What Should I Know About Getting Veterans’ Disability Benefits?

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Individuals who have medical conditions from service are eligible for disability benefits. However, there are a number of myths that make many veterans reluctant to claim them. The process of receiving benefits is also lengthy, confusing and—at times—discouraging.

patch.com’s recent article, “What Every Vet Should Know About Receiving Disability Benefits,” tries to dispel the myths and explain five facts that every veteran should know about disability benefits.

  1. Your Claim May Be Denied. Don’t assume because a claim was denied it has no merit, because local offices can reject up to 71% of their claims because of processing errors. Even without errors, denials are frequent. If your claim was unfairly denied, file a Notice of Disagreement Form and consider hiring an attorney.
  2. You Can Claim Disability at Any Time. Many vets don’t realize a condition was caused by their service, until years after the incident. Many vets also assume they won’t require benefits, until their condition worsens. No matter how long ago they served, veterans are allowed to file a claim for disability provided they meet basic requirements. There’s often an issue in demonstrating a connection between a soldier’s disability and his or her time in service, because the evidence can be harder to provide years afterwards.
  3. Vets Only Have a Year to Dispute a Rating Claim. Unlike filling a claim itself, veterans have only a year to dispute a rating provided by Department of Veterans Affairs. The VA determines ratings by considering any evidence provided, along with required exams and federal data and information from other sources. Ratings for individuals with more than one condition are calculated using a combined ratings scale.
  4. Some Vets Are Entitled to Presumptive Service Disabilities. The government has accepted presumptive service disabilities for many veterans who were in particular situations. Presumptive conditions are chronic medical conditions that the government recognizes were most likely due to service. Those who experienced imprisonment, the Vietnam War, the Gulf War and ionizing radiation may have a presumptive condition.
  5. Additional Benefits. In addition to disability services, vets can also obtain other benefits, which can include federal hiring preference, health care and prescription costs, VA home loan waivers, job training and an increase in benefits for dependents. Other supplemental options can help vets find jobs, support their families and afford medicine.

Although the process of fighting for disability benefits can be discouraging, veterans deserve these benefits. They earned them and deserve compensation for their duty to their country.

Reference: patch.com (October 7, 2019) “What Every Vet Should Know About Receiving Disability Benefits’