Types of Disabilities

Proving the VA Service Connection for Various Disabilities

In any claim for disability benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the most important piece of the puzzle is proving the “service connection.”

To qualify for VA disability benefits, the veteran must prove that his or her current medical disability is connected to an injury, medical condition or event that occurred during military service.


In many cases, proving the service connection is the most difficult part of achieving a successful application for VA disability benefits.


Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law
Offices in Parkersburg, Charleston, Logan, Huntington and Beckley, West Virginia – and Charlotte, NC.
1.877.526.3457 | E-Mail


At the law firm of Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law, our well-known motto is, “We don’t take ‘no’ for an answer.” We fight tirelessly on behalf of our clients who are applicants for VA disability benefits. Our lawyers have the experience to understand how best to build a strong VA disability benefits case for our clients, and we know how to use medical records and independent medical examinations to show the VA how our client’s disabilities are connected to his or her military service.


Our attorneys have years of experience filing applications and fighting for VA benefits for veterans with a wide range of disabilities, including:


  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD): This anxiety disorder goes by multiple names, including shell shock and battle fatigue. It’s now commonly recognized as a potentially debilitating condition, and can qualify a Veteran for disability benefits.
  • Agent Orange, mustard gas and herbicide exposure: Agent Orange is an herbicide that was widely used in Vietnam, and more than 100,000 Veterans were exposed to it. The U.S. Department of Defense used it in combat operations, but it gave off a toxic byproduct called TCDD, a dioxin considered a human carcinogen. Learn more here. And mustard gas has been used as a chemical weapon in World War I, World War II, and the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s. It contains Lewisite, an arsenic-containing agent. Learn more here.
  • Traumatic brain injuries: These injuries are often prominent among Veterans who served in Afghanistan and Iraq. Symptoms range from mild to severe, and can in some cases lead to permanent disabilities.
  • Diabetes: If you developed diabetes during your time in service, you may be able to demonstrate a service connection. In that case, you will likely qualify for benefits. You may also be eligible for benefits based on secondary conditions related to diabetes.
  • Radiation exposure: A number of cancers, as well as leukemia, lymphoma, and multiple myeloma are recognized as being related to exposure to ionizing radiation. If you experienced such exposure during your service and have a disability as a result, you will most likely be eligible for benefits.
  • Arthritis: This condition is typically characterized by stiffness and pain around a joint. Osteoarthritis, a degenerative joint disease, is the most common form. A 2013 Centers for Disease Control study estimate that approximately 25.6% of Veterans suffer from arthritis, and that Veterans are diagnosed with it more frequently than the general population. Learn more here.
  • Knee injuries: Knee injuries are common among Veterans, as the requirements of service can be extremely difficult on joints. Knee injuries can lead to chromic pain, stiffness, swelling, and the inability to hold weight, causing your knee to frequently give out. These injuries can often lead to secondary conditions, as well. For example, if you frequently put most of your weight on the uninjured knee, that knee can eventually become compromised, as well.
  • Fibromyalgia: Symptoms of this condition include flare-ups of fatigue, pain, stiffness, and tenderness in various areas of the body. Studies demonstrate that Veterans of the Gulf War are diagnosed with fibromyalgia more frequently than the general population. Learn more here.


If you or a loved one suffers any of these disabilities and is applying for VA disability benefits, get early legal assistance to make sure the veteran’s claim for benefits goes as smoothly as possible.

No Attorneys’ Fees Unless Your Claim Is Successful

At Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law, we do not require up-front payment of attorneys’ fees from our clients. We only get paid a percentage of our client’s eventual award of disability benefits. If we do not win our client’s case, then we do not receive any attorneys’ fees. Read more about our policy with regard to attorneys’ fees.

Get More Information — Then Contact Us for a Free Appointment

You may learn additional general information about VA disability claims on the following pages of this Web site:



However, if you have specific questions about your specific circumstances and qualifying for veterans’ disability benefits, contact our office as soon as possible. We can schedule a consultation over the telephone or in any of our five West Virginia offices — in Parkersburg, Charleston, Logan, Huntington or Beckley – and Charlotte, NC.


To make an appointment, call toll free, 1.877.526.3457, or send us an e-mail.


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