Veterans with service-related disabilities that appear after they are discharged may still be eligible for disability compensation. An overview of these types of disability compensation claims is below.
VA presumes that if you served in Vietnam or in or near the Korean demilitarized zones, during certain time periods, you were exposed to Agent Orange. As a Veteran with this service who also has a disease related to Agent Orange exposure you may be eligible for disability compensation. Veterans who have a disease associated with Agent Orange, but who do not meet the service requirements for VA to "presume" they were exposed to Agent Orange must show an actual connection between the disease and herbicide exposure during military service.
Learn more about Agent Orange
Veterans with certain diseases that presented themselves after discharge from military service may be eligible for disability compensation. This includes certain diseases that were not incurred in or aggravated by military service, but which VA presumes are related to military service if shown to exist within a certain time period after service. Examples include: hypertension, arthritis, diabetes mellitus, and peptic ulcers.
Learn more about Disabilities That Appear Within One Year After Discharge
Veterans may have been exposed to a range of chemical, physical, and environmental hazards during military service. Veterans may be entitled to disability compensation if exposure to these hazards resulted in a disease or injury. Examples include exposure to radiation, mustard gas, and asbestos.
Learn more about Exposures to Hazardous Materials
Gulf War Veterans suffering from what is commonly referred to as "Gulf War Syndrome," which is a cluster of medically unexplained chronic symptoms that can include fatigue, headaches, joint pain, indigestion, insomnia, dizziness, respiratory disorders, and memory problems may be eligible for disability compensation. In addition, Gulf War Veterans who served in Southwest Asia and have a disability resulting from certain infectious diseases may be eligible for disability compensation.
Learn more about Gulf War Illnesses
VA presumes that certain medical conditions are associated with a Former POW's captivity. If you are a former POW who has been diagnosed as having one or more of these conditions to a degree that is at least 10 percent disabling, VA presumes that it is associated with the POW experience and you are entitled to disability compensation.
Learn more about Prisoners of War (POWs)