One key element of the analysis of "service connection" is the diagnosis of a current condition or disease. Without a current condition or disease, there is nothing to "service-connect".
A veteran does not always need a doctor or a medical professional to provide competent evidence of a diagnosis of a current condition or disease. The Board of Veterans Appeals (BVA
) considers three scenarios where lay evidence of a medical condition will be sufficient:
Lay evidence can be competent and sufficient to establish a diagnosis of a condition when:
"(1) a lay person is competent to identify the medical condition (noting that sometimes the lay person will be competent to identify the condition where the condition is simple, for example a broken leg, and sometimes not, for example, a form of cancer:
(2) the lay person is reporting a contemporaneous medical diagnosis, or
(3) lay testimony describing symptoms at the time supports a later diagnosis by a medical professional. See Jandreau v. Nicholson
, 492 F.3d 1372 (Fed. Cir. 2007)"
Lastly, a Veteran can attest to factual matters of which he has first-hand knowledge, such as experiencing pain in service, reporting to sick call, being placed on limited duty, and undergoing physical therapy. Washington v. Nicholson
, 19 Vet. App. 362, 368 (2005). This is not necessary lay testimony to establish a diagnosis of a current condition, but lay testimony as to "continuity of symptomatology
", an important element of the direct service-connection test.
As always, though, the BVA
is certain to weigh lay testimony and to make a credibility determination as to whether the evidence supports a finding of service connection and continuity of symptomatology
. See Barr v. Nicholson
, 21. Vet. App. 303 (2007).
It is very important
that we note that each and every Veteran's claim is different. Just because we were able to secure substantial past-due benefits for one Veteran does not mean or imply that we will be able to do so for you. In some cases, we may not be able to secure you any financial compensation due to the facts of your particular case.
It is best to consult with a lawyer familiar with VA Disability claims
and benefits or a Veterans Service Organization
to examine your particular case. If you would like to discuss your VA claim with a lawyer who handles VA Benefits and Disability Appeals
, contact the Attig Law Firm, PLLC, for a free consultation
with a VA Benefits attorney.
The Attig Law Firm, PLLC,
represents Veterans in Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma (and all around the nation) in their claims for disability compensation
from the Department of Veterans Affairs.