The VA laws can be a bit complicated and hard to understand sometimes and many veterans that we’ve worked with have tried to figure out whether they qualify for benefits and what types of benefits they qualify for themselves but found the process overwhelming, if you ever found yourself wondering whether you qualify for VA disability benefits then this blog is for you.
as stated by the VA, to qualify for a VA benefit you must have a current medical condition (illness or injury) that affects your body and mind and you have served in active duty, active duty training, or inactive duty training.
in addition to these two statements, one of these situations must apply to you:
- you got injured or sick during your time in the military and you can link this condition to your time in the military, this is called an in-service disability claim.
- you had a pre-existing medical condition before your time in the military and your time in active duty has made this condition worse, this is called a preservice disability claim.
- you have a disability related to your active duty that didn’t appear until after your time in the military ended, this is called a postservice disability claim.
- However, there are a few things that may disqualify you from receiving VA disability benefits even if you’ve met the requirements listed above. you may not qualify for a VA disability benefit if one of these situations apply to you:
- you’ve received a dishonorable discharge from the military. however, this doesn’t apply to other types of discharges such as honorable discharges under honorable conditions and general discharges.
- you’ve committed willful misconduct which is generally defined as “an act involving conscious wrongdoing or known prohibited action.”, this means if your disability is the result of your willful misconduct then you won’t be eligible for VA disability benefits.
What happens after I file my disability claim?
- after you file your disability claim your claim will be assigned by the VA to a Veterans Service Representative (VSR) that will review your claim and decide whether additional evidence must be provided.
- if the VSR decides that you must submit new evidence you will receive a VCAA (Veterans Claims Assistance Act) notice that includes the evidence that must be provided.
- after you submit those evidence the VSR will evaluate them and request more if they think that they are not enough and if they think that they’re enough, your claim will move forward.
- Now that your claim is complete the VSR will finish reviewing it and recommend a decision and include documents that further explain the decision.
- the decision will be reviewed by the VA to give final approval.
- the VA will prepare your claim decision packet and deliver it to you via mail.