The U.S government offers monthly VA disability benefits to veterans who got injured or sick during military service. Veterans that experience worsened pre-existing conditions due to their service are also eligible for compensation. However, most veterans aren’t sure about which mental and physical injuries or illnesses qualify for veteran benefits.
Although other benefits require a specific length of service, disability compensation needs only a day of active duty. Here are some VA disability benefit basics.
Eligibility for VA disability benefits
For starters, you are only eligible for compensation if you have a current mental or physical condition. Equally, you need to satisfy the following requirements:
• Served in either inactive or active-duty training and active duty
• Have a service-connected illness or injury with a disability rating
• Got injured or sick during your service in the military
• A direct link between the injury or sickness and the military
• Had an injury or illness that got worse once you joined the service
• Have a condition related to active-duty that only appeared after the end of service
Most importantly, you forfeit your claim for VA disability compensation if you receive a dishonorable discharge. However, you can always become eligible by applying for a discharge upgrade. You have a higher chance of winning if you can prove a connection between the discharge and any of these: traumatic brain injury, sexual assault, or mental health conditions such as PTSD.
What is a disability rating?
The U.S government uses what is known as the VA Schedule for Rating Disability (VASRD) to assign disability ratings and diagnostic codes for all service-related conditions. It is a system composed of 15 categories, including the following: digestive system, musculoskeletal system, respiratory system, mental disorders, gynecological conditions, dental conditions, and so much more.
The VASRD system ensures veterans receive adequate compensations. Note that the system takes into consideration the earning capacity affected by a service-connected condition. Each category includes symptoms and treatment alternatives, thus ensuring it is always fair.
Common conditions affecting veterans
VA’s disability compensation covers hundreds, if not thousands, of mental or physical conditions. If you suffer from any of the following common health problems, you may be eligible for the disability benefits:
• Lung disease or breathing problems
• Scar tissue
• Chronic back pain
• Cancers due to toxic material exposure
• Loss of body movement
The bottom line
According to the 2018 Annual VA Benefits report, an average veteran has about five disabilities. Ensure you seek the advice of an experienced attorney to help you navigate your veteran disability claim.