How To Apply For Military Disability Benefits

How To Apply For Military Disability Benefits


About The Va Disability Rating System

How to Apply for VA Disability Benefits (2019)

Veterans with a disability that developed or worsened while serving in the military or due to military service may be eligible for Service-Connected disability pay.

Conditions covered by these benefits typically include:

  • Physical disabilities including hearing loss, chronic back pain, asthma and cancers caused by contact with toxic chemicals.
  • Mental disabilities including anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder , depression and traumatic brain injury .

Find a complete list of covered conditions here.

For every disability claim, the Department of Veterans Affairs assigns a severity rating ranging from 0-100%. This rating moves in 10% increments, is based on service treatment records, VA medical records, and private medical records directly relating to the disability.

For Veterans with more than one disability, the VA uses the combined rating table to calculate your disability percentage.

Yellow Ribbon Gi Bill Education Enhancement Program

May assist eligible individuals with payment of their tuition and fees in instances where costs exceed the in-state tuition charges at a public institution or the national maximum payable at private and foreign institutions. Eligibility requirements apply.

  • How to Apply

    Visit your college or university office to find out more.

  • Two: Put Together Your Information

    In addition to the documents listed above, you should have as much of the following information available when you fill out your application. If you cant find it all, dont wait to apply.

    This list highlights the information you will need to complete the application process:

    • Your Service Information Including Your Dates of Service, Places of Entry and Exit, Branch, and Service Number
    • The Disabilities You Wish to Claim
    • The Date When Your Disabilities Started
    • Any Medical Facilities and Addresses where You Receive Treatment
    • Information about Your Current Spouse, Including His/Her:
    • Social Security Number
    • Previous Marriages, Including the Dates and Places of Marriages and Divorces.
  • Information About Your Children and Any Step-Children who Live with You, Including:
  • Names
  • Dates and Places of Birth AND
  • Any Amounts You Contribute in Child Support
  • Military Benefits You Receive and the Amount
  • If Possible, Your Bank Account Information for Direct Deposit
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    How To File A Va Claim On The New Vagov Website

    How to File a VA Claim Online


    01:25 Search in your preferred browser and go to

    02:35 You have 3 ways to login to the new VA website

    04:00 How do you know if you logged in correctly?

    05:50 MyHealtheVet portal features

    06:40 How to Open a VA Intent to File

    09:30 Step #1 of Filing for Disability Compensation

    11:38 Step #2 Tell the VA About the Disabilities Youre Claiming

    14:50 Somatic Symptom Disorder as secondary to migraines

    18:00 Give a brief description of each VA disability inside

    19:21 IBS secondary to PTSD and Adjustment Disorder

    22:12 Do you qualify for additional disability benefits for SMC or TDIU?

    24:13 Step #3 Submitting Supporting Evidence like Buddy Letters

    28:57 Step #4 Additional Information

    30:01 Should I submit a Fully Developed Claim?

    31:14 Step #5 Review Your VA Disability Application

    33:10 The 3 Things You Need for Every VA Disability Claim!


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    How Do I Apply

    Veterans Transition Support and Development Center: VA ...

    You may apply for disability benefits at any time while in military status or after discharge, whether you are still hospitalized, in a rehabilitation program, or undergoing out-patient treatment in a military or civilian medical facility. You may apply online, in person at the nearest Social Security office, by mail, or by telephone.

    You may call 1-800-772-1213 to schedule an appointment. If you are deaf or hard of hearing, you may call our TTY number, 1-800-325-0778. We also have a âdisability starter kitâ available online to help you complete your application.

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    What Happens After I File My Va Disability Benefits Claim

    After you file your claim, the VA may request more information. In addition, they may schedule an examination for you to determine the severity of your condition. You can track the status of your disability benefits claim to keep track of what you need to do next.

    In general, the main thing you will do after filing your claim is to wait. It takes the VA about five months on average to review your claim and determine whether you will receive benefits.

    Documents Necessary To Apply For Benefits

    An applicant must have the following original documents with him or her when making an application for a benefit:

    • Identity document of the military veteran and, where applicable, the identity document of his or her spouse
    • proof of the spousal relationship status
    • birth certificates of the dependants of the military veteran, where applicable and
    • the military veteran identity card issued by the Department.

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    After You File Your Claim

    OK, you’ve filed your claim, now you sit and wait. It can take months, but usually the VA will send you a letter when:

  • they get your claim,
  • they start working on your claim,
  • if they need more information,
  • around every month or so while they are working on it
  • when they make a decision on your claim.
  • If you submitted a claim online you can check the VETS.GOV website for the status. If you filed through a Veteran’s Service Organization you can check your claim’s status through them..

    The VA may have to contact the DoD for records or if they need more medical information, they may ask you to provide it. The VA may also schedule an examination for you to assess the disabilities you claimed. If the VA requires you to undergo a medical exam to support your claim be sure to show up for the appointment, or risk having your claim delayed by several months. The VA may schedule you for multiple medical appointments depending on how many or what type of disabilities you claim.

    Other than attend scheduled examinations, you dont need to do anything else unless VA sends you a letter saying it needs more information.

    Va Travel Reimbursement For Disabled Veterans

    Overview of VA disability compensation and how to apply |

    VA can pay travel reimbursement to certain veterans who have to travel to medical appointments. Reimbursement for mileage or public transportation can be paid to:

  • Service-connected veterans with 30% or greater disability
  • Veterans traveling for treatment of a service-connected condition
  • Veterans traveling for scheduled compensation or pension exams
  • Certain low-income veterans
  • Mileage will be reimbursed at 41.5 cents per mile. There is a deductible of $3.00 one way and $6.00 per round trip. The deductible is also subject to a monthly cap of $18.00, when you reach $18.00 in travel payments in a month, the remainder of that month will be free of the deductible. The deductible can be waived in certain cases.

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    How Does Military Pay Affect Eligibility For Disability Benefits

    Active duty status and receipt of military pay does not, in itself, necessarily prevent payment of Social Security disability benefits. Receipt of military payments should never stop you from applying for disability benefits from Social Security. If you are receiving treatment at a military medical facility and working in a designated therapy program or on limited duty, we will evaluate your work activity to determine your eligibility for benefits.

    You cannot receive Social Security disability benefits if you engage in substantial work for pay or profit. However, the actual work activity is the controlling factor and not the amount of pay you receive or your military duty status.

    You Can Still File A Claim And Apply For Benefits During The Coronavirus Pandemic

    Get the latest information about in-person services, claim exams, extensions, paperwork, decision reviews and appeals, and how best to contact us during this time.

    • Find out if youre eligible for VA disability compensation
    • Gather any evidence youll submit yourself when you file your VA disability claim.
    • Be sure your claim is filled out completely and you have all the supporting documents ready to send in along with your claim. This will help us process your claim quickly.

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    Disability Benefits For Veterans

    You may be eligible for disability benefits if you’re on disability from your service in the Canadian Armed Forces or Merchant Navy.

    You may get social assistance payments from:

    • your province or territory
    • your First Nation

    These payments will depend on your household income, savings and investments.

    You may also be eligible for health-related benefits from your province or territory. These benefits may include benefits that help cover the cost of:

    • medications
    • medical aids or devices

    What Are Fully Developed Claims And Decision Ready Claims

    Veterans Transition Support and Development Center: VA ...

    In 2010, the VA introduced a way to fast-track claims that are called Fully Developed Claims. In these cases, the onus is on the veteran to provide all of the necessary documentation and evidence to support the disability claim. The idea is that this cuts down on the time the VA has to spend gathering evidence, which in turn should speed up the decision time. In 2017, the VA took this fast rack idea a step further with Decision Ready Claims, which require the assistance of a veterans assistance organization, but come with a fantastic benefit to veterans: decisions in 30 days or less!

    There are two ways to approach this fast-track claim, either WITH all of your needed evidence ready to submit, OR you can send the form to get started and provide the evidence later.

    Either way, the onus remains on the veteran to provide the evidence, versus the standard and much longer procedure where the VA collects it on the veterans behalf.

    If you choose to fast-track your disability claim, you will fill out a VA Form 21 526EZ. You will need a PDF reader on your computer to fill it out electronically, or you can print it out and fill it in by hand. If you are unable to access a computer with a printer, you can call 800-827-1000 to request that the form be mailed to you or you can request a copy at a local VA facility.

    The VA will provide a medical examination for you if it is determined this is needed in order to make a decision on your disability claim.

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    Applying Online Though Ebenefits

    You can apply online through eBenefits. You can also upload all supporting evidence you may have and make your claim a Fully Developed Claim.

    If you need time to obtain supporting evidence, you can begin the application process within eBenefits, obtain your evidence and then complete your application and VA will recognize the date you started the application as your date of claim as long as you complete it within one year. By submitting all of your supporting evidence with your claim, you save processing time and obtain a quicker decision.

    How To Apply For Va Disability Benefits

    For veterans wishing to claim disability benefits, there are a number of different paths that can be taken, which accommodate everyone from the tech savvy to those without access to computers. VA benefit claims may be filed

  • Online. Veterans may use the Veterans Online Application process through the VA website in order to file for disability.
  • . The Application for Veterans Compensation and/or Pension, which can be printed from the VA website, can be sent to the local VA office.
  • Telephone. Veterans may call 800-827-1000 to start the process of filing a disability claim by phone. For hearing-impaired veterans, the TDD line is 800-829-4833. And for veterans calling from outside of the United States, the number is 412-395-6272.
  • In Person. Visit the local VA office to file the claim in person.
  • All of the online forms may be accessed here.

    Before you start the application process, be sure you have gathered all of the evidence. In other words, keep up a paper trail of all correspondence with doctors related to your service-connected condition.

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    Applying For An Sha/sah Grant

    To apply for either the Specially Adapted Housing or Special Home Adaptation Grants, you must go to the VAs eBenefits website. You will need a DS Logon to access your basic or premium account.

    You can also apply by mail:

  • Fill out the Application in Acquiring Specially Adapted Housing or Special Home Adaptation Grant
  • Mail the completed form to the nearest regional loan center.
  • If you need assistance, call 877-827-3702, M-F, 8am to 9pm ET.
  • Or, if youd prefer to submit your application for assistance in person, then fill out VA Form 26-4555 and bring it into the nearest VA regional office for processing.

    Get Help With Your Application

    Explore VA benefits: Overview of VA disability compensation and how to apply

    The staff at any VAC office, CAF Transition Centre or Service Canada office can assist you or call us at 1-866-522-2122. Service Officers with The Royal Canadian Legion or The War Amps of Canada can also assist you with your application, including helping you get all of the information you need to support your application. Their assistance is free of charge.

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    What Types Of Benefits Can I Receive

    Social Security pays disability benefits through two programs: the Social Security disability insurance program, which pays benefits to you and certain members of your family if you are “insured,” meaning that you worked long enough and paid Social Security taxes and the Supplemental Security Income program, which pays benefits based on financial need.

    What Can I Do To Speed The Decision

    You can speed the decision on your application for benefits by being prepared for your interview. We can take prompt action on your claim if you:

    • Let us know right away that your disability occurred while on active military duty
    • Have information available regarding all the doctors you have seen and the address of the military site where your records are kept
    • Notify us of any address changes you have while we are working on your claim and
    • Inform us about any changes in doctors, hospitals, or outpatient clinics where you are receiving treatment.

    After we receive your application for Social Security disability benefits, we will identify it as a military service member claim and expedite it through all phases of processing, both at Social Security and the DDS. We also expedite disability claims filed online.

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    Talk To A Nationwide Va Disability Benefits Lawyer

    An experienced attorney can help guide you through the application process. The nationwide VA disability benefits attorneys at Gerling Law Disability Attorneys have over five decades of experience handling thousands of injury and disability claims. We are here to answer all your questions about how to apply for VA disability benefits. Remember, Go with Experience. Go with Gerling ®.

    Wait To Hear From The Va

    VA Form 21

    If you filed your claim electronically or in person, you should receive immediate notification that the VA received your claim. If you mailed your application, expect to wait several business days to receive confirmation of receipt from the VA.

    When the VA starts processing your claim, a representative may contact you to request additional or clarifying information. You may also need to undergo a compensation and pension exam where a doctor evaluates your disability. This exam is a normal part of the process and typically takes place at a VA hospital or clinic.

    Be sure to respond promptly and appropriately to all information requests from the VA to avoid processing delays with your disability application. According to the VAs own records, it takes an average of 153 days to process a new claim and notify the veteran of its decision. You have the right to appeal the VAs decision if denied or approved for a lesser benefit than you expected.

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    Eligibility For Va Disability Compensation

    Veterans with a service-connected physical or mental disability that makes everyday tasks difficult or impossible may be eligible for VA disability benefits.

    Eligibility to file a VA disability claim is dependent on meeting one of the following conditions as set by the VA:

    • A Veteran who became sick or injured while serving in the military, or
    • A Veteran with an illness or injury before enlisting that was worsened by service, or
    • A Veteran with a service-connected disability that didn’t appear until after separating from the military

    The VA will need evidence to support your disability claim when applying, which we discuss in the next section.

    Can My Family Get Benefits

    Certain members of your family may qualify for benefits based on your work. They include:

    • Your spouse, if he or she is age 62 or older
    • Your spouse, at any age, if he or she is caring for a child of yours who is younger than age 16 or disabled
    • Your unmarried child, including an adopted child, or, in some cases, a stepchild or grandchild. The child must be younger than age 18 or younger than age 19 if in elementary or secondary school full time and
    • Your unmarried child, age 18 or older, if he or she has a disability that started before age 22.

    NOTE: In some situations, a divorced spouse may qualify for benefits based on your earnings if he or she was married to you for at least 10 years, is not currently married, and is at least age 62. The money paid to a divorced spouse does not reduce your benefit or any benefits due to your current spouse or children.

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