Diabetes is a condition in which the body is unable to regulate blood sugar. Type 2 Diabetes—sometimes called “adult onset diabetes” or diabetes mellitus—is considered to be presumptively service-connected for disability compensation for veterans exposed to Agent Orange. Agent Orange was a defoliant used in Viet Nam and some areas of the DMZ in Korea to clear the jungle. Exposure to Agent Orange caused a number of health conditions in veterans. Due to the association between exposure to Agent Orange and the development of a number of medical conditions, the Veterans Administration promulgated regulations which establish a presumptive service-connection. A veteran who was exposed to Agent Orange and is later diagnosed with Diabetes is presumed to have a service connected disability, no matter when the condition first appears.

The VA Does Not Typically Attempt to Disprove the Presumptive Service Connection

In addition, the Veteran may be eligible for compensation for a number of conditions that are judged as secondary to Type 2 diabetes such as diabetic nephropathy, diabetic neuropathy, coronary artery disease, hypertension and a list of other conditions. These conditions are all compensable when the disease first occurs. This presumption is rebuttable; however, for the most part the VA does not attempt to prove that the diabetes was caused by some other condition.

Your Compensation for Service-Related Diabetes Will Depend on the Severity of Your Symptoms

The amount of compensation a Veteran receives under the rating schedule for diabetes varies based on the severity of the symptoms: whether the diabetes is manageable by a restricted diet; whether insulin or hypoglycemic medication is necessary plus a restricted diet is necessary to manage your diabetes or whether insulin, a restricted diet and regulation of your physical activities is necessary to manage your diabetes. The 100% rating requires episodes of ketoacidosis requiring multiple hospitalizations per year and additional complications.

For most Viet Nam Veterans, the fight is not whether their diabetes is as a result of exposure to Agent Orange but the fight is over the VA’s rating of their disability from diabetes. We can review your rating decision and medical records to determine if the proper rating was made. In addition, we can determine whether you are entitled to additional compensation for conditions secondary to the type 2 diabetes.

Our VA Disability Attorneys Are Here to Help

If you have been denied the proper Veterans’ disability compensation rating for your service-connected type 2 diabetes contact the [email protected] or call (402) 933-5405 for a no-cost evaluation of your claim. We serve Veterans from all across the country.

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