If you are a veteran and have been injured or became ill during your military service, you may be eligible for VA disability benefits. The VA disability compensation program offers a monthly tax-free payment to eligible veterans who were disabled by injuries or diseases that occurred or worsened during their military service. You may qualify for VA disability benefits for physical and mental disabilities that happened or became worse while on active duty. How do you apply for VA disability claims? Read on as we delve deeper.
The Eligibility Requirements for VA Disability Claims
VA disability claims cover veterans and qualified dependents for specific conditions, illnesses, or injuries sustained while on active duty. However, to be eligible for VA disability claims, then both of the following must be true:
You have a current injury or illness affecting your mind or body and
You served on active duty, active duty for training, or inactive duty training (i.e., "drill")
Also, at least one of the following is true:
You got injured or sick while serving in the military and can prove it.
You were sick or had an injury before joining the military, but serving made it worse.
You suffer a disability-related to your active-duty service, which only appeared after ending your military service.
If you received a shameful, bad conduct, or dishonorable discharge from the military, you may not be eligible for VA disability claims.
How to File a VA Claim
There are several ways you can file a VA claim. You can file a claim online, by mail, or in person.
The simplest way to file a claim is online. You will need to head out to the va.gov website, create an account, and fill out the disability compensation claim form to get started.
In case you can't file your claim online, then you should download the Disability Compensation and Related Compensation Benefits (VA Form 21-526EZ), fill in all the details, and send it to
Department of Veterans Affairs
Claims Intake Center
PO Box 4444
Janesville, WI 53547-4444
You can also find a VA regional office near you and file your claim in person.
Evidence Needed for VA Disability Claims
When filing a VA claim, you will need to provide the necessary evidence that shows you were injured or became sick while serving your country. To support your claim, you may need to provide the following:
DD-214 or other separation documents
Service treatment records
Medical evidence like doctor's reports, medical test results, X-rays related to your injury or illness.
The VA will check for any evidence showing current physical or mental disability that prevents or affects the performance of everyday tasks and an injury, illness, or event that occurred when serving in the military resulting in the disability.