Service-Connected Diseases and Former Prisoners of War

Congress passed The Former Prisoners of War Benefit Act into law in 1981. This act established several things:

  • An advisory committee on Former Prisoners of War;
  • Mandated medical and dental care; and
  • Identified certain service-connected conditions as presumptive for former POWs (which has been updated since via the VA).

The presumptive conditions for former POWs are broken into two categories. The first category covers the 7 diseases listed below as long as the disease has manifested itself to “a degree of 10% or more” after discharge or release from active duty and includes:

  • Psychosis;
  • Dysthymic disorder, or depressive neurosis;
  • Post-traumatic osteoarthritis;
  • Any of the Anxiety States;
  • Cold Injury;
  • Stroke and Complications; and
  • Heart Disease and Complications.

The second category includes diseases presumed to be service-connected if the former POW was captive for at least 30 days:

  • Avitaminosis;
  • Chronic Dysentery;
  • Helminthiasis;
  • Malnutrition, including associated Optic Atrophy;
  • Any other nutritional deficiency;
  • Peptic Ulcer Disease;
  • Beriberi;
  • Cirrhosis of the Liver;
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome;
  • Pellagra and any other nutritional deficiency; and
  • Peripheral Neuropathy, except where directly related to infectious causes.

Currently, approximately 15,367 former POWs have received compensation for various service-connected illnesses, diseased, or injuries. Former POWs can apply online for compensation for their service-connected injuries, illnesses, and diseases.

If you are a former POW and suffering from any of the medical conditions listed above, contact LaVan & Neidenberg, a veterans law firm located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. We represent more than 5000 disability claimants. Our disability attorneys have experience with cross examining agency-appointed medical and vocational experts and take time when speaking with you about your disability claim. Call us today at 1-888-234-5758 for a FREE legal consultation. There is NO OBLIGATION to hire our firm and there are NO FEES unless one of our trained disability lawyers wins your case.

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