Who Is Eligible for VA Service-Connected Disability Compensation?
A person who meets the following criteria may be eligible for VA service-connected disability benefits:
- You must have actively served, or been on active or inactive duty for training in the military (i.e., Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, or Coast Guard). If you were on inactive duty, only a disability stemming from a heart attack, stroke, or injury will qualify for compensation.
- You must have been discharged from the military under any condition other than dishonorable.
- You must have a qualifying medical condition that impacts your capacity to sustain meaningful gainful employment (the Department of Veterans Affairs conducts a thorough review of your medical records to determine if your medical condition qualifies and at what level).
- A specific event during your military service must have caused or contributed to your medical condition, and you must provide proof that this is the case.
- The VA has rated your medical condition at least 10% disabling. If the VA rates your service-connected condition 0% disabling, you might be eligible for other VA benefits, but you will be unable to recover disability compensation.
- Your medical condition must not be the result of willful misconduct, which the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) defines as “an act involving conscious wrongdoing or a known prohibited action.”
Your VA disability attorney can review your military service records and your medical history to create a plan of action for your case that gives you the best chance for a successful outcome. For example, your VA disability attorney can determine what evidence is necessary to assemble a thorough, compelling claim to submit to the VA.
How Can I Prove I Am Eligible for VA Disability Benefits?
Your claim hinges on being able to provide a nexus, or link, between your current diagnosis and an in-service event, injury, or illness.
In some cases, the VA presumes service connection, in which case the process is slightly different.
In most cases, however, we must prove service connection. Good supporting evidence is the best way to prove this. Per VA rules, that evidence must include:
- Your discharge paperwork (this proves you received a discharge that was not dishonorable)
- A current diagnosis
- Treatment records
- Your service record
You might also want to include testimony from your doctor as well. This can help strengthen your claim.
How Do I Apply for Service-Connected VA Benefits?
The VA offers three ways for you to apply for veterans disability benefits:
- You can apply online on the VA’s website.
- You can call or visit your local VA field office and schedule an appointment to apply in person or on the phone with a VA field representative. You can find a local VA office
- You can fill out and submit a paper application.
For a Free Consultation, Contact the Legal Team at Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick LTD.
The eligibility requirements for VA disability are complicated and proving you qualify can be difficult. A simple misunderstanding of the requirements or insufficient evidence can lead to a denial.
If you have received a denial and are wondering about the next steps you should take, get help from the veterans advocates at Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick LTD.
Call today for a free consultation: 800-544-9144.
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