Whether you are experiencing hearing or vision loss, ringing in the ears; musculoskeletal injuries such as those affecting the shoulders, back, legs, or knees; or other disabling conditions that are often measured in terms of severity by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, your life has most likely been seriously impacted. If you have already arrived home from active duty and are just beginning to file for disability, you may be overwhelmed by the process of applying for disability compensation. If you are still on duty or are just leaving active duty, it’s often preferable to take the necessary steps to file for your disability to speed up the process.
If you are still on duty but will be leaving due to your disability soon, you can file through a Benefit Delivery At Discharge or BDD program, and if you know your service is up shortly, you may be able to file a ‘Quick Start’ claim—which can result in a quicker claims process than filing a claim at a later time.
Aside from fairness and accuracy, turnaround time is what most of the focus is on with a disability claim, mainly because there is the concern that the process might drag on—especially if you have spoken with someone who has indeed had that experience. It is important to get educated on the process from the onset and make sure you understand what you will need to do to make things run smoothly.
Eligibility for Veterans Disability Compensation
To be eligible for VA disability compensation, you must have:
- Served in the Uniformed Services on Active duty; or
- active duty for training; or
- inactive duty for training; and
- received a discharge other than dishonorable
In terms of how you were discharged, if you received honorable, medical, or a general discharge, you should be eligible for disability. You are not eligible however, if you received a dishonorable discharge. The VA can deny benefits if they find that your disability was the direct result of your own willful misconduct, or if you were hurt while AWOL.
If you have further questions about the disability claims process or if you have been denied, contact Chisholm, Chisholm & Kilpatrick. With many years of representing service members and veterans around the US, we have the experience to help you gain the benefits you deserve.
For immediate help, call us at 401-331-6300 or contact us online.