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If you served as a member of the military and were injured as a result of active service, you may be eligible for VA disability benefits. Veterans Affairs (VA)  disability benefits can provide valuable financial support, especially if your injuries or other conditions make it difficult for you to perform certain job duties. Here, we will discuss the basics of the VA disability benefits application process.

Who Is Eligible for Veterans Affairs Disability Benefits? 

There are a number of requirements you must meet to be eligible for VA disability benefits. First, you must have served on active duty, active duty for training, or inactive duty training.

In addition, your injury, illness, or other condition must have a disability benefits rating. A disability rating is a rating of the severity of your injury on a scale of 0% to 100%. 100% represents the most severe injuries. 

In addition to your active service and having a condition with a disability rating, you must satisfy one of the following requirements.

In-Service VA Disability Benefits Claim

If you contracted an illness or sustained an injury while serving in the military, you may have an in-service disability claim. You must currently still have the illness or injury.

Preservice VA Disability Benefits Claim

This type of claim means you had an injury or illness before serving in the military and serving made it worse. 

Post Service VA Disability Benefits Claim

A post service claim is appropriate if your condition did not appear until some time after you had stopped serving. This means that you sustained an injury or illness as a result of serving but did not become aware of your condition right away.

How to Apply for VA Disability Benefits

One of the most important aspects of filing a VA disability claim is gathering support for your claim. Before you apply for veterans disability benefits, you should take some time to compile evidence of your claim. Appropriate evidence includes any documents that provide proof of your injury or proof that your injury has gotten worse.

This can include VA medical records as well as other hospital records. Doctors’ diagnoses, treatment notes, scans, and other information are important support for your claim.

You can also submit statements from people that you served with, family members, employers, friends, and others. These statements can help to establish when your injury occurred or how it has gotten worse.

Once you have gathered all the necessary documentation, you will fill out and submit a claim form along with your supporting documents. Some people are able to file their claim online. You can also file your claim by mail or in person at a Veterans Affairs regional office.

What Happens After I File My VA Disability Benefits Claim?

After you file your claim, the VA may request more information. In addition, they may schedule an examination for you to determine the severity of your condition. You can track the status of your disability benefits claim to keep track of what you need to do next.

In general, the main thing you will do after filing your claim is to wait. It takes the VA about five months on average to review your claim and determine whether you will receive benefits.

Talk to a Nationwide VA Disability Benefits Lawyer

An experienced attorney can help guide you through the application process. The nationwide VA disability benefits attorneys at Gerling Law Disability Attorneys have over five decades of experience handling thousands of injury and disability claims. We are here to answer all your questions about how to apply for VA disability benefits. Remember, Go with Experience. Go with Gerling ®.

Author Photo

Gayle Gerling Pettinga

Born and raised in Evansville, Gayle is a respected, experienced lawyer and a valued community leader. She graduated near the top of her class at Indiana University’s prestigious Maurer School of Law. She’s practiced law with one of the largest firms in Indianapolis as well as one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world. And that means she knows how big law firms and big companies think and how they operate – and she will put that knowledge to work for you.

Gayle has received numerous awards and honors including Martindale-Hubbell — Peer Review Rated: AV®, American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys 10 Best Attorneys in Indiana for Exceptional and Outstanding Client Service, and YWCA Evansville 100 Years, 100 Women Honoree, 2011.

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