Search Jims Mailbag

Presumptive Disease - Don't Wait to File

listen this page Listen the this Page
Posted on: Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Jim,

How goes it? Well I'm writing of course because I have a question. I have recently been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. My VA Neurologist has suggested I put in a claim for it seeing as it causes me many physical issues and well will only get worse as time goes on. Anyway, I have been gathering my medical records and waiting for certain tests and whatnot to come back that why I have more supporting evidence of the diagnosis of MS which should help support the claim. I have an appointment 10May with my Neuro doc to go over some tests (EEG and spinal tap) those were the last two things I was waiting on. Then I will go get my claim started.

Anyway, I have read online that MS is considered a presumptive illness with the VA since its causes are unknown how one "gets" MS. With that being said I have also seen that one has 7 years to put in the claim for a presumptive illness. I have been out almost 2 years from active duty. So I guess my question would be is this considered a presumptive illness? if so where can i find black and white from a VA source that it is a presumptive illness. Or would I have to go about fighting this under the aggravated by service type deal since theres no way to tell exactly when i "got" MS.

Hope this makes sense. And any input is greatly appreciated.

Reply:

Yes, MS is a "presumptive" disease. This means that the connection between having the disease and that it is related to your honorable service does not need proof. You have 7 years from your discharge date to file for benefits. After 7 years you may file but the benefits will be somewhat diminished.

Please click http://www.va.gov/ms/articles/What_Are_My_VA_Benefits_for_Multiple_Scler...

I advise you to proceed to immediate filing of a claim for disability. Don't wait to collect evidence and records. To file today sets the all important "effective date" of the claim. Each month that goes by may result in a loss of money and benefits if you wait to file. If you file in May, your benefits will date to May once the adjudication process is complete. If you wait until December, you lose all those months of pay and benefits.

Once you initiate the claim process, you will have plenty of time to gather records and submit them to VA. Even the simplest claims today are taking a year or more to adjudicate. Many claims are wrongfully denied and must be appealed, adding more time.

Please click here http://www.vawatchdog.org/how-to-file-a-claim.html

Fling your claim is simple. You do not need any help nor a representative to proceed.

Click here https://www.vawatchdog.org/the-va-claims-backlog.html

The above link will describe the amount of time that you may have to wait.

As you look at those pages on my web site, you may also want to explore the rest of the very busy (about 100 pages now) of the site. There is a lot of intel you should become familiar with regarding your future benefits.

Complete Mailbag