Lessons Learned From Presumptive Condition Lists in Veteran Compensation Systems

Lessons Learned From Presumptive Condition Lists in Veteran Compensation Systems

Year published

Military service may expose members to situations and conditions that impact their future well-being. Presumptive condition lists (or their equivalent) are used by Veteran administrations to formally accept connections between certain military service factors and Veteran health conditions. While such lists may be useful to streamline benefit application processes for Veterans, determining which conditions and military factors should be included can be challenging.  

What is this Research About?

This research summarizes presumptive conditions lists for Veterans across four countries: the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand. This work is meant to inform decision makers who are establishing or expanding such lists within their own administrations.

What did the Researchers Do?

The researchers reviewed various characteristics of presumptive condition lists for Veterans across the four countries. This included information on the scientific practices and principles used to develop them, the conditions listed, and military service requirements.

What Are the Key Messages from this Work?  

What was already known about this subject?

  • Veteran compensation policies carry broad impacts on those applying for benefits and services, as well as the government agencies responsible for well-being
  • The development of presumptive condition lists, which formally accept a connection between specified military factor(s) and health condition(s), is complex

What are the new findings?

  • Presumptive condition lists across the four Veteran administrations vary by conditions included, military eligibility factors, and the evidence review processes used
  • All four countries do, however, use scientific review to develop their lists
  • Across countries, the types of health outcomes most commonly included in presumptive condition lists include cancers, mental health conditions, and skin conditions
  • Military eligibility requirements include service in particular conflicts, environmental contexts, or time periods
  • Complete lists of conditions and exposure criteria are provided in the paper.

How might this impact on policy or clinical practice in the foreseeable future?

  • Scientific review is a key aspect for developing a presumptive condition list, along with consideration of domestic circumstances
  • Knowledge sharing across Veterans' administrations and civilian occupational compensation systems may support program efficiencies via leveraging of external experience and resources
  • Research into exposures and health outcomes in military populations will continue to strengthen this evidence base


Hall AL, Demers PA, VanTil L, MacLean MB, Dalton ME, Batchelor T, Rushton L and Driscoll TR (2022) Lessons Learned From Presumptive Condition Lists in Veteran Compensation Systems. Front. Public Health 10:739746. doi.org/10.3389/fpubh.2022.739746