he need statements, records, reports, and test results from doctors, he’ll need statements from friends, family, and possibly coworkers regarding visible symptoms to prove he had the disease during the presumptive period.   

If you’re a veteran and suffer from sarcoidosis or symptoms you believe are caused by sarcoidosis, you may be eligible for disability benefits from the VA. Contact us at 402-933-5405 to discuss your situation. We can help determine if you’re eligible for VA Disability benefits.

 

Sean D. Cuddigan
SSA and VA Disability Attorney in Omaha, Nebraska