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Veterans can receive VA disability compensation for illnesses or injuries which took place while on active duty or made worse while on active status. The compensation is tax-free.
Veterans claiming pre-existing conditions who can prove conditions deteriorated after service discharge may still be entitled to collect benefits. The rate of pay or compensation is controlled by a disability rating, the severeness of the disability or combined disabilities, and the number of dependents, including a spouse.
Physical disabilities typically covered by these payments include cancers caused by harmful chemicals, asthma, chronic back pain, and hearing loss.
The Department of Veterans Affairs appoints a severity rating ranging from 0 to 100% for each disability claim it reviews. This rating is influenced by the claimant’s treatment records, both VA medical notes and private medical documents.
Veterans claiming more than one disability can use the combined rating table to measure the percentage of the VA disability rating. Veterans can only receive benefits for a sole diagnostic code per each condition. However, those claiming to have more than one disability can draw additional compensation based on the combined rating system.
Veterans may receive additional compensation if they have:
The VA review board will need grounds to expedite your claim for disability. To file a VA disability claim, the Veteran must satisfy one of the following conditions:
1. Became ill or injured while serving in the US military, or
2. Have an illness or injury before serving but declined by active duty service, or
3. Have a service-connected mental or physical disability that didn’t materialize until honorably discharging from the service
The Department of Veterans Affairs recommends eligible veterans apply for disability benefits through the eBenefits online portal. However, they can submit a claim by mail using the VA Form 21-526EZ, make an appointment at the local VA benefits office, or obtain supervision from a qualified advocate.
In general, veterans can apply for disability compensation using one of three approaches to secure compensation benefits.
Likely, the promptest way to apply is through the Decision Ready Claims (DRC) program. Claims typically process in 30 days, occasionally, less. This program requires veterans to work with a Veterans Service Organization (VSO).
The next opportunity for disabled veterans is the Fully Developed Disability Claims (FDDC) program. The main difference between the FDDC program and a standard claim is the veteran must supply all evidence applicable to their claim and must attest there isn’t any further evidence necessary to make a determination.
With a standard VA disability claim, the VA gathers the required evidence and seeks to collect all supporting records.
Be prepared to provide the veteran’s DD214, treatment records (whether through the VA medical records or private medical facilities) relating to your disability claim. If you need help to apply for the VA disability claim, you may work with a Veterans Service Officer (VSO), claims agent, or an accredited attorney.