How to Qualify For VA Disability Benefits

How to Qualify For VA Disability Benefits

While the government provides a variety of veterans benefits, not every veteran qualifies for every benefit. Whether or not a particular veteran qualifies for a particular benefit generally depends on a combination of different factors such as the veteran’s length of service, where and when they served, and their discharge classification. This article provides a brief overview of the eligibility requirements for veterans disability benefits. Determining eligibility and compensation can sometimes be tricky, however, so it is often advisable to discuss your VA disability claim with an experienced veterans disability lawyer.

Eligibility Requirements for Veterans Disability Benefits

Most veterans benefits have an eligibility criteria that requires a minimum length of service. Disabled veterans, however, can qualify for VA disability compensation after serving only one day of active duty, so long as the veteran’s discharge characterization was either honorable, general, or VA determination. It’s important to know that there are additional eligibility requirements as well. Benefits.va.gov notes that in order to be eligible to receive veterans disability compensation, the veteran must:

  • Have served in the Uniformed Services on active duty, active duty for training, or inactive duty for training
  • Have not been dishonorably discharged
  • Be at least 10 percent disabled due to an injury or disease that occurred or was aggravated during active duty, active duty for training, or inactive duty for training

Additionally, if the veteran’s disability occurred during inactive duty for training, then the disability must have been the result of an injury, a heart attack, or a stroke in order to be eligible.

Required Evidence

While the types of evidence that Veterans Affairs requires differs given the circumstances surrounding each disability claim, in almost every instance the disabled veteran will need to provide:

  • Medical evidence of his or her physical or mental disability
  • Medical evidence or medical opinions indicating a relationship between the disability and an injury, disease, or event in military service

However, we say that this evidence is required in almost every instance because there are a few notable exceptions. The Department of Veterans Affairs recognizes several situations under which a veteran has a presumed disability. If there is a presumed disability, then the VA may determine that the injury or disease was caused by the veteran’s service, even if the veteran lacks evidence establishing this relationship. The VA recognizes a presumed disability for veterans under the following circumstances:

  • The veteran is a former prisoner of war
  • The veteran has a certain chronic or tropical disease that becomes apparent within a specific timeframe after being discharged from service
  • The veteran was exposed to ionizing radiation, mustard gas, or Lewisite during their service
  • The veteran was exposed to certain herbicides during their service
  • The veteran served in Southwest Asia during the Gulf War

How a Mt Pleasant Veterans’ Disability Lawyer Can Help

If you are a veteran living in South Carolina and would like to discuss appealing a denied claim for disability benefits or increasing your disability rating, contact the Klok Law Firm LLC to schedule a free consultation today.