MS Service Connection… The 7-Year Rule
Service connection awards provide a veteran with monthly tax-free payments that start at $100+ and can range up to $8,000+.
Unlike the service-connection awards for contracting Parkinson’s or Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS – Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis), in order to obtain a service-connection award for Multiple Sclerosis you must experience symptoms within 7 years of separation from active duty. To wit…
§ 3.307 Presumptive service connection for chronic(1), tropical or prisoner-of-war related disease, or disease associated with exposure to certain herbicide agents; wartime and service on or after January 1, 1947.
(a) General. …(a)3 Chronic disease. The disease must have become manifest to a degree of 10 percent or more within 1 year (for Hansen’s disease (leprosy) and tuberculosis, within 3 years; multiple sclerosis, within 7 years(2)) from the date of separation from service as specified in paragraph (a)(2) of this section. …
(b) Evidentiary basis. The factual basis may be established by medical evidence, competent lay evidence or both.(3) Medical evidence should set forth the physical findings and symptomatology elicited by examination within the applicable period. Lay evidence should describe the material and relevant facts as to the veteran’s disability observed within such period,(4) not merely conclusions based upon opinion. …
My family and I are all too aware of the MS-related events that occurred beginning my first year after having been separated from active duty.
Getting the VA to officially acknowledge this is a whole different matter.