By Steve Wright
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, is a disease that affects the nervous system, and has grim results for those who contract the disease. While the disease has been around since the 1800's, there is still much unknown about the disease even today in a world with much more scientific advancements in research and medicine. The experts do not know what causes the disease for certain, but some signs point to genetics and other environmental factors.
However, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) recognizes ALS as a presumptive condition for service connected claims. This means that if you were a veteran and you develop ALS, the VA assumes that it was caused as a result of your service, even if you never served in a combat zone. This means the VA will likely provide compensation for you, and more importantly for a surviving spouse who has lost her veteran husband as a result of his death resulting from ALS. As mentioned above, know one knows for sure what causes ALS, however, it has been shown that the veteran community is twice as likely to develop ALS than the average American. It is for this reason that the VA presumes the development of this disease is service connected.
If you know a veteran or a surviving spouse of a veteran who has developed ALS or died as a result of ALS, urge them to seek professional help immediately so that they can learn about the potential benefits the VA offers to compensate veterans and family of veterans who have contracted this horrible disease.
Also, if you know someone, or you yourself have already made a claim with the VA and have been denied, you may still have an opportunity to appeal the adverse decision. A VA accredited attorney can help advise you of your options as well as help you pursue your claim should you choose to do so. Cooper, Adel & Associates employees several attorneys who are VA accredited and are interested in helping you pursue a claim with the VA.