Publication

Improving the Presumptive Disability Decision-Making Process for Veterans


Released:

The Committee on Evaluation of the Presumptive Disability Decision-Making Process for Veterans was charged with describing the current process of how presumptive disability decisions are made for veterans who have health conditions attributed to military service and with proposing a scientific framework for making such presumptive disability decisions in the future.
 
A presumptive disability decision or, simply, a presumption, is a decision by Congress or the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to compensate particular groups of veterans for a specific health condition linked to a specific exposure or service in a specific location. A presumption may address unavailable or incomplete information on exposure or gaps in the evidence as to whether the exposure can be linked to a health condition.

The resulting report, Improving the Presumptive Disability Decision-Making Process for Veterans, concludes that the presumptive disability decision-making process should be based on evidence about military exposures and veterans' health and if a specific health condition for a specified group of veterans was at least as likely as not to have been caused by their military service. The Committee proposes a framework for the future that will be based on findings about the health of veterans that come from tracking of exposures during military service as well as tracking of health status at entry into, during, at separation from and after military service.