171 Dawson Street Room 227
Sandusky, MI 48471
Phone: (810) 648-0212
FAX:(810) 648-2353


Service-connected means, with respect to disability or death, that such disability was incurred or aggravated, or that the death resulted from disability or aggravated, in the line of duty in the active military, naval, or air service. Compensation is the monthly monetary benefit payable for service-connected disabilities. Compensation rates are not income-based, but are determined by the level of impairment in accordance with the VA Schedule for Rating Disabilities.  

There are five ways to become service connected.  Below is a list of them. 

Direct—an incurred disability may have been directly caused by service, or it may be the remote result of some incident of service, or it may have simply begun coincident with service.  It is not required that the condition be shown in the service records, only that the evidence taken as a whole shows the condition must have begun during the service, or was the result of service or some incident thereof. 

Aggravation—a pre-existing disability, which becomes permanently worse during service, will be held to have been aggravated by service unless there is a specific finding that the increased severity is the result of the conditions natural progress. 

Secondary—may be established for a new condition, which is directly and proximately caused by an established service-connected condition. 

Presumption—certain chronic and tropical diseases will be presumed to have begun during service if they become manifest to a compensable degree within a specified time.  In addition, specified diseases are presumed to be the result of certain incidents of service if they become compensably manifest at any time after service.  Other presumptive periods are set out for undiagnosed illnesses associated with herbicide exposure.  These presumptions are intended to be a liberalizing feature, to allow service connection when the evidence would not otherwise support it.  Only diseases specifically listed, and not others, are subject to presumptions of service connection. Presumptions are linked below.                     

  • Agent Orange Exposure (herbicide)                    
  • Radiation Exposure                    
  • Former Prisoners of War                    
  • Gulf War  

1151 Claim—Section 1151 expands the VA compensation and DIC benefits to veterans who suffer injury as a result of VA health care, VA vocational rehabilitation, or participation in a VA compensated work therapy program.   

What is Needed for a Good Service-Connected Claim 

For Direct and Aggravated Service-Connection Occurrence in service. ·      

  • Current medical evidence of claimed condition.       
  • Nexus statement. 

This is a statement from a medical doctor that shows it is as least as likely as it is not as likely that the condition you suffer from today is the same condition from service.

For Presumptive Service-Connection     

  • Proof you were in the “risk” area.        
  • Condition on the list.        
  • Current medical evidence.

Secondary Service-Connection       

A medical doctor linking your current condition to your already service-connected condition. If you even think you may warrant service-connection it is worth the time to either e-mail or phone me.  With service-connection comes a possibility of eligibility to a host of other VA benefits (i.e. Vocational Rehabilitation, CHAMPVA, special adaptive housing, automobile allowance…). 

Please call the office to find out what you may be eligible for.