Veteran ffairs (V) service-connected disabilities are those disabilities (mental or physical) that were incurred or aggravated during active military service, to include National Guard and Reserve service. Veterans who have health problems today that started during their military service or immediately after, may be entitled to benefits ranging from actual monthly monetary compensation to guaranteed V health care, vocational rehabilitation and, in some cases, health insurance and education benefit for their dependents.
Claims for service-connected disability must satisfy three requirements: documentation that a disability was incurred while on active duty, or that a pre-existing disability worsened due to active duty service, medical proof of a current disability, and a medical opinion or “nexus” that the current condition is related to the in-service occurrence.
Disability levels and their corresponding compensations are referred to in terms of percentages, ranging from “0%” all the way up to 100% disabled. Compensation starts at the 10% level and ranges from $123.00 per month to $2673.00 or more, and it is a completely tax-free benefit. dditional allowances are payable to those veterans rated 30% or higher that have dependents.
Many veterans often fail to file claims for disability either because they are not aware that they can, or because they don’t think their disability would apply. Disabilities need not be combat or even work related; they can be the result of playing ball, falling out of bed, or car accidents on leave. ny veteran with a current health problem that they believe started on or as a result of their active duty should consider filing a claim with V.
For those veterans already receiving V disability for service-connected conditions, be aware that disabilities seldom improve over time; they normally worsen. If a veteran who is service connected for a disability feels that their disability has gotten worse, they should apply to V for a reevaluation of their disability level.
Veterans who think they might have a disability caused by their service, or who feel that their already service-connected disability has worsened, are strongly encouraged to contact their County Veterans Service Officer (CVSO) to inquire about this important benefit. The CVSO will be able to more fully explain the claims process, and will complete all the necessary paperwork for submission to Veteran ffairs.
For information on any veteran benefit, contact your County Veterans Service Officer whose phone number is in the blue or white pages of your phone directory or available on the website: www.wicvso.org.