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How to Get Disability Benefits for Veterans

If a veteran sustained a disabling condition while in service, he or she may be entitled to receive benefits from the government.

Under veteran disability benefits, he or she will be able to receive monthly monetary benefits.

Aside from the monthly income, he or she will also be able to use the VA (Veteran Affairs) Hospital and medical facilities.

Eligibility

To be eligible for veteran disability benefits, the claimant must meet and establish three components.

These are the following:

  • The veteran should have served in any of the following:

    • The Army
    • The Navy
    • The Marines
    • The Air Force
    • The Coast Guard

  • The veteran should have a current disability. The veteran could have sustained the disabling condition during his time in service or the time in service has aggravated an already existing injury or disability.

  • The veteran should be able to connect the current disability to his or her time in service.

Service Connection

The amount of monthly payment a veteran will receive will be based on his or her percentage of service connection granted.

A direct service connection refers to how a veteran’s in-service injury caused his or her current disability.

An example would be when a veteran lost his arm while in service, thus he is making a claim for the loss of use of his arm.

Veteran Affairs uses a rating schedule to determine the percentage service connection disability to give the veterans.

The rating schedule is based on the severity of the disability.

Rather than a mathematical formula, the VA uses a ratings chart to determine service connection.

The VA assesses each case individually so that even if two veterans sustained the same kind of injury, the level of disability might not be the same.

This may result to a difference in service connection percentage.

Veterans Disability vs. Social Security Disability Insurance

Veterans who are already receiving VA disability benefits may still apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI).

Although SSDI measures the income in determining the amount you may receive, the VA benefits will not be included as it is not considered as earned income.

Veterans will have to apply for SSDI or SSI separate from their VA disability benefits.

A bill has been introduced in Senate that will allow veterans to apply for both benefits at the same time but it has yet to be passed as a law.

As of now, veterans will have to go at it one at a time.

Application and Getting Legal help

To apply for benefits, veterans may visit www.va.gov to locate the nearest VA office.

They can also consult a disability attorney to help them in processing their application and explain the calculation of your service connection percentage.

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