There are many severe heart diseases contemplated by the VA disability system, including: valvular heart disease, rheumatic heart disease, endocarditis, pericarditis, arteriosclerosis, hypertensive heart disease, cor pulmonale, myocardial infarction and so forth. Normally, these conditions are not caused by any service-related incident. Rather, a claim for service-related heart disease is normally proven by showing that the first the symptoms of the heart disease manifested or appeared during a claimant’s period of service.
Ischemic heart disease is also known as coronary artery disease or “hardening of the arteries.” Cholesterol plaque can build up in the arteries of the heart and cause “ischemia,” which means the heart is not getting enough blood flow and oxygen. If the plaque blocks an artery, a heart attack can result.
Veterans who develop ischemic heart disease and were exposed to Agent Orange or other herbicides during military service do not have to prove a connection between their disease and military service to be eligible to receive VA
Congenital Heart Disease is a familial or genetically caused heart disease. Just because a veteran is genetically predisposed or susceptible to a disease (coronary blockage or cardiac arrest) does not mean the condition is not service-related.
For Veteran’s Administration purposes, a disability or disease can still be considered service-connected if it manifested (became symptomatic) during the veteran’s period of service. This alternate method of proving service-connection– the so-called theory of temporal service-connection — is based upon a temporal relationship or coincidence between the veteran’s period of service and his current disability. Under this theory, a condition, illness or disorder becomes a “disability” within the meaning of VA law when it first manifests symptoms. Thus, if a condition first becomes symptomatic during service, his condition will be considered service-related or service-connected.
If you believe you are suffering from heart disease as a result of your service in the U.S. Military, contact the office of the Veterans Law Group today at 888-811-0523.