Applying for VA Disability benefits can be a lengthy process, and if done incorrectly can set our service men and women further back in their hopes of being compensated due to an injury sustained while serving our country. The biggest issue in applying for VA disability benefits is making sure that you in fact disabled or injured based upon the definition provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs, and the eligibility requirements that must be met.

The first step in receiving disability benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs is verifying that you are in fact eligible to receive VA disability benefits. In order to be eligible for VA disability benefits you must have: (1) served on active duty, active duty for training, or inactive duty training; and (2) have a disability rating for your service-connected condition. If you meet these first two criteria you must then meet at least one of the following criteria: (1) got sick or injured while serving in the military, and can link this condition to your illness or injury, or (2) had an illness or injury before you joined the military- and serving made it worse, or (3) have a disability related to your active-duty service that didn’t appear until after you ended your service. These three listings are referred to as either inservice disability claims, preservice disability claims, or post service disability claims.

Once you have verified that you are eligible to receive VA disability claims, the next step in the process is to check if your condition falls under one of the listed conditions that are covered by VA disability benefits. These conditions include but are not limited to: (1) chronic back pain resulting in a current diagnosed back disability, (2) breathing problems resulting from a current lung condition or lung disease, (3) severe hearing loss, (4) scar tissue, (5) loss of range of motion, (5) ulcers, (6) cancers caused by contact with toxic chemicals or other dangers, (7) traumatic brain injury, (8) posttraumatic stress disorder, (9) depression, and (10) anxiety.

Once you verify that your condition falls into one that is covered by VA disability benefits, applicants need to gather any evidence that will support your disability claim and file these documents with the VA. The next step in the process involves applying for said benefits with the hopes of receiving a disability rating that adequately represents the severity of your condition.