Older female veteran and her husband on their laptop at home struggling to file a guaranteed VA disability claim

What are Guaranteed VA Disability Claims?

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Veterans with presumptive conditions may avoid a major challenge while establishing a service connection, but they can still face obstacles that compromise their ability to obtain VA disability benefits.


  • Veterans with presumptive conditions linked to military service can still face challenges in obtaining VA disability benefits due to issues such as low disability ratings or paperwork errors.
  • Even with guaranteed claims, veterans must prove they fit the VA’s veteran definition, have a medical diagnosis on the presumptive conditions list, and served under conditions causing the presumptive disability.
  • Presumptive conditions are related to dangers military personnel encounter while on active duty. This can include specific circumstances that impacted a group of veterans, like Camp Lejeune toxic water exposure, or isolated events where one individual was harmed, like in a case of Military Sexual Trauma (MST).
  • Despite having presumptive conditions, veterans may still be denied VA disability benefits. Legal representation can help overcome these obstacles and secure deserved VA disability benefits.

The VA does not automatically grant disability benefits without documentation of eligibility. However, the VA does recognize certain obvious connections between specific medical issues and conditions of military service. 

Veterans filing guaranteed VA disability claims for one of these health conditions are still at risk of being denied benefits due to a low disability rating, paperwork error, lack of diagnosis, or other problems with their case. Let VetLaw advocate on your behalf. 

We will determine and confront the source of your VA claim denial and work tirelessly to secure your benefits. Take advantage of the opportunity to speak with a highly-qualified and VA-accredited veteran disability benefits denial lawyer at VetLaw. Give us a call at (855) 391-1579 or fill out a contact form to schedule a free consultation.

Guaranteed VA Disability Claims Offer Benefits for Presumptive Conditions

Calling a VA disability claim “guaranteed” is a bit misleading. Veterans still have to prove that they meet certain eligibility requirements to claim VA disability benefits. What a guaranteed VA disability claim really means is that a veteran has a presumptive health condition associated with an aspect of military service that the VA has deemed medically problematic.

By designating a condition as presumptive, the VA is essentially saying, “We know that this dangerous circumstance, event, material, or gear causes that medical problem. So, if you have this medical issue and experienced that danger while on active duty, we assume that your military service is responsible for your health condition.”

If you are familiar with VA benefits terminology, another way to think of this is the VA is inferring a medical nexus in your claim. Now, you are responsible for proving:

  • You fit the VA’s definition of a veteran
  • You have a medical diagnosis that is on the list of presumptive conditions for the type of claim you are pursuing
  • You served on active duty under the conditions that the VA has identified cause the presumptive disability you are claiming

Notice that instead of proving your service caused your disability, you just need to prove you experienced the factors or events that caused it. Even if the VA does not challenge your service connection, there are many reasons the VA denies claims. It’s still wise to hire legal support for an appeal, even if you think you have a guaranteed VA disability claim. 

Established Health Hazards Form the Basis of Presumptive Condition Claims

The most common reasons the VA will acknowledge a presumptive service connection include known instances of toxic exposure, hazardous workplace conditions, defective equipment, or traumatic experiences. The VA often stipulates specific parameters for presumptive condition claims. 

For example, not every veteran who ever served or lived on base at Camp Lejeune has a guaranteed VA disability claim, even if they have a presumptive condition for Camp Lejeune toxic water exposure. Camp Lejeune vets pursuing guaranteed VA disability claims must also document 30 days or more of exposure in the designated period from 1953 to 1987.

A few well-known examples of health threats with associated presumptive conditions include the following:

Camp Lejeune’s contaminated water: Veterans who used Camp Lejeune’s toxic water to drink, cook, shower, and clean potentially absorbed unsafe levels of the chemical pollutants in the water supply. These chemicals can produce hormone changes that cause cancer and fertility issues, among other presumptive conditions.

AFFF firefighting foam exposure: Military firefighters who used AFFF firefighting foam may develop respiratory issues, cancer, and other presumptive health issues after inhaling toxic particles during training exercises or while combating fires.  

Agent Orange exposure: The military acknowledges that veterans who experienced exposure to Agent Orange, a toxic herbicide weaponized during the Vietnam War, are at an elevated risk of various cancers, Parkinson’s Disease, Type II diabetes, and other issues.

Military Sexual Trauma (MST): The military assumes the experience of being sexually assaulted or harassed produces PTSD symptoms, including insomnia, nightmares, hypervigilance, avoidance behaviors, and depressed mood.

There are many other situations where the link between a disability and military service is evident. For instance, veterans who worked around jet engines or weapons being discharged often have hearing loss; hearing loss claims are among the easiest VA disability claims to get approved.

Reach Out to VetLaw for Skilled Assistance With Your Guaranteed VA Disability Claim

You may have a presumptive condition and a service record that clearly demonstrates your eligibility, but still get denied by the VA. As frustrating as this is, you shouldn’t give up on seeking the VA disability benefits you deserve. At VetLaw, we are proud to help veterans with guaranteed VA disability claims overcome obstacles to compensation.

Don’t postpone seeking legal support when you’re ready to make your appeal. Our team is available to schedule your free consultation with one of our skilled veterans disability appeals attorneys. Call us at (855) 391-1579 or fill out a contact form to speak with our team at VetLaw today.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are the PACT Act claims guaranteed VA disability claims?

One of the major accomplishments of the PACT Act is that it added new presumptive conditions for existing circumstances of toxic exposure and acknowledged new cases of toxic exposure and their associated presumptive conditions. 

Veterans can file guaranteed VA disability claims if they have one of these presumptive conditions and meet the service requirements. However, vets can still file a PACT Act claim for a service-related disability that is not on the VA’s list of presumptive conditions for an instance of toxic exposure outlined in the legislation.

How does the VA add presumptive conditions for veterans disability claims?

There are two ways to add a presumptive condition to the VA’s list: law or regulation. The PACT Act is an example of the law path. In 2021, Representative Takano introduced the Honoring Our PACT Act to the House of Representatives. Then the bill was vetted by multiple committees, amended, considered by the House, and passed. 

From there, the Senate considered, amended, and voted to pass the PACT Act. Finally, President Biden signed the PACT Act into law, and the VA adopted the presumptive conditions stipulated in the legislation. 

The VA can also take the initiative to add presumptive conditions. To do so, the VA publishes its intentions in the Federal Register so other agencies and the public can offer feedback. The VA then analyzes and responds to the comments before making the new regulations official.

What is a service connection?

The VA requires that a veteran prove their disability’s service connection before it grants benefits. A service connection is a link between the development or aggravation of a medical condition and the veteran’s military service.

To qualify for benefits, a vet needs to show either a singular incident or ongoing circumstances during their active duty military service caused them to suffer an injury or illness.