Is the Presumption of Soundness an Automatic Way to Service Connection?

Hey veteran nation, Travis Studdard back,
following up with another video on the Presumption of Soundness. I explained in a recent video what the Presumption
of Soundness is, which again is basically the concept of if VA did not find a particular
condition upon your entry exam, then they cannot later deny your claim by saying you
already had it when you entered service. I said in that video that this is a very powerful
tool and it’s a way to overcome denials by VA. I want to temper that statement just a little
bit. While this is a huge way to help you win your
claim, I’m here to say that it is not an automatic win for you just by invoking the
Presumption of Soundness. Just because the Presumption of Soundness
applies in your claim that does not mean it is an automatic win of service connection. You still have to prove that all the elements
of your claim and your current disability is related to your military service. Now again, for that Presumption of Soundness
to apply, you show that you incurred or aggravated this condition in service. You still have to have that causal nexus or
connection between the two. So again, you cannot just say “Presumption
of Soundness, I win automatically” because, again, that would apply in almost every single
claim. Presumption of Soundness prevents VA from
denying you benefits in certain situations. Think of it this way—the Presumption of
Soundness creates certain burdens for VA once the presumption applies. They have to have clear and unmistakable evidence
to rebut that presumption, to show that you did have it before service. So it creates a burden for VA but it does
not relieve you of your burden to prove service connection, which again, that means current
disability, some injury, event, or disease in service and a causal relationship between
that event and your current diagnoses. So again, it creates additional burdens for
VA, it does not relieve you of your burdens to prove service connection. I wish it was an automatic win but that would
be too easy and the system is not going to allow for that. Still a great tool to be aware of, something
you need to be familiar with especially if you do get denied because of a preexisting
condition that VA alleges. Anyway, hope that helps! Check out our other videos and let us know
if you have any questions about Presumption of Soundness or anything else. You can do that on our website,,
and do a free consultation with us. Thanks a lot and have a great one!

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