Frequently Asked Questions about
Veteran's Disability Compensation
Veterans Helping Veterans
How do I know if I'm eligible for service-connected Veteran's Disability Compensation?
If you were injured while in the military, you may be eligible to receive disability benefits, and this includes mental injuries, like PTSD.
How do I apply for service-connected Veteran's Disability Compensation?
The short answer is you apply for Veteran's Disability Compensation through your regional Veteran's Administration. The long answer is you can go down there, and do it yourself, or you can do it online now, or you can find an Advocate to help you. I recommend the last method. What is an advocate, normally they too are a disabled Veteran who volunteers to help others, and knows the system and how to dot the i's and cross the t's. You'll have to ask around and investigate to find advocates near you. A fourth option is to get an attorney to help you with the process.
What benefits are there to having a service-connected Veteran's Disabilty Rating?
The greatest benefit to me is that I get free medical care at the VA Hospitals. If you are rated 50% disabled or more you get full, free medical treatment, does not include dental. I believe dental is only available through special programs like Vocational Rehabilitation or if you're rated 100% disabled, or an exception to that is having a dental problem that affects your general health, such as an dental abscess that gives you blood poisoning. Also, depending on your rating, you will receive Veteran's Disability Compensation payments. There are more benefits, but these two are the biggest, and you can see all the benefits here. Again, I stress that most benefits depend on your Disability Rating.
I applied for service-connected Veteran's Disability Compensation, but haven't heard anything in months. What's up?
It takes time for them to process your claim. They'll get your military health records to verify that you were injured while in the service. Then they have to do whatever bureaucrats do to process the paper work. Then, you will be seeing two different doctors (I did so I'm just speaking from my personal experience) who will make a recommendation of your disability rating. Even after the doctor's appointments, it might take months longer to process. For me it was close to a year. In the end if you're determined to be disabled, they will pay you disability compensation, based on your rating, from the date you APPLIED for disability compensation.
I'm a homeless Veteran, can I still apply for service-connected Veteran's Disability Compensation?
Absolutely! And you should if you were hurt in the military or think you have mental issues related to your service. Most homeless shelters and homeless advocates know of VA advocates who can help you get your disability claim started. Talk to them!
Can I get service-connected Veteran's Disability Compensation for PTSD?
Yes. I know Veterans who have a 100% disability rating for PTSD.
It's been YEARS since I served, can I still apply service-connected Veteran's Disability Compensation?
I applied years after my seperation from the service. I was hurt in the service, but I tried to work, to make a life, and finally when shit fell apart I didn't even think of it. I was homeless two years before getting into a shelter, and THEY asked me why I didn't apply for disability compensation! How long you can be out before applying and still be eligible, I think depends on the type of injuries. I will check into this more.
I need help applying for service-connected Veteran's Disability Compensation! Where do I go, what do I do?
Most Veteran's Organization can find an advocate for you, homeless shelters usually know VA advocates, there are lists of advocates online. You have to be proactive, and even if you don't use an advocate to apply, you should at least speak with one for information to help the process go easier.
I want to apply for service-connected Veteran's Disability Compensation. Where do I go to do this?
You can do this online now! You can also go to your closest VA and speak to a social worker who will point you in the right direction, if not give you the paperwork.