42 CFR § 110.20 - How to establish a covered injury.
(a) General. Only serious injuries, as described in § 110.3(z), or deaths are covered under the Program. In order to be eligible for benefits under the Program, a requester must submit documentation showing that a covered injury, as described in § 110.3(g), was sustained as the direct result of the administration or use of a covered countermeasure pursuant to the terms of a declaration under section 319F-3(b) of the PHS Act (including administration or use during the effective period of the declaration) or as the direct result of the administration or use of a covered countermeasure in a good faith belief that it was administered or used pursuant to the terms of a declaration (including administration or use during the effective period of the declaration). A requester can establish that a covered injury was sustained by demonstrating to the Secretary that a Table injury occurred, as described in paragraph (c) of this section. In the alternative, a requester can establish that an injury was actually caused by a covered countermeasure, as described in paragraph (d) of this section. The Secretary may obtain the opinions of qualified medical experts in making determinations concerning covered injuries.
(b) Table injuries. A Table lists and explains injuries that, based on compelling, reliable, valid, medical and scientific evidence, are presumed to be caused by a covered countermeasure, and the time periods in which the onset (i.e., first sign or symptom) of these injuries must occur after administration or use of the covered countermeasures. If an injury occurred within the listed time periods, and at the level of severity required, there is a rebuttable presumption that the covered countermeasure was the cause of the injury. A Table is accompanied by Qualifications and Aids to Interpretation which provide an explanation of the injuries listed on a Table. A requester may establish that a covered injury occurred by demonstrating that the countermeasure recipient sustained an injury listed on a Table, within the time interval defined by the Table's Definitions and Requirements. In such circumstances, the requester need not demonstrate the cause of the injury because the Secretary will presume, only for purposes of making determinations under this Subpart, that the injury was the direct result of the administration or use of a covered countermeasure. Even if the Table requirements are satisfied, however, an injury will not be considered a covered injury if the Secretary determines, based on her review of the evidence, that a source other than the countermeasure more likely caused the injury. In such circumstances, the Table presumption of causation will be rebutted.
(c) Injuries for which causation must be shown (non-Table injuries). If an injury is not included on a Table or if the injury does not meet the requirements set out for an injury that is listed on a Table (e.g., the first sign or symptom of the injury did not occur within the time interval specified on the Table), the requester must demonstrate that the injury occurred as the direct result of the administration or use of a covered countermeasure. Such proof must be based on compelling, reliable, valid, medical and scientific evidence. Temporal association between receipt of the countermeasure and onset of the injury is not sufficient by itself to prove that the countermeasure caused the injury.
(d) Injuries resulting from the underlying condition for which the countermeasure was administered or used. An injury sustained as the direct result of the covered condition or disease for which the countermeasure was administered or used, and not as the direct result of the administration or use of the covered countermeasure, is not a covered injury (e.g., if the covered countermeasure is ineffective in treating or preventing the underlying condition or disease).