The Veterans Administration offers disability benefits for veterans with a service-related disability. VA disability compensation is for an injury or illness that was caused by military service or made worse by military service. Disability is not income based and is not limited to those who served in war.

VA Disability Benefits 

Eligibility Requirements

To be considered for VA disability benefits, the individual must:

  1. Have served on active duty, active-duty training, or inactive duty training, and
  2. Have a disability rating for their service-connected physical or mental condition
  3. Normally, those who received a dishonorable, bad conduct, or other than honorable discharge are not eligible. However, there are ways to apply to have a discharge upgraded.

In addition, the following requirements apply. The veteran must:

  1. Have became ill or injured while serving in the military, and the illness or injury is linked to the military service; or
  2. Have had an illness or injury before entering military service, and that illness or injury was exacerbated (worsened) by the activities of military service; or
  3. Have a service-related disability that did not show up until after the veteran left the military. (Examples: A bullet fragment moves and causes paralysis; lung disease or neurologic disease from a chemical exposure during deployment.)

Applying for VA Disability Benefits 

Gather all the relevant documents prior to filing your application for VA Disability Benefits. You will need:

Once you have gathered all the documentation you need, fill out your application. You can download the application from the VA website.

Read over the form carefully and make sure you fill it out completely. You may be able to file your form online. You will be required to answer some questions on the VA website about your ability to upload forms and records.

You can also apply by mail. Print the form, fill it out completely, and mail the completed, signed form along with copies of your supporting documentation to:

Department of Veterans Affairs

Claims Intake Center

P.O. Box 4444

Janesville, WI 53547-4444

You also have the option of making an appointment at your local VA office and submitting your claim in-person. To find your local VA office, Click Here.

What if I start my application but need additional time to collect my documentation?

Starting an application does not count as showing the VA “intent to file.” Unless you file online, you will need to submit an “intent to file” form which sets the effective date you can begin getting benefits. Once you have filed your application, you can expect a decision from the VA within 131 days.

To learn more about Veterans Disability Benefits, Click Here.