There are two types of service-connection: Direct and Presumptive There are three requirements to establish direct service-connection for residuals of injuries and diseases; In-service documentation of an injury or disease. A current condition with a medical diagnosis and a medical nexus connecting 1 and 2.
“Before November 2000, when the VCAA was enacted, veterans had to obtain a medical diagnosis of a current disability on their own. The VA was not generally obligated to help them in obtaining this medical evidence. Some veterans, who could not afford a private doctor, were placed in a no win situation. They could not receive disability compensation until they submitted a medical diagnosis of their current disability; they could not get the VA to provide them with a free medical examination to obtain this diagnosis because veterans who already had service-connected disabilities were more likely to receive free VA medical care; and they could not obtain a medical diagnosis from a private doctor because they could not afford to pay for the private doctor. As a result of the VCAA, most veterans who file an original claim for disability compensation do not need to obtain a medical diagnosis on their own. The VA is generally obligated to provide veterans with a VA medical examination to diagnose the current medical condition. There are only a few legitimate reasons for which VA may refuse to schedule a VA medical examination.”
An in-service injury/disease means that for the most part it must be documented in the veteran’s service medical records (SMR’s). One thing to keep in mind is that, generally, the in-service injury/disease must be shown to be “chronic” while in-service. If it is not shown to be a “chronic” condition while in-service, then you’ll more than likely need an Independent Medical
The Post-Determination Team is where the rating decision is promulgated. In other words, it is where the decision gets entered into the system and the rating decision is prepared and sent out to the veteran. If the veteran has a Power of Attorney (POA), they give a heads up to them as to what the decision was. If a claim has been granted and the retro involves over $25,000.00, it is sent to the VSCM (Veterans Service Center Manager) or their assistant for a third signature. The Post Determination Team also does the following action; accrued benefits claims not requiring a rating, apportionment decisions, competency issues not requiring a rating, original pension claims not requiring a rating, dependency issues, burials, death pension, and specially adapted housing and initial CHAMPVA eligibility determinations when a pertinent rating is already of record. Opinion (IMO) to substantiate the claim. If a veteran doesn’t have either a documented “chronic” condition, or an IMO, the VA will more than likely state that the claimed condition is “Acute and Transitory,” meaning that the injury/disease resolved itself and there is no residuals.