Secondary Service Connection: What It Is and How It Impacts VA Disability Claims

Secondary service connection is a critical aspect of VA disability claims that many veterans may not fully understand. At Ascend Disability, we recognize the importance of secondary service connection in ensuring veterans receive the VA benefits they deserve for service-related disabilities. In this blog post, we’ll explore what secondary service connection is and how it impacts VA disability claims.

Our VA disability lawyers are dedicated to helping veterans navigate the process successfully. Contact us today at (855) 445-9787 for a free consultation!

What Is Secondary Service Connection?

Secondary service connection refers to the concept that a veteran’s service-connected disability can also cause or worsen other conditions. These conditions are known as secondary disabilities because they are caused or aggravated by the service-connected condition.

Some common examples include:

  • A veteran with a service-connected back injury develops depression as a result of chronic pain and limited mobility.
  • Exposure to loud noises during military service leads to hearing loss, which subsequently causes tinnitus (ringing in the ears).
  • A service-connected knee injury causes changes in gait and posture, leading to the development of secondary hip pain or arthritis.

Veterans can file a secondary claim to get additional benefits for a new disability that is related to a service-connected disability.

How Does Secondary Service Connection Impact VA Disability Claims?

Understanding secondary service connection is crucial for veterans seeking compensation for disabilities that may not be immediately obvious or directly linked to their military service. Here’s how a secondary disability can impact VA disability claims.

Increased Compensation

Veterans may be eligible for additional compensation for new disabilities that result from or are aggravated by their service-connected conditions. This can help ensure veterans receive appropriate compensation for all the disabilities they experience as a result of their military service.

Complexity of Evidence

Proving a connection between an existing service-related disability and a secondary condition often requires gathering additional medical evidence. This may involve obtaining medical opinions from qualified healthcare professionals who can provide insight into how the primary disability caused or worsened the secondary condition.

Navigating the Claims Process

Successfully establishing a secondary service connection requires careful navigation of the VA claims process. Veterans must provide compelling evidence to support their claims and effectively communicate the relationship between their primary and secondary disabilities to VA adjudicators.

VA Disability Concept. Disabled Soldier in Wheelchair.

Navigating Secondary Service Connection VA Claims

Navigating secondary service connection claims requires careful attention to detail and a thorough understanding of VA regulations and procedures. Here are some tips for veterans seeking to a establish secondary service connection:

1. Document Your Medical History

Keep detailed records of all medical treatment related to your service-connected disability and any secondary conditions that arise as a result.

2. Seek Medical Opinions

Obtain medical opinions from qualified healthcare professionals who can provide evidence of the relationship between your primary and secondary disabilities.

3. Provide Comprehensive Evidence

Submit all relevant medical records, test results, and supporting documentation to the VA to support your claim for a secondary service connection.

4. Seek Legal Representation

Seek assistance from an experienced VA disability attorney who can guide you through the claims process, gather evidence on your behalf, and advocate for your rights as a veteran.

Contact Ascend Disability Today!

Secondary service connection is a critical aspect of VA disability claims that can significantly impact veterans’ eligibility for compensation. By understanding what secondary service connection is and how it affects VA disability claims, veterans can better navigate the claims process and ensure they receive the benefits they deserve for all disabilities related to their military service.

At Ascend Disability, our dedicated team of attorneys is here to help veterans navigate the complexities of VA disability claims, including establishing a secondary service connection. Contact us today at (855) 445-9787 to schedule a free consultation and learn more about how we can assist you.

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