Getting VA Rating for Orthopedic Conditions and its Benefits.

Hi everyone this is Allen Gumpenberger back with another blog about orthopedic conditions which Is a subject that you probably won’t find many blogs about. Veterans frequently experience the ill effects of injuries long after they have finished their service to our country. Orthopedic injuries can be tough to manage as they can affect all aspects of your life.

It accompanies the work. With leaping out of planes, training with high-risk, week after week walks with about 30-pound rucks on your back while conveying a weapon, and so many others.

In all, what’s the significance here for you? Indeed, assuming you experience severe pains related to an orthopedic condition, you ought to get evaluated for claims related to potential VA. If you’re a veteran managing pain from an orthopedic condition, you’re in good company.

Because of the body condition welcomed by some endurance and risky military exercises, veteran orthopedic conditions are often experienced. For VA, over ten million veterans get remuneration for service-associated orthopedic disabilities as of 2020.

 

What are Orthopedic Conditions?

Orthopedic conditions emerge from injuries that influence the outer muscle combined with the skeletal system. The outer muscle framework comprises bones, muscles, joints, nerves, ligaments, tendons, and other connective tissues. Harm to any structures or tissues can emerge out of wear and tear or injuries (also chronic diseases).

A VA disability claim for a condition including your joints or muscles is termed orthopedic claim. Orthopedic conditions could influence the knees, back, hips, shoulders, wrists, elbows, feet, ankles, or neck. The VA utilizes the expression “muscular and skeletal disabilities” rather than “orthopedic disabilities,” however they mean the same.

Orthopedic conditions that fit the bill for VA Benefits.

Orthopedic disabilities are one of the most well-known service-associated VA disabilities. The most widely recognized veteran orthopedic conditions are restricted knee movement, sciatic nerve paralysis, back pain, and restricted movement of the ankle and arm. While these are common samples, numerous other orthopedic conditions meet all requirements for VA benefits.

 

Disability Ratings for Orthopedic Conditions

For the most part, VA ratings for orthopedic conditions range from 0 to 100 per cent across various disabilities. Any condition incurred on or worsened by your military service which impacts your muscles, joints, spine, amputations, or bone cracks could be assessed as an orthopedic disability, assuming you meet specific standards. In any event, strains, injuries, and conditions with “excruciating movement” can be evaluated at 10%.

There are quite some factors the VA will have to consider while evaluating your orthopedic condition for an incapacity rating. These elements include joint and muscle functionality.

At the extremely least, the VA will commonly check out the “range of movement”. The degree of any movement constraint, or proof that exhibits you’re encountering some level of disability, will point to and decide your VA rating.

 

Range-of-Motion Testing

Range of Motion testing is the primary way the VA decides the seriousness of your orthopedic inability and what rating you’ll get. There are various kinds of movement, which includes:

  • Extension – the rate at which your joint can be bent
  • Flexion – the rate at which you can extend a joint
  • Lateral flexion – how far you can twist joints sideways (usually your neck and torso)
  • Rotation – how far you can pivot joints (usually your neck and torso)

One choice to assist you with finding out on your own how severe your constraints are is to buy the digital goniometer device, which estimates your movement ranges. Doctors use this device while evaluating your condition, or the VA won’t accept the evaluation when it audits your records.

 

The Common Veteran Orthopedic Conditions

Orthopedic pains can influence each part of your life. The following are three of the most well-known veteran orthopedic conditions.

  • Sciatica: Orthopedic pain can likewise set off sciatic nerves and cause massive pain. The sciatic nerve becomes tender whenever your joints become inflamed and can restrict development because of disease.
  • Arthritis: is degenerative changes in the joints. A few joints are more affected than others. Since veterans spend their whole lives on their feet, it is very typical to experience the ill effects of a severe instance of joint inflammation later in your life. The joints are inflamed, and you feel pain upon contact.
  • Low-back Pain: This is the most widely recognized orthopedic condition among veterans. The unpleasant existence of an on-the-job fighter frequently ends in low-back pain. Pain in the lower back can limit mobility and impede ordinary working. The specialist will want to determine this to have a straightforward CT-Scan or X-Ray.

 

Requirements to Claim an Orthopedic Condition

Before filing for an orthopedic VA claim, you should have a current diagnosis, an event of service, or nexus to an in-service experience, and a medical assessment under 38 CFR.

  1. You need 38 CFR.

What is 38 CFR? The 38 Code of Federal Regulation is what the VA uses to figure out what your rate ought to be for disabilities. There is a passage and line number for each analysis you can claim. The VA has figured out what goal measures are used to rate conditions. Remember that you first require a current state diagnosis and medical proof to back up your physical issue or injury.

  1. You require a current diagnosis: One of the essential things you need for your claim to get approval is a present medical examination result. Without this, you don’t have a claim. What’s the significance here to have this? It implies that the actual diagnosis is well documented in your medical record.

The greatest thing that should not be missing in medical records is the current situation diagnosis. You can’t simply tell the VA you have knee pain. It must be reported by a medical practitioner that you have seen lately.

  1. Your diagnosis should be documented appropriately. When you see your health physician, ensure that you get the analysis written in your records. You might demand your medical notes from any health service provider you see, and it is prescribed that you read through them to track down the diagnosis.

 

How to Get a Secondary Service Connection for Orthopedic Conditions

The heartening news is that the whole human body is associated; almost certainly, you are impacted by secondary diagnosis connected with service injuries. A model could be a knee injury while in service, and that knee pain has sped up joint pain over the years.

Representing secondary conditions requires medical-based proof and writings to demonstrate the two are associated. Utilizing the VA’s writing to demonstrate why two claims can be associated is an excellent approach. This gives the VA a tough time discrediting anything said. While seeing secondary service connections, this guide will assist you in nailing down what you’re liable to claim.

 

Final Note

Get an updated medical proof, and figure out what else you might, in any case, require. Then reach out to a specialist on what precisely you want to document a claim for. They will go over what might be the best optional conditions, then state the additional medical proof you will need and mentor you through the interaction.

My best advice is to keep pushing whenever a claim first gets denied. Medical health providers don’t want that you live in pain, so join an orthopedic group that will pay attention to you and work with you to get you to a decent degree of functionality.

Veteran Readiness and Employment Program

Hi, this is Allen Gumpenberger back with another blog that will hopefully educate, as well as enlighten you on VA Disability, Today I want to talk about a program that is oftentimes forgotten and it is The Veterans Readiness and Employment Program, formerly known as Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Service Programs for Disabled Veterans, is a program that is offered to disabled veterans (service-connected) with the goal of helping them pursue a meaningful career, it does that by helping them prepare for, find, and maintain employment. It’s also known as the Chapter 31 program because it was originally authorized under Chapter 31 of Title 38, U.S. Code.

Who is eligible for this program?

To be eligible for an evaluation for VR&E the veteran must these two conditions:

  • have at least a %10 disability rating for a service-connected condition.
  • Have received or will receive a discharge that isn’t dishonorable.

Now keep in mind that being eligible doesn’t mean that you’re entitled to receive the service provided by this program, meeting those conditions means that you’re eligible for an evaluation. However, keep in mind that the period of eligibility for VR&E services is 12 years from the date of separation.

What is the process of this program?

Although each veteran’s experience will be different, there are some general similarities for most people who use this program:

  • An initial appointment with a VR&E counselor
  • A completed VR&E application
  • A determination of eligibility and a written plan to identify needed services
  • A referral to an appropriate training institution or employer if needed
  • Possible follow-up case management services to help ensure successful employment
  • Qualifications for Vocational Rehabilitation Benefits

What can I expect from this program?

Many veterans, service members, and their families face challenges as they transition from military to civilian life. For some, a challenge like this could prevent them from working or finding a job. This program helps veterans through a number of ways such as:

  • Vocational Counseling
  • Career Assessment and Guidance
  • Employment Assistance
  • Post-Secondary Training
  • On-the-Job Training (OJT) and Apprenticeships
  • Self-Employment Assistance

During my time working with veterans, I noticed that not many veterans knew about this program or if they knew they didn’t think that it is helpful, in my opinion, this program is helpful and could be even considered a “hidden gem”. if you’re interested in receiving the benefits of this program or any other benefits and you find the whole process of applying and getting the benefits is overwhelming then Gumps VA Compensation Services is here to help.

Schedule an appointment today!

Getting a VA Rating for Insomnia

The transition from a life in the military to normal, civilian ordinariness is not as seamless as many veterans would hope. It is oftentimes marked with relics from a time most of them would rather forget but are unable to. This is why sleeping problems, like insomnia, are very popular among Veterans. The National Veteran Sleep Survey revealed that 73.5% of the Veterans they interviewed confessed to meeting the general criteria for insomnia. Good thing is, as a Veteran, you can get compensated for this.

This article will reveal in detail how you can get a VA rating for insomnia.

Common Symptoms of Insomnia

While insomnia is largely characterised by an inability to sleep, it is not the only symptom of the disorder.

The tell-tale signs of insomnia include;

  • Difficulty with falling asleep.
  • Waking earlier than normal.
  • Inability to sleep undisturbed.
  • Disruptive sleep disorders.
  • Constant irritability.
  • Sleep anxiety.
  • Extreme fatigue during the daytime.
  • Feeling tired immediately after waking from sleep.
  • Concentration difficulties.
  • Inability to focus attention.
  • Difficulty remembering small and big events.

Common Causes of Insomnia Among Veterans

Many Veterans who struggle with insomnia do not have to look too far to find its cause. Among Veterans, insomnia can be traced back to their time in the military. Vantage Point, the official website of the US Department of Veteran Affairs, confirms that ‘Veterans have much higher insomnia rates than non-Veterans.’ In substantiating this data, the researchers collected data from 5,500 post 9/11Veterans over a period of seven years and they discovered that 57% of those Veterans struggled with insomnia. The research also concluded that it was a result of certain aspects of military life.

  • Extreme Stress Levels

It is common knowledge that active military life is extremely stressful as it demands great sacrifices of personal time and energy. A report by BusinessNewsDaily places ‘Enlisted Military Personnel’ as the first on the list of 2021’s Most Stressful Jobs with a stress score of 72.58. This stress could trigger sleep problems like insomnia.

  • Irregular Sleep Schedules

By being in active military service, sleep is not the priority that it should be. From constantly changing time zones, to taking shifts at overnight operations, to rigorous training schedules, good sleep is near impossible. While the body might wish to adhere to the circadian rhythm, the demands of the job might make it impossible to do so. A research by the Sleep Foundation proved that 76% of military personnel do not get their recommended seven to nine hours of sleep daily.

  • Environmental Factors like Harsh and Unconducive Living Conditions

While in service, military personnel are constantly exposed to harsh and unconducive living conditions that impair sleep and reduce sleep quality. Poor lighting, high levels of noise, and even shifts in temperature will trigger physical responses that hinder sleep.

 

  • Psychological/Physical Injuries

The research by Vantage Point also proved that over 93% of Veterans suffering from PTSD had insomnia while 78% of those with Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) also had insomnia. These conditions are service-related as well. What this concludes is that pre-existing psychological conditions could also cause insomnia. The same goes for physical injuries.

  • Side Effects of Medications

Many Veterans take certain medications to ease pre-existing conditions oblivious to the fact that developing sleep problems may just be one of the side-effects of those medications. Drugs like antidepressants, blood-pressure medications, and even sleeping pills can quickly create sleeping problems for the average Veteran.

Is Insomnia a VA Disability?

There is a clear difference between having some bouts of sleeplessness and suffering from insomnia. If it can be proven beyond doubt that your sleeplessness is directly service-connected, incessant, has affected your daily life, and contributes to your mental and physical deterioration, then you can file a claim.

In that case,

 

Yes, insomnia is considered a VA Disability and it can get a disability rating anywhere from 0% to 100%. This is according to the Schedule of Ratings for Mental Disorders (38 CFR § 4.130). How high your VA rating is depends on the severity of the symptoms and how well you can prove that they are service-connected. With your insomnia, it is also possible to get a Total Disability based on Individual Unemployability (TIDU) which is $3,332.06 monthly, with attendant health benefits. For this though, you must have a 100% VA rating. However, you must note that VAs will typically list insomnia as a secondary component of a worse medical condition.

What Kind of VA Disability Benefits Can You Get For Insomnia?

Like we mentioned before, if you manage to attain a 100% disability rating for insomnia by providing evidence of complete social and occupational damage, then you qualify for a TIDU. In this case, you will have to prove that you’re clinically unable to secure or maintain gainful employment due to your insomnia. Once it’s approved, you’ll be entitled to $3,332.06 monthly, with attendant health benefits. We must warn you though; getting a 100% rating for insomnia is near-impossible.

The worth of a TIDU for insomnia is the same as the highest schedular benefit available to VAs – $3,332.06, free healthcare, and secondary health insurance coverage. This was documented in the 2022 Veterans Disability Compensation Rates released in December of 2021. The lowest disability rating is 10% and the amount payable is $152.64. At this rate (and 20%), you get no extra benefits or higher rate for your dependents. From a 30% to a 60% rating, you can access $467.39 – $1,214.03 with no dependents and as high as $1,585.03 with dependents (parents, spouse, and children). A 70% to 100% rating gets you from $1,529.95 to $3,952.09 with dependents. Ratings of 30% to 100% also come with extra benefits and higher rates for dependents.

Also, a 0% is possible if your diagnosis shows that your symptoms are not severe enough to cause any real impairment. Although no compensation will be payable to the Veteran involved, it’s always good to let the authorities know that your condition is service-connected.

How Do You Get a VA Rating for Insomnia?

Now, this is where the work is. When filing for a disability claim, it’s not enough to report that you have not slept 10 hours in one week and now, your supervisor is threatening to let you go. You might get a few sympathetic looks here and there but no real help. To get the claims you deserve, you must be able to prove that your insomnia is service-connected. To make that happen;

  • You must be able to provide ample evidence of your condition’s existence in a medical diagnosis from an authorised VA clinic or medical professional.
  • You must then be able to describe the event that triggered your sleeping problems (Note that it does not matter whether you were in active service or not).
  • Finally, you need a medical nexus that proves that your insomnia is service-connected.

These are the three major ways you can get a VA rating for insomnia;

  1. Direct Service Connection for Insomnia Through C&P Examinations

A C&P Examination is a Compensation and Pensions Examination – a medical examination provided by the VA to substantiate a Veteran’s claim(s) of disability. The standard procedure is for this examination to be conducted in a VA clinic and the report sent to the VA Regional Office (RO) for review. If the report contains convincing evidence of your disability, then the claim would be approved. But if it does not and the claim is denied, you can contest that decision and demand a second opinion by a different healthcare advisor. Regardless, when there is doubt, the benefit is always tilted in favour of the Veteran.

 

  1. Secondary Service Connection for Insomnia

You can claim insomnia as a secondary service connection by proving that it was triggered by a primary condition that has already been deemed service connected. Insomnia can be linked as a secondary effect of both physical and mental conditions. For example, research shows that more than 93% of Veterans with PTSD struggle with insomnia. If one of those Veterans decide to file a disability claim, they can attach insomnia as a secondary condition and even get compensated for both of them separately. The same goes for a physical service connected condition like injuries that hinder good sleeping patterns, like chronic back pain. Here, you can get a rating of 0%, 10%, 30%, 50%, 70%, and 100%.

  1. Service Connection for Insomnia by Aggravation

It is still possible to file a disability claim if you suffered from mild insomnia before you went into service. You can claim that the demands of service aggravated your mild condition until it became chronic. Although proving this may not be as straightforward as the others, it is still worth the shot.

Final Note

While filing your disability claim is the right thing to do (because you deserve it!), it is unfortunately not the easiest. And that’s why we are here. With over 90 years of combined experience navigating the waters of the VA, we’re confident that we’ll get you a result you’re happy with. We’ve helped thousands of satisfied clients get the VA disability benefits they’re entitled to and we can help you too.

Everything You Need to Know About Filing a Claim for PTSD

Hi this is Allen Gumpenberger back with another blog that will hopefully educate, as well as enlighten you on VA Disability. If you have been diagnosed with PTSD, it may be difficult to think about the possibility of being compensated for your service-related disability. Some of the veterans that we work with at Gumps don’t even know that they could file a disability claim for PTSD. There are many ways that veterans can receive compensation and many things they must do to get that compensation.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is a mental illness caused by a traumatic event. It can affect anyone who has experienced a traumatic event, but the possibility of getting PTSD because of the military is quite high. PTSD is a common problem among veterans. It causes stress and anxiety in their life, as well as difficulty dealing with others. and it could be caused by several situations that many veterans experience frequently such as witnessing people being killed, fellow service members dying and witnessing shocking events in general, events that civilians don’t get to witness that often.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is a serious mental illness and something that severely affects a person’s ability to enjoy and get by through day-to-day activities, a person with PTSD is likely to isolate themself and avoid interacting with other people.

Here are some of the most common symptoms of PTSD:
⦁ Depression – feeling depressed or sad all the time, lack of interest in things you used to enjoy, difficulty concentrating.
⦁ Anxiety – feeling anxious and nervous all the time, difficulty sleeping, difficulty breathing, increased heart rate.
⦁ Social Isolation – avoiding other people because you feel uncomfortable around them, not wanting to leave your home.
⦁ Flashbacks – reliving the traumatic event over and over again as if it were happening now.
⦁ Suicidal thoughts.

What kind of benefits can you get for PTSD?
⦁ Compensation (payements).
⦁ Health Care.
⦁ PTSD treatment.

What do you need to qualify for these benefits?
⦁ To qualify for benefits for your PTSD you need to first get diagnosed for PTSD by a qualified psychiatrist.
⦁ The PTSD symptoms are related to a traumatic event that happened during your time in the military, also called The stressor.
⦁ You must prove that this event happened during your time in the military and that.
⦁ A VA psychiatrist or psychologist agrees that the stressor is enough to cause those symptoms.

5 Causes of VA Claims Delay

You might be wondering how long it will take to process a VA claim or even concerned about the reason for delays of VA Claims.
Your worries are valid and will be answered right in this article.
In responding to your concern above, you must confirm whether you’re submitting a Fully Developed Claim (FDC) or non-FDC.
Your choice will determine the factors militating against speedy VA Claims.
Factors that cause delay of VA Claims

  • First Claim: usually the initial claims are the longest to process because of the administrative requirements such as your Service Treatment Records and your personal bio. Getting all these together can cause delay.
  • Number of Disability: How many disability cases are you filing? This may be the reason for the delay experienced. The higher numbers of disabilities you file, the greater time it will take to process your claims.
  • C & P examination schedule: you might not have control over the time for your Compensation and Pension Exams but the longer it takes to schedule it, will consequently affect how early you can get your VA Claims.
  • VA Claims backlog: if there are many pending VA Claims to sort out, yours might fall into the pile resulting in delays.
  • A Speciality VA Claims: filing some specific VA Claims such as Burn Pit Exposure that can only be facilitated at designated regional offices can delay your VA Claims.

Final thoughts
Now that you know some of the factors that can cause your VA Claims to be delayed, you would be better prepared when they occur to either avoid them or handle them well.

Eligibility for Automobiles and Adaptive Equipment for Disabled Veterans

Veterans and service members are often exposed to occupational hazards while defending the country.
From minor injuries to fatal ones or those that leave them disabled; Veterans have a lot of unpalatable experiences to remember for the rest of their lives.
It is our collective duties to make living after active service bearable for them as much as possible.
The department of Veteran Affairs covers some of the cost of purchase or repairs of automobiles and adaptive equipment for disabled veterans.

What the Program is about
This VA program allows for a one-time payment of nothing exceeding $19,817 towards acquiring an automobile to make transportation or movement easier for disabled veterans.

Who is eligible for Automobiles and Adaptive Equipment?
Primarily, only veterans who suffered disability from active service qualify for this program. However the disabilities that will be considered include:

  • Loss or inability to use at least one foot
  • Loss or inability to use at least one hand
  • Permanent visual impairment of both eyes
  • Injuries from severe burns that impede movement
  • Ankylosis (also known as immobile joint) of at least a hip or joint as a result of service-related injuries

One of the perks of this program is that once your eligibility status is confirmed, the length of your service year is inconsequential. It is also available to actively serving members of the military.

This initiative is beneficial to veterans who have sacrificed a lot for the nation. A means of moving about gives disabled veterans one less thing to worry about.

 

Everything you need to know about filing a claim for mental illnesses. 

Hi this is Allen Gumpenberger back with another blog that will hopefully educate, as well as enlighten you on VA Disability. People usually think that the only negative effects that the military might leave on you are physical, and that is not true. Serving in the military isn’t an easy thing at all and it makes a huge impact on your mind as well as on your body. Watching fellow service members get injured, watching innocent people die, and just witnessing the cruelty of our world could and will leave a mark on your mental faculties or physically.
A significant amount of veterans that we come across tend to ignore their mental health and don’t even know that you can file a disability claim for the mental illnesses that were caused or worsened by your time in the military. This can sometimes get you as many benefits from such a claim as the benefits that you get for physical disabilities.

What are the mental illnesses & disorders that qualify you for a benefit? 

  • psychotic disorders 
  • anxiety disorders 
  • cognitive disorders 
  • adjustment disorders 
  • Amnesia 
  • mood disorders
  • eating disorders

Establishing service connection 

Establishing a services connection is the most important step in your claim process. It gives a why and how to your disability. Just like physical injuries, establishing a connection between your mental condition and your time in the military is crucial for a successful claim. To do so you need to get a professional diagnosis from a qualified medical professional for the conditions you’re applying for, then you need to identify an event or an incident that took place while in service that caused your condition or contributed to it, and then explain the impact that this incident or event made on you and your condition. You can do so by providing medical evidence like a nexus letter that fills any gaps that might be there as to why this incident affected you.

How does the VA rate disabilities related to mental disorders?

It is known that VA usually rates disabilities with percentages that have 10% increments based on the severity of the symptoms that you’re experiencing. However, with disabilities caused by mental disorders, it is a bit different as the VA gives ratings of 0%, 10%, 30%, 70%, or 100% for psychiatric conditions. You get a 0% rating when you have a diagnosed mental disorder but the symptoms can be successfully controlled with medication, and you get a 100% rating when your mental condition significantly affects your ability to function without supervision or support and work is not possible.
Sometimes veterans get confused and assume that having more than one mental disorder is going to increase their ratings and the benefits that they get, This could work but not because of the reasons that you have in mind. When giving a disability rating the VA considers the symptoms of your mental disorders, not the mental disorders themselves as a factor, The VA evaluates the severity of the symptoms that you have and the impact that these symptoms have on your day-to-day life. So what I mean is that if you have two mental disorders with symptoms that are severe and significantly hinder your ability to function as an individual then you’ll end up getting disability ratings that are higher than someone with four mental disorders that are experiencing mild symptoms.

What is a buddy letter and why is it important?

The majority of veterans aren’t aware of how much of a difference a buddy letter could make in relation to your VA decision.
A buddy letter is a statement that is written in support of your claim by a competent adult who has the knowledge and likely witnessed an event or injury that is directed to your disability and supports your disability claim.

Who can write a Buddy letter?
The most important condition that determines who can write the buddy letter for you is that they must be individuals who witnessed an event or injury that could potentially support your claim, so the person who can write a buddy letter to you can be your fellow service member, friend, coworker, significant other and adult child, so basically anyone who has sufficient knowledge of what they are going to testify for.

What are the two types of buddy letters?
There are two types of buddy letters and the purpose that they serve depends on the individual writing them.
1- The first type of buddy letter is written by a coworker that was with you during your time in service and is an eyewitness of the event that caused your disability or aggravated your pre-existing disability, this person can fill the gaps that might be there due to lack of details in your medical records or lack of medical records altogether.
2- The second type of buddy letter is written by someone who knows you outside of the military who is usually a family member, this person can help by providing information on how your time in the military affect you and describing the impact that it made on you and also describe how your disability is affecting your life on a day-to-day basis.

Why submitting a buddy letter is important?
Sometimes veterans find out that some of their medical records are missing and find out that they were eliminated and sometimes the medical records don’t include all the relevant information that you need when filing your claim which can be a roadblock.
This is where the buddy letter comes into play, the VA is required to consider all the relevant information that supports your claim including a buddy letter which is considered as a “Statement in Support of Claim.” so the buddy letter can support your claim when your claim is lacking some evidence, so having a fellow service member write an eyewitness account on the event that caused your disability can serve as a powerful tool in your claim process because the VA is required to apply “the benefit of the doubt” when your claim is lacking when it comes to medical support.

Do I qualify for VA disability?

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.

What benefits are available for you as a family member of a deceased veteran?

Losing a family member in the military or just losing a family member is probably the worst thing that could happen to anyone, the loss of a spouse or a parent that you’re dependent on can drastically change your life but thankfully, some benefits are available for family members of deceased veterans, those benefits aren’t in any way supposed to compensate for your actual loss but they’re something to help you and other family members deal with the loss and show gratitude to you.


Dependency and indemnity compensation (DIC)
DIC is a tax-free monthly payment that is provided to the spouse, child, or parent of a deceased veteran if they meet certain requirements.


Tricare
Tricare is a health care program provided to the U.S. military and is government-managed health insurance, if your sponsor dies you are still eligible for the Tricare program as a survivor.


Death Gratuity
The death gratuity program provides survivors of members of the Armed Forces with a tax-free payment of $100,000.
You’re eligible for this payment if the veteran died in active duty, authorized travel to or from active duty, while performing authorized travel directly or from active duty for training or inactive duty training.
The purpose of this payment is to provide financial support to survivors immediately following the veterans and till other benefits are available.

This benefit is eligible for:


the surviving spouse of the veteran, if any.
1-if there’s no surviving spouse, to any surviving children.
2-if there’s none of the above, to the surviving parents.
3-if there’s none of the above, to the duly appointed exciter of the administration of the estate of the person.
4-if there’s none of the above, to the other next of kin of the person entitled under the laws of domicile of the person at the time of the veteran’s death.