Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a debilitating disease that can affect every portion of your life. While symptoms such as fatigue, tingling in the extremities, or dizziness may be mild initially, these can progress into conditions that leave you unable to care for your everyday needs.
Unfortunately, this condition has been linked to active duty service in the US military. Service members may experience a worsening of a pre-existing MS condition or receive a diagnosis thereof years after being discharged. Since MS is considered a “presumptive” condition for veterans who begin experiencing symptoms of the disability within seven years of leaving active duty service, if you are a veteran with a multiple sclerosis diagnosis, you may be eligible to receive disability benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
You will need to gather evidence and make persuasive arguments to connect your diagnosis to symptoms which began either during your time on active duty or within seven years of separation. A lawyer from VetLaw’s skilled legal team can make a substantial difference in multiple sclerosis claims and can help you assert your eligibility to the VA. A VA-accredited attorney who has experience with physical condition claims can also help you challenge a denial of benefits from Veterans Affairs through the Board of Veterans’ Appeals.
There are several important elements that go into filing a successful MS claim for benefits that every veteran should be aware of. According to the VA’s disability compensation program, a former service member seeking benefits must prove the following:
Proving these elements can be especially difficult in claims involving multiple sclerosis because many of the symptoms are mild at first. Additionally, an MS diagnosis may only result after years of complaints and treatments. These combined factors can make connecting a condition to a veteran’s active duty service challenging. For this reason, it is best to seek legal advice from a VA-accredited lawyer about multiple sclerosis claims when preparing to create a timeline that supports your entitlement to service connection.
MS is a multifaceted autoimmune disease that can affect every portion of a veteran’s life. This condition causes the body to attack its own central nervous system. MS especially affects myelin, which is the fatty substance that encompasses nerve fibers. As a result, those with disease experience a wide variety of neurological symptoms.
According to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, common symptoms of MS include numbness, dizziness, fatigue, and muscle spasms. More advanced versions of the disease can entail seizures, speech problems, and breathing issues. If these symptoms have a negative impact on a veteran’s life, they may qualify for disability benefits as long as they can establish a connection between their diagnosis and active duty service.
While the exact causes of MS are unclear, this disease has been linked to environmental factors such as exposure to pollution or harsh chemicals. Many servicemembers are vulnerable to dangerous substances on military bases, which is one of the reasons why VA has established MS as a presumptive condition for all veterans who can prove the onset of symptoms within seven years of service separation. VetLaw’s team of knowledgeable attorneys can help a veteran trace the origin of their condition before filing or appealing a multiple sclerosis claim.
Multiple sclerosis can affect every aspect of your life. While initial symptoms may be mild, MS can progress to severe neurological impairment and physical pain. Because of the long-term effects of this condition, connecting your diagnosis to your time in the military can be difficult.
A diligent attorney from our team can help you obtain VA disability compensation benefits by preparing you for multiple sclerosis claims. They can even assist you in filing an appeal if your claim has already faced a denial. Contact our firm today to learn more about how we can help you.