Disability Compensation Eligibility
Veterans disability compensation eligibility is determined according to the extent of the claimant's injury, illness or other disability as well as whether or not the disability incurred was a direct result of military service. Disability compensation for eligible veterans bases the benefit rates on several factors including medical condition and family members living in the home. Once VA dependency and indemnity compensation eligibility is determined, the money received is not taxable nor counted as income by federal or state governments. Spouses and dependents wondering, "Am I eligible for veterans disability compensation?" will need to find out about monthly compensation claims for family members of veterans specifically. Special monthly compensation eligibility for veterans may be automatic under certain conditions. For more information about disability compensation for eligible veterans, please select from the following topics:
- Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) eligibility
- Special Monthly Compensation (SMC) eligibility
- Requisites for Injury or Illness Claims
Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) Eligibility
VA dependency and indemnity compensation eligibility is available to the surviving members of a service member's immediate family. For disability compensation for eligible veterans' surviving family members, the service member must have died in the commission of his or her duty in the military or have died as a direct result of injury, trauma or illness connected to military service. Veterans disability benefits for widows eligibility includes meeting such criteria as having been married for at least one year to the service member who was killed while performing their duties within the military or having married the veteran within 15 years of the service member's discharge from the military. The veterans disability benefits for widows eligibility also stipulates that the widowed claimant must share a child with the veteran and not currently remarried (unless he or she is 57 years of age or older).
The VA survivor benefits eligibility for children of deceased service members requires child beneficiaries to be currently unmarried and not participating in any current DIC program. Children who can petition for VA survivor benefits eligibility must be younger than 18 years of age, or enrolled in school if they are between 18 and 23 years of age. Adopted children of a veteran and his or her family are also eligible for benefits if they meet all other VA survivor benefits eligibility criteria.
Special Monthly Compensation (SMC) Eligibility
Special Monthly Compensation eligibility for veterans is under the issuance of the Department of Defense (DOD). Disability compensation for eligible veterans under the SMC program is available to those veterans who have severe disabilities as a direct result of their service. For example, veteran disability compensation eligibility may extend to those service personnel who have lost both legs or who are blind. As a result, SMC pay rates tend to be higher because the special circumstances of the veteran produce a greater need for financial aid and support. Disability compensation for eligible veterans through SMC is higher because the veteran will require long-term care and assistance from another person for the rest of his or her life. If the service member qualifies, there is no need to apply for this benefit, as it is automatic in most cases. However, if veterans are not receiving SMC and believe that they should be receiving compensation, the local VA office can assist with the process.
The special disability compensation for eligible veterans in this category also includes those service members who have lost the use of a body part, are permanently bed-ridden or are 65 years of age and older with limited or no income. This type of disability compensation for eligible veterans is Aid and Attendance pay, which federal and state governments do not consider the money received from claims as income or taxable. Officials must evaluate the claimant to know what is the compensation amount for a VA claim that is suitable for the claimant's needs.
Requisites for Injury or Illness Claims
Disability compensation for eligible veterans is determined largely on the extent of the service member's injuries and chronic state of wellbeing. Veterans disability compensation eligibility typically consist of veterans who are experiencing at least a 10 percent permanent reduction in normal activity and considered disabled. The VA definition for veterans disability compensation eligibility includes physical conditions as well as mental health conditions such as PTSD.
Veterans disability compensation eligibility and pay rates are based upon the percentage of injury incurred by the service member by using a scale of 10 percent upwards to 100 percent to determine compensation. The VA pays disability compensation for eligible veterans with disabilities that are directly connected to the service member's military service. This is true even if the injury or illness arose after discharge from military service. Eligible veterans can find out how to file a post-service disability claim and receive compensation years after serving.
Disability compensation for eligible veterans also increases proportionately if a service member has a disability rated at 30 percent or higher and dependents. To determine the exact rate of disability compensation for eligible veterans, each individual should consult with the VA officers, who maintain the most up-to-date compensation rate charts. In order to receive disability compensation, the service member must have:
- Medical evidence of a disability.
- Served in the military, either formerly or currently.
- Been discharged under favorable conditions.
Disability compensation for eligible veterans is automatic for select veterans. When discovering who is eligible for VA disability compensation routinely, eligible applicants will include all those who were prisoners of war and veterans exposed to toxic substances, including radiation or Lewisite, while serving. Automatic approval includes service members exposed to mustard gas or herbicides serving in Vietnam and those who were in Southwest Asia for the Gulf War. Most claims for disability compensation for eligible veterans will utilize VA Form 21-526. These forms are available through local VA agencies and online. The service member's discharge papers, DD-214, will be required for almost all interaction with the DOD or the VA. Likewise, a service member who is attempting to collect or file for veterans disability compensation eligibility will need to have all documentation relating to the injury or illness to present as evidence for the claim.