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How Do You Qualify for Veterans Disability Benefits?

When you put your life on the line to defend the United States, you deserve to be taken care of by your country. If you served in the military, have a disability rating for a condition connected to your service, and have a current illness or injury either caused or worsened by your service, you are entitled to disability compensation from the Department of Veterans Affairs. Your qualified dependents may also qualify for benefits.

You’ve earned VA disability benefits through your commitment and dedication to your country, so if you are eligible to receive it, you should apply. VA disability compensation is granted for both physical and mental conditions. These monthly, tax-free payments can help you to afford basic necessities and ease some of the discomfort you feel due to your condition.

These are just some of the many physical and mental conditions that may make a veteran eligible for VA disability benefits:

  • Loss of limb(s)
  • Chronic pain
  • Motor problems
  • Spinal injuries
  • Scar tissue
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Cancer caused by chemical exposure
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Depression
  • Anxiety

The VA will assign a disability rating based on the severity of your condition, and that rating will determine the amount of compensation you can receive.

Special considerations when applying for VA disability pay

Every veteran’s circumstances are different, and some disability cases are more cut and dry than others. There may be special considerations that you should take into account before applying for benefits. You may need to:

  • File special forms — If you are a member of the National Guard or military reserve, or if you are claiming PTSD or individual unemployability, you will need to submit supplemental forms with your application. Extra forms are also required for veterans seeking specially adapted housing, an auto allowance, dependent benefits or other additional benefits.
  • Upgrade your discharge decision — Veterans who received a dishonorable discharge, other than honorable discharge, or bad conduct discharge may be ineligible for veterans disability benefits. However, it is possible to apply for a discharge upgrade or correction. If your discharge was related to a mental health condition, a traumatic brain injury, sexual assault or harassment, or due to your sexual orientation, you may have a strong case for a discharge upgrade. Receiving a change in status may increase your chances of qualifying for VA disability compensation.

If the VA denies your claim the first time, or if you disagree with all or part of the decision notice, you have the right to file an appeal. It is often helpful to secure assistance from a lawyer, claims agent or Veterans Service Officer as you prepare your response.

If you need help obtaining the VA disability compensation that is owed to you, contact Marcari, Russotto, Spencer & Balaban. We are longtime advocate for veterans’ rights, and partners Don Marcari and David Russotto are former U.S. Navy JAG attorneys. Call us at 866-866-VETS or contact us online to arrange a free initial consultation. We serve veterans across the country.

  • Thank to Mr. Spencer I was able to get my VA disability claim re-reviewed and given another chance to receive disability. By far he is one of the most professional lawyers I have ever dealt with. So Veterans if you are looking for help with your VA disability claim I would suggest that you hire Macari, Russotto, Spencer, & Balaban. Thanks again for everything.

    — Alfred Daye

  • As a disabled veteran trying to navigate the complexities of the Veterans Administrations regulations, I turned to the law firm of Marcari, Russotto, Spencer and Balaban. They helped me understand what I needed to do and prepared and presented to the VA an excellent presentation of my case. I recommend them for your legal needs.

    — Harry Johnson

  • I was very satisfied with the excellent and professional manner the law firm handled my claim. I highly recommend any veteran who needs help with his or her claim to use Marcari, Russotto, Spencer & Balaban P.C. Special thanks to Mr Spencer for being very professional and courteous during the appeal process. Again Thanks to the entire firm for a job well done!

    — Luther Henderson

  • My husband & I highly recommend this law form to any veteran trying to navigate the endless red tape of the VA. We turned to Marcari, Russotto, Spencer & Balaban to handle my husband's appeal and could not have been happier. We enjoyed open and consistent communication regarding our case. Any questions we had were answered immediately.

    — Michele DeZayas

  • Amanda Medina-Morales was our point of contact and she kept us up to date on the progress of our case. It was a pleasure and relief knowing that someone truly competent and professional was handling this and fighting for us.

    — Michele DeZayas

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