Typically, a veteran seeking service-connected disability compensation must establish that an event or injury during service caused his or her current disease or disability (38 U.S.C. § 1110; 38 C.F.R. § 3.303 (2016)). The burden to establish direct causation—the so-called “nexus” requirement—can be a heavy one. The burden is amplified by limited scientific knowledge about the health effects of exposure to certain environmental hazards and by limited documentation of an individual veteran’s exposure.
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