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Learn About Disability Compensation

Disability compensation for veterans is a tax-free benefit for qualifying service members disabled due to injury, disease or illness as a direct result of their military service. Veterans Disability benefits for widows, widowers, children, current and former spouses are available as well to qualifying applicants. There are many types of disability compensation for veterans and their families such as programs specific to service members who incurred injuries, illnesses or have lost their lives in the performance of their duties or as a direct result of their activities in the military. Interested parties can discover the different VA compensation programs available and apply for the best-suited benefit based on their situation.

Military veterans who wish to explore the possibility of receiving veterans’ disability compensation must meet strict criteria including not having been discharged under dishonorable circumstances. The amount awarded for veterans’ special monthly compensation is contingent upon factors such as the extent of the disability, the household demographics and pay grade at the time of the injury. Veteran Affairs also assess the degree of a service member’s disability and assigns compensation based on the individual’s ability to work. Finding out how much VA compensation service members receive is subject to the particulars the conditions. Veterans disability compensation is also extended to family members via VA survivor benefits for those service members who have lost their lives in the line of duty or as a direct result of active military duty. Veterans disability benefits for widows or widowers are also available for those family members whose lives are severely impacted by the loss of their loved one. In these cases, the VA dependency and indemnity compensation steps in to assure financial support for the surviving dependents and spouses of the service member.

In most instances of applying for disability compensation for veterans, applicants will need to furnish information. While the Department of Defense (DoD) keeps a record of most of the required documentation needed to process the disability compensation for veterans, additional medical records, discharge papers (the DD-214 form) and other paperwork in which the DoD does not have access. Veterans and family members that qualify can learn what evidence is a requirement for VA claims from the Disability Benefits Questionnaire (DBQ) or by asking the assigned agent. The VA records and retains records of all documentation utilized in processing the disability compensation for veterans’ claims. Evidence for veterans disability compensation can include death certificates, certificates of disability, medical records, date of service and personal identification papers.

To learn more about veterans disability compensation, including requirements, how to apply and initiate the enrollment process, read from the topics below.

Discover How to Qualify for Disability Compensation

Veterans disability compensation is granted depending on the extent of the claimant’s injury, illness or other disability as well as whether or not the disability incurred as a direct result of military service. Disability compensation for qualifying veterans bases the benefit rates on several factors including medical condition and family members living in the home. Once VA dependency and indemnity compensation are determined, the money received is not taxable nor counted as income by federal or state governments. Spouses and dependents wondering, “Do I qualify for veterans disability compensation?” will need to find out about monthly compensation claims for family members of veterans specifically. Special monthly compensation granted to veterans may be automatic under certain conditions.

Learn How to Apply for a Disability Compensation

To apply for VA dependency and indemnity compensation, the applicant must be a former or currently active service member, or eligible family members of a veteran. Applying for veterans disability compensation can take place while the service member is still active, but has a discharge date of between 60 to 180 days and is a participant in the Benefits Delivery at Discharge program. Active service members who know how to apply for disability VA benefits can do so as early as 60 days from the date of discharge by utilizing the Benefits Delivery at Discharge “quick start” process.

Types of Disability Claims

There is a wide variety of claims that apply to disability compensation within the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). These types of VA compensation claims are based in large part on the type of disability, the applicant who is filing the claim and the time when the claim is being filed. For instance, VA pre-discharge claims occur while the service member is active, whereas VA post-service claims are specifically for discharged veterans. The VA recognizes that some disabilities may not appear for many years after a service member has left the military, and as such, has made allowances for filing a claim long after service has ended.

Discover the Evidence Required for Claiming Disability

The Veterans Claims Assistance Act places the legal burden for the care and evaluation of disabled veterans onto the Veteran Affairs and associated organizations. Officials must evaluate all VA disability claim evidence provided for each case as well as provide assistance as needed. Applicants, in turn, need to fulfill the VA claim evidence requirements by furnishing necessary documentation and information pertaining to military services and medical conditions. Since the amount of compensation for disability is directly related to the level of evidence provided, it is in the veteran’s best interest to provide clear documentation. Veterans fully developed claims and evidence begins with proof gathered through the SMR (service medical record). Maintained by military medical records, the SMR will be able to assist in providing the medical data records that indicate that an event occurred that impacted the service member’s health as well as detailing the circumstances that gave rise to the event, treatment records, follow up care, long term prognosis and ongoing treatment. The SMR maintains the VA disability claim evidence needed and should be one of the first places considered when beginning to gather the evidence required for claiming disability.

Learn How to File Disability Compensation Claims

The veterans’ compensation claims process is an organized and systematic course in which applicants must submit claims to receive compensation. By following the steps of the VA claims process, applicants can obtain approval in the most efficient manner. As a part of the VA disability claims process, the applicant must submit evidence as well as the appropriate forms in order to have the compensation claim upheld. Veterans who have specific and personal questions regarding how to file disability compensation claims for special circumstances can contact a VA representative to ensure complete and correctly filled forms.

Understand Disability Compensation Appeals

Many veterans wonder how to appeal a decision regarding veterans disability benefits when officials deny compensation. The veterans disability compensation eligibility appeal process can proceed after the VA sends a letter denying a veteran’s disability compensation claim. The claimant must initiate the VA disability compensation appeal process by sending a letter called a Notice of Disagreement to the VA. Along with the Notice of Disagreement, the claimant must provide the additional evidence the VA has requested, complete the forms that were incomplete or comply with any directives noted in the denial letter. In many instances, the VA denies claims because of a lack of evidence or incompleteness of the application. In order to continue with a VA disability claim appeal, the claimant must follow a series of steps and processes.