if you have filed an MST disability claim-this info will be helpful


Originally uploaded by jayfherron

1.3. Establishing Eligibility For Service ConnectionEligibility for VA disability compensation generally requires the satisfaction of three fundamental requirements.
1. A medical diagnosis of a current disease or disorder.
2. Medical, or sometimes non-medical (called “lay”), evidence that a disease or disorder had its onset during active military service or that a pre-existing disease or disorder was aggravated during such service.

3. Medical evidence of a linkage (called a “nexus”) between military service and a current disease or disorder. The standard that the VA uses to determine whether the medical nexus requirement has been satisfied is whether the medical evidence of record demonstrates that it is “as likely as not” that the current disability is related to the veteran’s military service.
What constitutes medical evidence?
1. Medical records that reflect a diagnosis of a current disease or disorder (e.g., hospital records, doctor’s office or medical clinic records, or a statement or opinion from a doctor).
2. A notation in the veteran’s military service medical records that reflects complaints, treatment, diagnostic test results (such as x-rays or MRIs) or diagnoses that relate to that disease or disorder.

3. There must be a doctor’s statement or opinion to the effect that it is at least as likely as not that a current disease or disorder is related to an injury, the onset of a disease or disorder, or the aggravation of a pre-service disease or disorder, during military service.
If there is evidence that satisfies all three elements of service connection, the VA must award service connection for the claimed disability.

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Willful misconduct / New Material Evidence

Title 38

(n) Willful misconduct means an act involving conscious wrongdoing or known prohibited action. A service department finding that injury, disease or death was not due to misconduct will be binding on the Department of Veterans Affairs unless it is patently inconsistent with the facts and the requirements of laws administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

(1) It involves deliberate or intentional wrongdoing with knowledge of or wanton and reckless disregard of its probable consequences.

Read more: http://cfr.vlex. com/vid/3- 1-definitions- 19776106# ixzz0omi2ojyu

VA Can Define Alcoholism as `Willful Misconduct’; Supreme Court Rules Agency Need Not Consider Condition a Disease When Determining Benefits
The Washington Post | April 21, 1988

The Supreme Court yesterday upheld the authority of the Veterans Administration to define alcoholism as the result of “willful misconduct” rather than as a disease in determining eligibility for certain benefits.

The court, in a 4-to-3 ruling over a relatively narrow issue, concluded that the VA’s definition does not necessarily conflict with section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which requires that federal programs not discriminate against the handicapped solely because of their handicap.

New Material Evidence

5. New and Material Evidence

Introduction This topic contains information on new and material evidence, including

· reopening denied claims

· the definition of the term new evidence

· cumulative evidence

· the definition of the term material evidence

· requirement for reopening a claim

· handling cases in which VA has requested new and material evidence, and

· notifying the claimant that the reopened claim remains denied

Change Date December 29, 2007

a. Reopening Denied Claims Once a claim has been finally denied, it cannot be reopened unless new and material evidence is received.

Reference: For more information on new and material evidence, see

· 38 U.S.C. 5108, and

· 38 CFR 3.156.

b. Definition: New Evidence New evidence is evidence that has not previously been considered. New and material evidence must

· not be cumulative of evidence of record at the time of the last final denial, and

· prove the merits of the claim relating to each essential element that was a specified basis for the last final denial.

New evidence may be in the form of either written or sworn testimony.

Reference: For more information on what is considered new evidence, see

· Cuevas v. Principi, 3 Vet. App. 542 (1992), and

· Barnett v. Brown, 8 Vet. App. 542 (1995).

c. Cumulative Evidence Evidence is merely cumulative and is not to be considered new evidence if it

· reinforces a previously well-established point

· provides additional details to support previous statements, or

· rehashes previously submitted statements.

d. Definition: Material Evidence Material evidence is evidence that by itself, or when considered with previous evidence of record,

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