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Q
VA Disability Benefits: Does my military record qualify me?

A

VA disability benefits may be available for those whose military record qualifies them. This is mostly based on the premise that the disability is service-related. However, there may be other requirements for veterans’ disability that also need to be met.

Impact of Military Record on VA Disability Benefits

A vet’s military record is just one component of eligibility determinants for disability benefits. These monthly payments could be available to any person who has a record of active military service and was released or discharged for any reason other than dishonorable.

Evidence that proves the individual is a veteran will be required. Documentation may include the original military service record or a certified copy issued by the military service. In certain circumstances, a service representative or attorney may certify a copy of the document or a copy of a copy.

The document must include information such as the character, time and length of service. Without this pertinent documentation, the only other way to validate eligibility is for the VA to contact the appropriate branch of services.

The length of service impacts some VA benefits. It could prevent a vet from qualifying for certain benefit, but VA disability benefits do not have any minimum active duty requirements.

Other Requirements for VA Disability Benefits

In addition to a military record establishing that an individual qualifies as a veteran, there are other requirements that must be met. The disability must be connected to the veteran’s military service, for instance.

Illnesses or injuries that are directly caused by military service or are pre-existing conditions that were made worse by military service will generally qualify. The monthly disability benefit amount will depend on the severity of the condition.

Payments can range anywhere between $127 to over $3,000. This is dependent on the disability rating that is assigned. The lowest that can be given is 10 percent and the highest is 100 percent. Ratings in between are given in 10 percent increments (20 percent, 30 percent, etc).

Sometimes additional payments are available for disabled vets who have dependent spouses and children. In order to qualify however, the veteran must receive a minimum disability rating of 30 percent.

Additionally, severe disabilities may qualify for more money. Examples include the loss of an arm or leg and blindness.

There may be travel reimbursement available as well. This is generally available to anyone with a 30 percent or higher disability rating. Whether its public transportation or mileage driven in one’s own vehicle, travel must be related to receiving treatment for a service-connected illness or injury.

Process for Obtaining VA Disability Benefits

Veterans in Dunn or other parts of the state or country must submit an application (VA Form 21-526) to receive benefits. This can be done online or in a local VA office. Evidence will be required to show the type of illness or injury. Medical records from a physician and/or hospital should be submitted along with the application.

Meanwhile, if a veteran has dependents and is seeking additional payment as a result, a marriage certificate and/or birth certificates must be submitted. Having the proper documentation is important, and submitting the application correctly is also critical in order to receive VA disability benefits.