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Veterans Benefits

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a service connected disability?

A service connected disability is an injury or disease that results in a disability linked to service in the military. There must be evidence that shows a link between a claimed medical condition and military service.

What is disability compensation?

Disability Compensation is a tax free monetary benefit paid to Veterans with disabilities that are the result of a disease or injury incurred or aggravated during active military service. Compensation may also be paid for post-service disabilities that are considered related or secondary to disabilities occurring in service and for disabilities presumed to be related to circumstances of military service, even though they may arise after service.

Can I get disability compensation for an illness that occurred after I left the military?

You may be eligible for disability benefits if you have symptoms of an illness such as hypertension (high blood pressure), arthritis, diabetes, or peptic ulcers that started within a year after you were discharged from active military service.

Am I eligible to receive disability benefits from VA?

You may be eligible for benefits 1) if you have an illness that’s at least 10% disabling that appears within 1 year after discharge 2) the illness is listed in Title 38, Code of Federal Regulation, 3.09 (a) and 3) you were separated or discharged from service under other than dishonorable conditions.

What type of benefits can I get?

You may be eligible for healthcare and compensation benefits.

What documents do I need to file my claim?

To file a claim, you need to provide (or grant VA permission to access) a copy of your DD214 or other separation documents, your military service medical records and any other medical evidence related to your injury or illness i.e. x-rays, test reports, civilian medical records.

What evidence do I need to support my claim?

You will need to provide medical evidence of a physical or mental disability, and evidence of an event, injury, or disease that happened during your active duty service, and evidence of a link between your current disability and the event, injury, or disease that happened during your service. Medical records or medical opinions from health care providers are usually provided to support the link.

How do I file for benefits?

The best way to file is to file online at:

To submit a paper application, download and complete VA Form 21-526EZ, “Application for Disability Compensation and Related Compensation Benefits” and mail the application to: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Claims Intake Center PO Box 4444 Janesville, WI 53547-4444 or you can fax it to: (844)-531-7818 (inside the U.S.) or (248) 524-4260 (outside the U.S.). You can also go to your local regional office and turn in your application for processing.

How long does it take the VA to make a decision?

The time it takes to make a decision may vary. According to VA, as of November 2018, it took an average of 102.5 days to complete disability related claims.