This has to be MEDICALLY Documented in your records:
- Current Diagnosis. (No diagnosis, no Service Connection.)
- In Service Event or Aggravation.
- Nexus (link- cause and effect- connection) or Doctor’s Statement close to: “The Veteran’s (current diagnosis) is at least as likely due to x Event in military service”
This is also known as the “Hickson Elements” for a later case. Why you need to know: If all 3 of these things are not documented in your medical and service records, then you will need to obtain this documentation before getting service connected. This applies if you applied last week, or 10 years ago.
Note: Secondary Service Connection and Presumptive’s are a little easier. If you have a diagnosis, and a doctor says that your diagnosis is at least as likely as not a result of your (service connected condition), then you need not AGAIN establish an in service event or aggravation. A presumptive Service connection means if you meet the applicable criteria, then your condition is “presumed” to be caused by military service. You are still gonna need a current diagnosis, but you may get a bye on the nexus if you meet the requisite criteria for presumptive conditions.
Hickson Elements –In order to establish service connection for the claimed disorder, there must be:
1. medical evidence of a current disability;
2. medical, or in certain circumstances, lay evidence of the incurrence or aggravation of a disease or injury in service or during the presumptive period; and
3. medical evidence of a nexus between the claimed in-service disease or injury and the current disability. Hickson v. West, 12 Vet. App. 247, 253 (1999).