Applying for VA disability compensation can be, for some veterans, one of the most important parts of the transition from military life to a civilian career. There is a specific set of procedures to apply and be rated for VA disability pay, which is described by the VA official site as “a monthly tax-free benefit paid to Veterans who are at least 10% disabled because of injuries or diseases that were incurred in or aggravated during active duty, active duty for training, or inactive duty training.”
Many will be scheduled for a medical review and VA disability claim opportunity as part of their out processing, normally 180 days before leaving the service. The applicant is required to fill out paperwork describing their claim.
One of the most important things to know when applying for VA disability compensation is that the veteran should not rely on the findings of a physical exam to make her claim-the veteran is making a claim on behalf of one’s self rather than being examined and having a doctor determine that “Condition X” is something the veteran should be compensated for.
When filling out the forms to make your claim (see below) you may be confronted with a large list of conditions, diseases, problems, or injuries that may or may not apply to you. The process of making a claim can be tedious and may feel overwhelming because of such lists.
But it’s in the applicant’s best interest to be as careful and detail-oriented as possible in this area; once your claim has been processed and a determination is made, you may not have a second chance to try for compensation for a service-connected medical issue. That does not mean that VA care is denied to you, but increased payments might be depending on circumstances.
According to VA.gov, disability compensation is “graduated according to the degree of the Veteran’s disability on a scale from 10 percent to 100 percent (in increments of 10 percent)”.
You may be eligible for benefits “paid for disabilities that are considered related or secondary to disabilities occurring in service and for disabilities presumed to be related to circumstances of military service, even though they may arise after service.”
Applicants should know that military medical records are required in order for the VA to make a determination, and that one or more doctor visits may be required in order to establish the nature of your claim and how it is associated with your military career. You may also need a copy of your discharge paperwork, military ID, plus any supporting evidence of your claim such as medical records from non-military care or related documents.