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Veterans Benefits

Commonly Used Terms

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Automobile allowance and adaptive equipment allowance

An allowance that helps you buy a specially equipped vehicle or make modifications to your existing vehicle if your service connected disability prevents you from driving.

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Convalescence allowance

A temporary allowance provided when recovering from surgery or other treatment that has left you immobile.

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Dependency and Indemnity compensation (DIC)

A tax-free monetary benefit generally payable to a surviving spouse, child, or parent of a service member who died while on active duty, active duty for training, or inactive duty training, or to survivors of veterans who died from their service-connected disabilities. 

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Disability compensation

A tax free monetary benefit paid to Veterans with disabilities that resulted from a disease or injury incurred or aggravated during active military service.

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Increased claim

A claim for more compensation for a disability that has previously been determined to be service connected and that has worsened.

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New claim

A claim for added benefits or other benefits requests related to existing service-connected disability.

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Original disability claim

The initial claim filed for disability benefits.

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Pre-discharge claim

A claim for disability compensation as a a service member who has less than 90 days before your separation from military service.

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Presumptive service connection

A condition that the VA determines is related to your military service even if there’s no direct evidence of a link.

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Re-opened claim

A claim providing new evidence to support a disability claim that was denied at least 1 year prior.

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Secondary claim

A claim for a new disability that’s linked to an existing service-connected disability.

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Service connection

An injury or disease resulting in a disability linked to service in the military. 

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Individual Unemployability

If you’re unable to work due to a service-connected disability, you may be eligible for increased disability payments.

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Special monthly compensation (SMC)

An additional tax-free benefit paid to veterans, their spouses, surviving spouses, and parents. For veterans, special monthly compensation is a higher rate of compensation paid due to special circumstances such as the need of aid and attendance by another person or by specific disability, such as loss of use of one hand or leg. For spouses and surviving spouses, this benefit is commonly referred to as aid and attendance and is paid based on the need of aid and attendance by another person.