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Can I get Disability Benefits for Heart Disease?

Published on March 13th, 2020

Ischemic heart disease, also called coronary heart disease or coronary artery disease, is the most common type of heart disease. The VA recognizes it as a debilitating condition, but to receive disability benefits for it, you must show that it was either caused by or made worse by your military service. If the VA has denied your disability claim for heart disease, the veterans disability lawyers of Jackson & MacNichol may be able to help. Call us today at 1(800) 524-3339 for a free consultation about your case.

Ischemic Heart Disease May Be Caused By Agent Orange Exposure

According to the Center for Disease Control, Ischemic heart disease claims over 370,000 lives annually, meaning that it is common throughout the civilian population. The question is, how can veterans show that such a widespread condition was caused by their military service? The answer is that ischemic heart disease is a so-called presumptive condition. This means that if you served under certain conditions, the VA will presume that your heart disease is service related.

Research has shown that exposure to Agent Orange can cause ischemic heart disease, and many other life threatening or debilitating conditions. Agent Orange was an herbicide widely used during the Vietnam conflict, but you don’t necessarily need to have served in Vietnam to have been exposed to it. You may benefit from the presumption that your heart disease and other qualifying conditions are service related if your records show that you served:

  • In Vietnam between January 9, 1962 and May 7, 1975
  • Near or in the Korea DMZ between September 1, 1967 and August 31, 1971
  • On Navy, Coast Guard, or other vessels in or near Vietnam between January 9, 1962, and May 7, 1975
  • On Thailand military bases between January 9, 1962, and May 7, 1975
  • On C-123 airplanes between January 9, 1962, and May 7, 1975
  • In herbicide testing and storage areas outside of Vietnam anytime after 1944

Even if your service records do not allow you to establish an exposure to Agent Orange, you may be able to demonstrate a service connection if you developed heart disease within one year of your discharge from the military or had related symptoms while in the military. Ischemic heart disease may present a number of symptoms, of which the following are the most common:

  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness

If you are a veteran experiencing these symptoms, you may be suffering from one or more medical conditions that could qualify you for veterans disability compensation. The application process for compensation is relatively straightforward–although the more detailed medical records you provide, the better. Most important, if your initial application gets denied, don’t give up hope. You can appeal the VA’s decision.

A Veterans Benefits Lawyer Can Help You Appeal the Denial Of Your Disability Compensation

Far too many veterans decide not to file an appeal when they get a benefits denial letter from the VA. Out of the huge number of denials that the VA sends out, many are the result of a clerical error. Many other denials result from an improper understanding or application of the law. In all of these situations, a veterans disability lawyer from jackson & MacNichol can help. If you’re ready to stand up to the VA and get the compensation you deserve, call us today at 1(800) 524-3339 for a free consultation.


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