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NOTE:

VA_Fast_Letter_10-04.pdf

DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS

Veterans Benefits Administration

Washington, D.C. 20420

January 11, 2010

Director (00/21)

All VA Regional Offices and Centers

In Reply Refer to: 211D

Fast Letter 10-04

SUBJ: Final rule: Presumptive Service Connection for Former Prisoners of War (FPOWs)

Background

On October 8, 2008, the Under Secretary for Health advised the Secretary that ''there is at least limited/suggestive evidence that an increased risk of osteoporosis is associated with service involving detention or internment as a POW'' and recommended establishing a presumption of osteoporosis for FPOWs. The Secretary agreed that the scientific and medical data are reasonably suggestive of an association between POW experience(s) and osteoporosis.

On January 14, 2009, VA published a proposal in the Federal Register (74 FR 2016) to amend regulations at 38 CFR 3.309©(2) to establish a presumption of service connection for osteoporosis for POWs who were detained or interned for at least 30 days and whose osteoporosis is at least 10 percent disabling.

Final rulemaking to amend 38 CFR § 3.309©(2) by adding osteoporosis to the list of diseases subject to service connection on a presumptive basis for FPOWs was published in the Federal Register on August 28, 2009, at 74 FR 44288.

This final rulemaking also amended 38 CFR § 3.309©(1) to implement an amendment to 38 U.S.C. 112(b)(2) under Public Law 110-389 allowing a presumption of service connection for osteoporosis when posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is also diagnosed.

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