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Am I Eligible for VA Veterans Disability Benefits as a Disabled Veteran?

Published on February 11th, 2022

VA disability benefits eligibility

Are you a veteran from South Portland, Maine who has been medically diagnosed with medical conditions that brought about or were worsened during your active duty in the military? If you answered yes, you might be eligible for several forms of VA disability compensations and benefits.

Medical conditions caused or worsened by your military service have commensurate disability benefits provided by the VA. Your questions, such as what requirements you must meet in order to qualify for VA veterans’ disability benefits, medical conditions covered by VA disability benefits, and more, will be answered in this article. Let our VA disability compensation lawyers from Jackson & MacNichol help you with your disability claims.

How can I be eligible for VA disability benefits?

The eligibility of veterans’ disability benefits is based on the severity of their medical condition. Each injury, sickness, or disease is assigned a rating in accordance with the VA disability rate table. You need to consider these before you apply for benefits.

VA disability benefits eligibility should be determined by the following:

  1. You must be experiencing a current medical illness or condition that is affecting your mental or physical health. Please take note that a medical practitioner or a doctor must diagnose such illnesses.
  2. You must demonstrate that your present medical conditions were caused or aggravated by your military service.
  3. You would need medical evidence (e.g., medical lab results, doctor’s reports) to demonstrate or corroborate that your current medical conditions are the result of your military service.
  4. You must not have received dishonorable discharge service

If you have met these four criteria, you will get basic compensation or veterans benefits based on the level of your service-connected disability or medical condition and whether you have a spouse, children, or dependent parents. If it is decided that your spouse requires necessary aid and assistance, you may be entitled to additional pay.

Would I get VA disability benefits if I have discharged status? 

In most cases, you will not be entitled for such VA disability benefits or pay. You can, however, apply for a discharge upgrade. Once your application is granted, you will be eligible for the VA disability benefits you earned while serving in the military.

It is crucial to understand that your discharge upgrade application is subject to a number of conditions. It should be demonstrated that your discharge was associated with the following categories:

  • Psychological issues (e.g., mental health illnesses including PTSD)
  • Intracranial injury
  • Sexual assault in the military (also known as Military sexual trauma)
  • Sexual orientation

If you fall into one of these categories, you have a strong case for your application to be approved.

What are the medical conditions covered by the VA Veterans’ disability payments?

As previously stated, several ailments caused or exacerbated by your military service have commensurate disability benefits and claims. Physical and mental diseases or ailments covered by VA disability compensation include:

  • Cardiovascular (e.g., heart problems or hypertension)
  • Dental and Oral
  • Skin related illnesses and diseases (also includes scars)
  • Endocrinological
  • ENT (e.g., loss of smell, taste, and hearing) 
  • Gastrointestinal
  • Genitourinary (e.g., urinary tract conditions or infections, prostate cancer)
  • Gynecological 
  • Hematologic and lymphatic disorders
  • Viruses and Infectious Diseases (e.g., Tuberculosis, Infectious diseases related to Persian Gulf/Afghanistan service) 
  • Musculoskeletal 
  • Neurological
  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Eye conditions
  • Psychological (e.g., Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)
  • Respiratory
  • Rheumatological

This list is not absolute and is subject to change in accordance with the VA’s listings of qualifying ailments.

Can I claim VA disability benefits if my medical condition appeared within 1 year after discharge? 

Absolutely, you can claim VA disability benefits. You may be eligible for disability pay from VA if you exhibit symptoms of disabilities, even those that were not manifested while you were actively serving. But, in order for you to be eligible, you must take note that the medical condition you have is enumerated in Title 38, Code of Federal Regulation, 3.309(a) and that you didn’t receive a dishonorable discharge. 

 

Am I still eligible for disability benefits even if my service-connected disability is not mentioned above?

If you have exhibited medical-related problems linked to your military service, then yes, you are still eligible for some VA disability benefits or other compensation even if it is not listed above. You may be able to get special compensation to help with disabilities. In the non-exhaustive list below are the conditions accepted when for a disability claim:

  • If you are unable to drive caused by your service-connected disability.
  • If your child exhibits any birth defects which is caused by your exposure to any agent orange while serving in Thailand, the Korean Demilitarized Zone, or in Vietnam.
  • Clothes that have been damaged due to your orthopedic device or by a medicine that you are taking for a skin condition.
  • If you are incapacitated as a result of a surgery or a disability connected to your military service.
  • Dental and oral treatments
  • If you have spent time in a VA hospital or any facility that the VA has certified for a disability linked to your military service. 
  • You are unable to work due to your service-connected disability.
  • If you incurred a new medical disability or your current medical condition worsened while receiving VA medical treatment or while participating in a VA program designed to help you find, acquire, or retain a job, you may be eligible for compensation.
  • If you have ailments that were service-connected that have the potential to alter or have not been totally cured and are projected to progress or remain for an undetermined period of time.

Please keep in mind that these certain circumstances are classified as special claims, and that your benefits or payments may vary based on the situations or disability you have encountered.

Let a disability benefits attorney help you!

When applying for disability benefits, it might be difficult to prove your disability to the VA since it requires military and medical documents. As a form of respect for your rights and to show appreciation for your contributions to our country, allow us to assist you with your VA disability compensation. We can guide you carefully through these processes as an experienced and trustworthy group of lawyers that specialize in veteran’s disability benefits. We will work hard to obtain the veterans’ disability benefits you deserve. 


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