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Learn About Veteran Disability Compensation

VA disability compensation is social assistance funded by the federal government meant to provide monetary aid to disabled former service members. Individuals can apply for VA disability compensation if they were rendered unable to work during their time of service or were later disabled because of work done while in service. VA disability compensation benefits are also available to senior veterans. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about senior VA disability compensation eligibility, the program’s benefits and the program’s application process.

What is VA disability compensation?

VA disability compensation is a federal tax-free benefit available to military veterans with disabilities that are related to their time of duty. This disability can be the result of a disease or injury incurred or worsened during active duty. Veterans with disabilities that began after their time of service may be eligible for veteran disability compensation if their illness or injuries are found to be related to or are secondary disabilities to those occurring while in service.

VA disability compensation benefits for seniors can be received either by the disabled veteran or by the surviving family of a deceased veteran. A surviving spouse, parent, or child is eligible for veteran disability compensation in the name of a deceased veteran who died during active duty or who died due to disabilities received due to military service. This is known as Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC).

Those who qualify for senior veteran’s disability compensation may also be eligible for additional help through the Special Monthly Compensation (SMC) program. The SMC is a tax-free benefit offered to veterans, spouses or surviving family to provide aid and assistance to the disabled who need particular care and attention, due to the loss of a limb, for example. After they enroll in veteran disability for seniors, veterans may be eligible for other social assistance programs offering aid for employment, housing, insurance and education. For more specific information about requirements for senior veterans disability compensation, download our comprehensive guide today.

How does the VA disability compensation work?

Veterans or families of veterans who receive seniors VA disability benefits receive monetary aid mostly based on the degree of disability suffered by the veteran and the veteran’s expected costs of care. This amount is also significantly affected by the number of children and dependents under the responsibility of the veteran or his or her spouse. Monetary VA disability compensation benefits amounts vary from ten percent to one-hundred percent of expected necessary living income for your family unit.

Who qualifies for VA disability compensation?

The most important criteria that must be met to be eligible to receive veterans disability compensation benefits is that the disability must in some way be related to your time in military service. It is also essential that you were released from the military without dishonorable conditions. Your disability, whether physical or mental, must be medically documented as linked to your military service. Seniors VA disability compensation eligibility is extended to veterans who have different types of eligibility.

Some of the most common conditions qualifying for veteran disability compensation eligibility include the following:

  • Chronic back pain or loss of range of motion
  • Breathing problems caused by a current lung condition
  • Severe hearing or seeing loss
  • Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
  • Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

Learn About the VA Disability Application Process

You can apply for VA disability compensation online or through the mail. You can either print the necessary application or call the office and have a copy mailed to you. If desired, you can apply for senior veterans disability compensation before you are normally discharged to start the process as soon as possible. Applications for DIC should be submitted through the VA office. If you qualify for any senior Special Monthly Compensation VA benefits, the VA will automatically apply them to your disability assistance package.

When applying for VA disability compensation, you are required to provide the following information:

  • Discharge or separation documentation from the military
  • Medical evidence of disability
  • Family and dependency records, including marriage and children’s birth certificates

Because the VA disability compensation program is a federally funded and managed program working with thousands around the country, VA disability application processing times can vary significantly across regional offices. To expedite claims processing, the VA offers an option to submit a Fully Developed Claim (FDC). FDCs can be submitted by veterans or their surviving family who are certain of their VA disability compensation eligibility and are ready, along with all of the aforementioned application material, to include a statement signed by the applicant certifying that there is no more evidence to be submitted. By combining these steps, the VA is able to issue a claims decision faster and quicken the process of receiving your benefits.

It is recommended to submit an FDC only if the case in question is relatively straightforward, meaning the veteran’s disability is directly and clearly related to his or her time of military service. Because the veteran will not have another opportunity to submit further evidence in support of their claim, applicants should be careful to include all eligibility material from the beginning of the VA disability application process. You can submit an FDC electronically.

For specific instructions on how to apply for senior VA disability compensation benefits, download our complimentary guide today.