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McKown & Myers, LLP
McKown & Myers, LLP

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Do you qualify for veterans’ benefits if you discover your condition after serving?

On Behalf of | Aug 3, 2022 | Veterans Benefits

Research shows that nearly a third of veterans develop complications related to their years of military service. For some, these bodily complications show up immediately after retirement, while others take a little longer to manifest their symptoms.

If you discover your condition long after you’ve retired from active military service, you still can file for veteran benefits, even if your symptoms weren’t present while serving. This post explains the requirements for filing and winning a claim for benefits in Marion, IN, after your years of service.

Eligibility requirements for Veterans’ benefits

You may receive benefits if symptoms of illnesses like hypertension, diabetes, arthritis or peptic ulcers show up within a year after retiring from the military. For your signs to be directly related to your years of active service, they must have a minimum of 10% VA disability rating. Other conditions you must fulfill for compensation include:

Types of benefits awarded to veterans

If your illness is among those accepted by the government and your discharge was honorable, you may receive compensation based on the impact the complication has on your life. Benefits awarded in such cases may include:

  • Health care benefits: If your condition requires short-term or long-term treatment, you may receive compensation for healthcare-related expenses. This covers the costs for inpatient and outpatient medical services, prescription drugs and even transport to and from the doctor’s office.
  • Individual Unemployability: If your illness prevents you from accessing employment opportunities, you may receive the maximum veteran benefits.

How to get disability benefits

To receive benefits, you must file a claim and submit supporting documents. Some of the evidence you will need to present to validate your compensation claim includes:

  • Show that your condition is at least 10% disabling via a doctor’s report
  • Prove that it appeared one year after being discharged from the military through a medical report showing your date of diagnosis

If your illness is among those listed in Title 38, Code of Federal Regulation, 3.309(a), you don’t need to prove your problem started during your military service. The government knows that certain presumptive diseases related to your years of service can appear within a year of your discharge.

Note that there are exceptions to the one-year rule. Some of the illnesses covered even after one year has elapsed include:

  • Hansen’s disease
  • Tuberculosis
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

Always work with your doctor to adequately document your illness as early as possible to improve your chances of winning a claim.