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Basic Eligibility for Compensation

Basic Eligibility For Compensation

To be eligible for disability compensation benefits from the Veterans Administration (VA):

  1. You must be a veteran of the United States military.
  2. You must have been discharged under conditions other than dishonorable.
  3. You must have a disability that is service-connected.

You must be a veteran of the United States Military

The Veterans Administration supports American veterans and their families by providing a wide range of programs and services. Disability compensation is given only to deserving veterans who are disabled by injury or illness that was incurred or aggravated by active military service. It is also paid to veterans who become disabled from negligent VA health care or injury resulting from the pursuit of training under vocational rehabilitation.

You must have been honorably discharged from military service

A veteran who has more than one period of service, may be eligible for disabilities from any eligible period of service.  A veteran must have served under conditions characterized as “other than dishonorable” to be eligible for VA benefits for disability related to that period of service.  An other than honorable (OTH) discharge generally results in a bar to VA benefits for disabilities related to that period of service, but there are a few exceptions.  A medical discharge is generally considered an honorable discharge for VA purposes.  A bad conduct discharge (BCD) or dishonorable discharge is a bar to VA benefits for disabilities related to that period of service.

You must have a disability that is service-connected

Service connection generally means that a chronic disability arose coincidental with military service. It is important to establish that your injury or illness is service-connected to qualify for disability compensation. The following categories identify service-connected disability: