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Can I get Veterans Disability Compensation for Diabetes?

Published on January 7th, 2020

Diabetes is a condition where your body does not produce or properly use insulin, a hormone that converts sugars into the energy you need to live. Among Vietnam era veterans, type II diabetes, where the body develops a resistance to insulin, is the fourth most common disability. According to the 2018 VA benefits report, 372,983 Vietnam era veterans are now receiving compensation for this condition. And the number of younger veterans getting compensation for type II diabetes is on the rise too.

Type II Diabetes Can Be Caused By Agent Orange Exposure

When you have a medical condition, the VA will give you disability compensation only if you can demonstrate that your condition was caused or made worse by your military service. But some veterans can skip this step, and benefit from the VA’s presumption that their condition was caused by their military service. Diabetes is one of the many presumptive conditions that the VA links to Agent Orange exposure. You can establish this presumption if you served:

  • In the territory or territorial waters of Vietnam sometime between January 9, 1962 and May 7,1975
  • In Korea along the demilitarized zone between April 1, 1968 to August 31, 1971
  • On C-123 transport aircraft
  • In any facility were herbicides were produced, transported, or stored.

If you served under any of these conditions, and you have type II diabetes, the VA will presume that your diabetes was caused by your exposure to Agent Orange. But the VA recognizes that exposure to different chemicals during your time in the military could have caused your diabetes. For this reason, you may benefit from the presumption if the symptoms of diabetes appeared within one year of your discharge

Qualifying for a presumption significantly increases your chances of getting disability compensation, and will make the process easier. But even if you don’t have the presumption in your favor, you can still receive disability compensation if you can prove that your diabetes was caused or made worse by your military service. To do this, you must collect every medical and service record you can find to show how your diabetes is related to your military service.

If these records show that the diabetes either occurred during your service or increased in severity during that time, the VA should award you compensation. Ideally, your records should demonstrate that you suffered from type II diabetes symptoms during your service, such as persistent infections, blurred vision, slow healing time of cuts and bruises, and tingling or numbness in your limbs.

A Veterans Benefit Lawyer Can Help You Fight a VA Compensation Claim Denial

The VA Regional Office often denies non presumptive diabetes claims. This is because it can be difficult to show exactly when your diabetes presented itself and how it evolved during your time in the military. Alternatively, the VA may accept your claim for compensation but award you an unfairly low disability rating. Fortunately, the disability compensation lawyers of Jackson & MacNichol can help you fight back and help you get you the compensation you deserve. If you have diabetes and the VA denied your claim for compensation or gave you an unfairly low rating, call us today at 1(800) 524-3339  for your free consultation.


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