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Secondary Service Connection – Why You Need to Know About It

Tucker Law Group
October 29, 2020

You need to understand what Secondary Service Connection is and how it works because it can help you to get a larger combined rating in your VA Disability claim due to additional medical conditions being added to your VA compensation. 

A veteran is normally rated through Direct Service Connection, which is when a medical condition is shown to exist and be directly related to something that happened during service. That connection between the condition and service is called a nexus. 

Connected conditions can lead to additional problems later in life. For example, a knee injury suffered during service may cause a limp that leads to a hip or back problem. That hip or back problem developed due to the injury during service. Another example is diabetes, which can lead to an array of other medical conditions. The treatment for a connected condition can also lead to additional conditions, and it is important for you and your case that we identify and connect those later conditions by establishing a Secondary Service Connection. 

If a condition is established as service-connected, it gets rated. If the condition is rated high enough, then your combined rating can be increased, potentially leading to higher benefits. Watch the video to learn more. 

If you have a claim for Secondary Service Connection that has been denied, I want you to call (866) 233-5044 to discuss your case. We handle VA Disability cases every day. 

Video Transcript
What is secondary service connection and why you need to know about it in your VA claim. I'm John Tucker, I'm a VA disability attorney, and I represent veterans like you all over the United States in claims for veterans compensation based on their disabilities. You need to understand what secondary service connection is because it can help you get a larger combined rating. In other words, you can get rated for other conditions that get added to your VA compensation. Normally, a veteran is rated for something through direct service connection. That means they prove to the government that something happened to them when they were in service, they've got a current condition and those two things are connected, called a nexus. A connected condition can actually lead to other problems down the road. So a medical condition that later causes another condition or the treatment for a medical condition that causes another condition, can actually lead to the later condition being secondarily service connected.

What does that mean? Here's an example. If a veteran has a service connected knee problem and they limp for years and over time that leads to a hip or a back problem, the hip or the back problem can be service connected, just like the original knee problem, and it's all because that knee led to, or caused, the hip or the back problem. This is fairly common in a variety of medical conditions. Diabetes is fairly common for example, diabetes can cause different types of damage in the body, to the eyes, the kidneys, even neurological problems, or erectile dysfunction. Down the road those other conditions can be service connected and that means they get rated, and your combined rating can be increased if they're rated high enough. If you've had a claim for secondary service connection that's been denied, call the number on your screen. We represent veterans just like you every day from Florida to Alaska in all 50 States and we can help you with an appeal. I'm John Tucker, thanks for watching.