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A Quick Guide On How To File A VA Disability Claim

If you are a veteran with a disability, you can file a claim and be compensated by the federal government. However, you must provide accurately documented evidence of your injury or illness to get these compensations. Read on to learn how you can quickly file a VA disability claim. 

How to prepare for the application

You must first ensure that you are eligible to apply for the benefits. Below are the two main requirements:

  •      You have an injury or illness that affects the normal functioning of your body
  •      You have served in active or inactive duty

Additionally, at least one of these must be true:

  1. You became sick or sustained an injury while serving in military duty, and the injuries can be linked to your current condition (in-service disability claim)
  2. You were ill or had an injury before joining the military, and your time in service worsened it (pre-service disability claim)
  3. You have had an underlying disability linked to your active military duty

If you meet the above requirements, the next step is to gather all the supporting documents to submit with your VA disability claim. Make sure to fill out your claim form satisfactorily for fast processing

What evidence do you need to support your disability claim? 

You will need to support your VA disability claim by accompanying it with the following documents:

  • VA medical records as well as hospital records that testify to your injury or illness
  • Medical reports linked to your condition or that show your condition has worsened
  • A supporting document from a family member or a clergy member justifying your condition, how it happened and got worse

How to file your VA disability claim

You can file a claim in one of two ways:

  • Online: You can file your claim online through the VA website. 
  • By mail: You can opt to file your claim by mail using the Disability Compensation Form (VA Form 21-526EZ). You will need to print the form, fill it out and send it to the VA through your nearest VA regional office. 

What happens after you have submitted your VA disability claim application?

Your job is done after submission unless you are sent a letter that requires you to give additional information. You might be scheduled for an examination. Do not miss this appointment as it might stall the entire process. It takes an average of 161 days for VA to make a decision regarding a disability claim.