VA Presumptive List

Topics:

Chronic Diseases Diagnosed After Discharge
Tropical Diseases
Prisoners of War
Veterans Exposed to Herbicides (Agent Orange)
Veterans Exposed to Radiation
Gulf War Veterans
Mustard Gas and Lewisite Exposure
Veterans Exposed to Contaminated Camp Lejeune Water

In order to qualify for VA Disability, a condition must be service-connected. But what if a serious condition develops that doesn’t fulfil the normal requirements for service-connection? Enter the VA Presumptive List.

In most cases, conditions that cannot be proved service-connected are denied benefits. Over time, however, the VA began noticing patterns in the types of conditions to develop in veterans who had served in similar circumstances. In other words, a significant number of vets who served in the same place at the same time developed similar conditions in a similar time frame.

Since these conditions were not diagnosed while in the military or do not meet the other requirements for service-connection, they technically cannot be considered service-connected. With the number of vets developing these conditions, however, the VA decided that the evidence was too solid to be coincidental. Military service likely caused those conditions. So, the VA created their VA Presumptive List.

The VA “presumes” that any condition on the VA Presumptive List was caused by military service even though there may be no medical reasoning that definitively proves this connection.

The VA Presumptive List basically states that if veterans who served in X location/circumstances during certain years developed Y or Z conditions, then those conditions will be automatically considered service-connected. No proof is needed beyond documents showing that the vet was indeed in that location/circumstance at that time.

All veterans are required to have served at least 90 days of active, continuous service for their conditions to qualify unless it is specifically noted otherwise below.

All conditions on the VA Presumptive List will be considered service-connected UNLESS there is clear evidence indicating that it was not caused by service. For example, a brain hemorrhage that develops within 1 year after leaving the military is normally presumed connected. If, however, the brain hemorrhage was caused by injury to the head from a car accident 3 months after discharge, then it is not service-connected.

Some of the conditions on the VA Presumptive List are required to be a certain seriousness within a certain amount of time (i.e. “manifest to at least 10% within 1 year of exposure”). This means that the condition must meet the requirements for a 10% rating under its code within 1 year of exposure.

For example, if a vet exposed to Agent Orange develops the skin condition porphyria cutanea tarda, the condition must manifest to 10% within 1 year of the last date of exposure. Porphyria cutanea tarda is a condition that causes blisters to form. It is rated under code 7815. To qualify for a 10% rating under this code, the blisters must cover between 5 and 20% of the skin. If less than 5% of the skin is affected within the 1-year period, then the condition does not qualify and is not considered service-connected.

For conditions that have these time restrictions, there may be cases where the condition is not officially diagnosed until after the time limit. If there is enough medical proof to show that the symptoms required for a 10% rating were present before the time limit even though the condition had not been officially diagnosed, it does still qualify.

Many of these conditions are not in the VASRD and so have to be rated analogously on the condition that is closest. The codes we've listed are the most likely codes for these conditions to be rated under, but they are not the only option. The Rating Authorities may choose a different code depending on the exact symptoms.

Return to Top

 


Chronic Diseases Diagnosed After Discharge

If any of the following chronic diseases are manifest to 10% or more within the first year (there are a few exceptions noted below) after a vet is discharged from the military, then they are automatically considered caused by military service and eligible for VA Disability.

The term “chronic” is used loosely here. Any of these diseases will be considered chronic unless it was suddenly caused by something clearly not related to military service.

There are quite a few of these diseases on the VA Presumptive List, so we’ve organized them by body system. Just click on the code number to be taken to a discussion about the disease and how it is rated.

The Blood

Anemia, code 7700
Hodgkin’s disease, code 7709
Leukemia, code 7703
Thrombocytopenia, code 7705

Cardiovascular System

Arteriosclerosis, code 7005
Hypertension, code 7101
Endocarditis, code 7001
Valvular heart disease, code 7000
Raynaud’s syndrome, code 7117
Buerger’s disease, code 7115

Digestive System

Gallstones, code 7314
Cirrhosis of the liver, code 7312
Gastric ulcer, code 7304
Duodenal ulcer, code 7305

Endocrine System

Diabetes, code 7913
Any diseases of the thyroid, parathyroid, pituitary, or adrenal glands

Genitourinary System

Calculus of the bladder, code 7515
Kidney stones, code 7508
Nephrosclerosis, code 7507
Nephritis, code 7502

Infectious or Immune Diseases

Hansen’s disease (a.k.a. Leprosy), code 6302 (must manifest to 10% within 3 years)
Lupus, code 6350
Tuberculosis (must manifest to 10% within 3 years)

Mental Disorders

Any Psychotic Disorder

Musculoskeletal System

Arthritis, degenerative, code 5003, or rheumatoid, code 5002
Osteitis deformans (Paget’s disease), code 5016
Osteomalacia, code 5014

Nervous System

Progressive Muscular Atrophy, code 8023
Brain hemmorrhage, code 8009
Brain thrombosis, code 8008
Encephalitis, code 8000
Any form of Epilepsy
Myasthenia gravis, code 8025
Myelitis, code 8010
Bulbar palsy, code 8005
Parkinson’s disease, code 8004
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), code 8017 (can develop any time after discharge and qualify unless it is caused by vet’s wilful misconduct)
Multiple Sclerosis, code 8018 (must manifest to 10% within 7 years)
Syringomyelia, code 8024
Malignant cancer of the brain, code 8002
Malignant cancer of the spinal cord, code 8021
Malignant cancer of the nerves, code 8540
Any other “organic” Nervous System Diseases, like Huntington’s Disease or Athetosis. “Organic” basically means that it is not caused by an outside force, like a bacteria, virus, or similar.

Respiratory System

Bronchiectasis, code 6601
Coccidioidomycosis, code 6835
Sarcoidosis, code 6846

The Skin

Collagen-vascular disease, code 7821

Return to Top

 


Tropical Diseases

If a veteran served in a tropical location and later developed a tropical disease known to come from that location, it can be considered service-connected as long as it manifests to 10% within 1 year of serving in the tropical location.

Now some of these diseases have incubation periods (the time between infection and the manifestation of symptoms). If the disease is medically known to have such a lengthy incubation period that the symptoms don’t begin until after the 1-year limit, it is still considered service-connected.

Amebiasis, code 7321
Blackwater fever, code 7700
Cholera, code 6300
Dracontiasis, code 6320
Dysentery, code 7322
Filariasis, code 6305
Leishmaniasis, code 6301
Loiasis, code 6320
Malaria, code 6304
Onchocerciasis, code 6320
Carrion’s disease, code 6306
Pinta, code 6310
Plague, code 6307
Schistosomiasis, code 6320
Yaws, code 6310
Yellow fever, code 6308

Return to Top

 


Presumed Conditions for Prisoners of War

Prisoners of War (POWs) get the following conditions regardless of how long they were on active service. The 90-day rule does not apply. The only factor that determines qualification is the length of time imprisoned. For some conditions, the vet must have been a POW for at least 30 days. For the rest of the conditions, the vet simply must have been a POW for any length of time.

The following conditions qualify once they manifest to at least 10% at any time after discharge.

Any length of imprisonment:

Any Psychotic Disorder
Any Anxiety Disorder
Chronic depression, code 9433
Residuals of frostbite, code 7122 (must have been imprisoned in a cold enough place)
Degenerative arthritis caused by trauma, code 5003
Atherosclerotic heart disease, code 7005
Hypertensive heart disease, code 7007
Stroke, codes 8007, 8008, or 8009
Osteoporosis, code 5013 (must be after October 10, 2008, and the vet must have diagnosed PTSD. Don’t really get the connection between PTSD and osteoporosis, but there it is.)

Imprisonment of 30 days or more:

Avitaminosis, code 6313
Beriberi, code 6314
Chronic dysentery, code 7322
Helminthiasis, code 6320
Pellagra, code 6315
Any other Nutritional Deficiency
Irritable Bowel Syndrome, code 7319
Peptic Ulcer Disease, codes 7304 or 7305
Peripheral neuropathy (unless caused by infection not related to service)
Cirrhosis of the liver, code 7312
Osteoporosis, code 5013 (must be after September 28, 2009. No PTSD requirement here, though.)

Return to Top

 


Veterans Exposed to Herbicides (Agent Orange)

The herbicide Agent Orange was used in both Vietnam and Korea during the 60s and 70s.

Veterans who served in Vietnam between January 9, 1962 and May 7, 1975 or in or near the Korean DMZ in herbicide areas between April 1, 1968 and August 31, 1971 are considered to have been exposed to Agent Orange, unless there is solid evidence that they were not exposed. Additionally, the VA recently changed their policy to allow veterans who served on contaminated C-123s after the war to also qualify as having been exposed to Agent Orange (see the VA's list of Air Force Speciality Codes and Units for specifics on C-123 qualifications).

Veterans are considered to have served “in Vietnam” if they were on the ground, even if only for a short time, or in the waters offshore of Vietnam.

Any length of service is enough to qualify—the 90-day rule does not apply to vets exposed to Agent Orange.

The following conditions qualify if they manifest at any time to any degree unless otherwise specified.

Primary amyloidosis, code 7717
Chloracne or similar acneform disease, code 7829 (must manifest to 10% within 1 year of last exposure)
Type 2 diabetes, code 7913
Hodgkin’s disease, code 7709
Ischemic heart disease, code 7005 (does NOT include high blood pressure, peripheral vascular disease, or stroke)
All chronic B-cell leukemias, code 7703
Multiple myeloma, code 7709 or 7703
Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, code 7715
Parkinson’s disease, code 8004
Peripheral neuropathy (must manifest to 10% within 1 year of last exposure)
Porphyria cutanea tarda, code 7815 (must manifest to 10% within 1 year of last exposure)
Prostate cancer, code 7528
Lung cancer, code 6819
Bronchial cancer, code 6819
Larynx cancer, code 6819
Trachea cancer, code 6819
Adult fibrosarcoma, code 5329
Dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans, code 5329
Malignant fibrous histiocytoma, code 5329
Liposarcoma, code 5329
Leiomyosarcoma, code 5329
Epithelioid leiomyosarcoma (malignant leiomyoblastoma), code 5329
Rhabdomyosarcoma, code 5329
Ectomesenchymoma, code 5329
Angiosarcoma (hemangiosarcoma and lymphangiosarcoma), code 5329
Proliferating (systemic) angioendotheliomatosis, code 5329
Malignant glomus tumor, code 5329
Malignant hemangiopericytoma, code 5329
Synovial sarcoma (malignant synovioma), code 5329
Malignant giant cell tumor of tendon sheath, code 5329
Malignant schwannoma, code 5329
Malignant mesenchymoma, code 5329
Malignant granular cell tumor, code 5329
Alveolar soft part sarcoma, code 5329
Epitheliod sarcoma, code 5329
Clear cell sarcoma of tendons and aponeuroses, code 5329
Extraskeletal Ewing’s sarcoma, code 5329
Congenital and infantile fibrosarcoma, code 5329
Malignant ganglioneuroma, code 5329

Return to Top

 


Veterans Exposed to Radiation

Veterans who qualify as being exposed to radiation include vets who did one of the following while in the military:

1.) participated in onsite nuclear testing, including presence at the test site, on ships, aircraft or equipment in support of the nuclear test, at the nuclear test site within 6 months after the test, or participated in the decontamination of equipment used during a nuclear test

2.) was within 10 miles of Hiroshima or Nagasaki between August 4, 1945 and July 1, 1946

3.) was a prisoner of war in Japan within 75 miles of Hiroshima or 150 miles of Nagaskai, worked within those areas, or were repatriated through the port of Nagasaki between August 6, 1945 and July 1, 1946

4.) was monitored with a dosimetry badge for radiation exposure on the grounds of a gaseous diffusion plant in Paducah, KY, Portsmouth, OH, or K25 at Oak Ridge, TN for at least 250 days before February 1, 1992

5.) performed a job with as much exposure as a dosimetry badge monitor on the grounds of a gaseous diffusion plant in Paducah, KY, Portsmouth, OH, or K25 at Oak Ridge, TN for at least 250 days before February 1, 1992

6.) was exposed to radiation from underground nuclear tests on Amchitka Island, AK before January 1, 1974

7.) served in the garrison or maintenance forces at Eniwetok from June 21, 1951 to July 1, 1952 or August 7, 1956 to August 7, 1957 or November 1, 1958 to April 30, 1959

The following conditions qualify if they are manifest at any time to any degree:

Leukemia, code 7703 (any except chronic lymphocytic leukemia)
Thyroid cancer, code 7901, 7902, or 7919
Breast cancer, code 7627
Pharynx cancer, code 7343
Esophageal cancer, code 7343
Stomach cancer, code 7343
Small intestine cancer, code 7343
Pancreatic cancer, code 7343
Multiple myeloma, either code 7709 or 7703
Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphomas, code 7715
Bile duct cancer, code 7343
Gallbladder cancer, code 7343
Primary liver cancer, code 7343 (except if there is cirrhosis or hepatitis B)
Salivary gland cancer, code 7343
Genitourinary cancer, code 7528
Bronchiolo-alveolar carcinoma, code 6819
Bone cancer, code 5012
Brain cancer, code 8002
Colon cancer, code 7343
Lung cancer, code 6819
Ovarian cancer, code 7627

Return to Top

 


Gulf War Veterans

The VA Presumptive List for Gulf War veterans is divided into two: Gulf War Syndrome and Infectious Diseases.

The first list is by far the most ambiguous.

Gulf War vets began developing seemingly random, unconnected chronic symptoms that do not comprise a single identifiable diagnosis. Because of this, the term “Gulf War Syndrome” was coined to mean a group of unrelated, but disabling, symptoms that many Gulf War veterans developed after serving in Southwest Asia. If a clinical diagnosis can be made, then the symptoms do NOT constitute Gulf War Syndrome.

To be included under the heading of Gulf War Syndrome, each symptom must be present or reoccurring for at least 6 months (“chronic”), and cannot be tied to service outside Southwest Asia or be caused by the vet’s misconduct.

If Gulf War Syndrome is diagnosed before discharge, then those symptoms are service-connected. If, however, the symptoms do not develop until after discharge, then those symptoms can qualify as long as they manifest to 10% before December 31, 2016.
 
Gulf War Syndrome symptoms can include:

Fatigue
Skin symptoms
Headaches
Muscle pain
Joint pain
Neurological symptoms
Mental symptoms
Respiratory symptoms
Trouble sleeping
Cardiovascular symptoms
Abnormal weight loss
Menstrual disorders
Gastrointestinal symptoms

Visit our Gulf War Syndrome page for specifics on rating qualifying symptoms.

In addition to Gulf War Syndrome, veterans who develop one of the following infectious diseases qualify if they served in Southwest Asia or Afghanistan after September 19, 2001, unless there is sufficient evidence that the disease was not related to service.

All diseases must be manifest to 10% within 1 year of the last date of service in Southwest Asia or Afghanistan unless otherwise noted.

Brucellosis, code 6316
Campylobacter jejuni, code 7325
Coxiella burnetii (Q fever), code 6308
Malaria, code 6304 (must be manifest to 10% within 1 year or the incubation period must have clearly begun while in Southwest Asia or Afghanistan)
Tuberculosis (no time limit for manifestation)
Nontyphoid salmonella, code 7325
Shigella, code 7322
Visceral leishmaniasis, code 6301 (no time limit for manifestation)
West Nile Virus (code determined on main manifestation, i.e. meningitis, encephalitis, etc.)

Many of these infectious diseases can cause other symptoms or conditions to develop over time. If a Gulf War veteran who qualifies for one of the above infectious diseases develops one of the following symptoms tied to that disease, it can also qualify for VA Disability. The symptom must, however, develop within the time specified below or, if no time is specified, be satisfactorily connected to the infectious disease by a medical authority.

Brucellosis:

Arthritis, code 5002
Infections of the Cardiovascular, Nervous, or Respiratory systems
Chronic meningitis and meningoencephalitis, code 8019 or 8000
Deafness, code 6100
Demyelinating meningovascular syndromes, code 8014
Episcleritis, code 6017
Fatigue, inattention, amnesia, and depression
Guillain-Barre syndrome, code 8011
Hepatic abnormalities, including granulomatous hepatitis, code 7345
Multifocal choroiditis, code 6011
Myelitis-radiculoneuritis, code 8010
Nummular keratitis, code 6001
Papilledema, code 6026
Optic neuritis, code 6026
Infections of the Genitourinary System
Sensorineural hearing loss, code 6100
Spondylitis, code 5240
Uveitis, code 6000

Compylobacter jejuni:            

Guillain-Barre syndrome, code 8011 (must manifest within 2 months of the infection)
Reactive Arthritis, code 5002 (must manifest within 3 months of the infection)    
Uveitis, code 6000 (must manifest within 1 month of the infection)

Coxiella burnetii:

Chronic hepatitis, code 7345
Endocarditis, code 7001   
Osteomyelitis, code 5000
Chronic fatigue syndrome, code 6354
Vascular infection

Malaria:

Demyelinating polyneuropathy (code depends on the nerves affected)
Guillain-Barre syndrome, code 8011
Hematologic manifestations (anemia, code 7700, after falciparum malaria or splenic rupture, code 7707, after vivax malaria)
Immune-complex glomerulonephritis, code 7536
Neurologic disease
Neuropsychiatric disease
Retinal hemorrhage and scarring, code 6011
Renal disease

Tuberculosis:

Active tuberculosis
Tissue damage from pulmonary and active tuberculosis (rated on the damaged tissue)

Nontyphoid Salmonella:

Reactive arthritis, code 5002 (must manifest within 3 months of infection)

Shigella:

Hemolytic-uremic syndrome, code 7700 (must manifest within 1 month of infection)
Reactive arthritis, code 5002 (must manifest within 3 months of infection)

Visceral Leishmaniasis:            

Dermal leishmaniasis, code 7807 or 7808 (must manifest within 2 years of infection)
Reactivation of visceral leishmaniasis, code 6301

West Nile Virus:

Various physical, functional, or cognitive disability

Return to Top

 


Mustard Gas and Lewisite Exposure

A veteran qualifies under this category if he can prove full-body exposure to mustard gas (sulphur or nitrogen) or Lewisite while on active duty in one or more of the following ways:

during field or chamber testing
during battlefield conditions in WWI
during the German air raid on Bari, Italy in WWII
during the manufacturing or handling of these compounds

If the veteran qualifies, then the following conditions are considered service-connected.

Mustard gas:

chronic conjunctivitis, code 6018
keratitis, rated analogously under code 6001
corneal opacities, rated analogously under code 6001, 6009, or 6027
scars (must clearly be from exposure)
nasopharyngeal cancer, code 6819
laryngeal cancer, code 6819
lung cancer (except mesothelioma), code 6819
squamous cell carcinoma, code 7818
chronic laryngitis, code 6516
chronic bronchitis, code 6600
chronic emphysema, code 6603
asthma, code 6602
chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, code 6604
acute non-lymphocytic leukemia, code 7703 (nitrogen mustard only)

Lewisite:

chronic laryngitis, code 6516
chronic bronchitis, code 6600
chronic emphysema, code 6603
asthma, code 6602
chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, code 6604

The key to this presumptive list is the ability to prove exposure. Unfortunately, proper record keeping regarding mustard gas exposure, especially for service members used for testing, was incredibly bad, so the majority of exposure cases were not sufficiently recorded.

Because of this, the VA has a few things in place to help veterans prove exposure. The first is a database of all the names they could compile of service members involved in testing. Again, because of the bad record keeping, this list is far from complete. After receiving a claim, they will check to see if the veteran is on this list. If they are, then that is sufficient to prove exposure. If, however, they are not, then details of the veteran’s case are forwarded to the Deployment Health Directorate for review and determination of exposure. The Directorate has the final say on whether or not the evidence is sufficient to prove exposure.

To make sure that the Directorate has all the information needed to make a proper determination, include the following in your VA Disability Claim:

number of exposures
length of exposures (20 minutes, 2 hours, etc.)
dates of exposures (month and year)
location of exposure
your assigned unit at the time of exposure
type of exposure (full body, skin patch, etc.)
detailed cause of exposure (deployed warfare exposure, test involvement, etc.)
procedures followed before, during, and after exposure (including any medical treatment received after exposure)
immediate effects (blistering, difficulty breathing, etc.) and residual effects (development of one of the above conditions, etc.) of exposure.
disabilities caused by exposure, including the dates of their development
any medical records or other records that show proof of exposure

Return to Top


Veterans Exposed to Contaminated Camp Lejeune Water

If a veteran (including reservists and National Guard members) served at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 days between August 1, 1953 and December 31, 1987 and later developed one of the following diseases, it will be considered service-connected as of March 14, 2017.

Kidney cancer, code 7528
Liver cancer, code 7343
Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, code 7715
Adult leukemia, code 7703
Multiple myeloma, code 7709 or code 7703
Parkinson’s disease, code 8004
Aplastic anemia and other myelodysplastic syndromes, code 7716
Bladder cancer, code 7528

Return to Top

© 2013 MilitaryDisabilityMadeEasy.com
website security
Military Disability Made Easy is a national website dedicated to helping
Disabled Veterans take control of their Military Disability. From the Medical Evaluation Board and Physical Evaluation Board
to the laws of the VASRD, Military Disability Made Easy can educate you on every aspect of DoD Disability and
VA Disability. Find all the answers you need to maximize your Military Disability Benefits and VA Disability Benefits today!
Follow Dr. George P. Johnson on Google+!