What are disability benefits?
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
Am I eligible for disability benefits?
When can I file for disability benefits?
You can file for disability both before and after completion of your service.
How do I apply for disability benefits?
You can apply by filling out VA Form 21-526 (Veterans Application for Compensation or Pension)and attaching copies of all your supporting documentation with it either:
Note: Remember to double-check that you are filling out the most recent version of VA Form 21-526.
What documents should I submit?
Note: If you have any doubt as to whether or not you should submit documents, ALWAYS SUBMIT THEM!
What do I have to show in order to receive disability benefits?
Note: This is the most important part of the whole process.
– Fill out VA Form 10-5345, if you sought medical treatment after your service at a VA hospital.
– Submit a Buddy Statement Affidavit, if there were witnesses to you either reporting or complaining about the disability you are claiming.
Keep in mind: Department of Defense (DOD) and Veterans Affairs (VA) are two separate entities. Therefore, be sure that you are requesting your records from the correct agency.
How long does it take to receive a decision?
It takes approximately ten (10) months.
How do I appeal if I am denied?
Note: If you have not previously provided any supporting documents with your application, then you may submit them now as part of your appeal.
How long does the appeal process take?
– Traditional, formal in-person hearing; or
– Informal, non-appearance appeal in which your appeal is decided solely on the papers.
Remember: Always keep copies of any documents that you submit.
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