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Types of VA Benefits

Veterans’ Disability Claims

Types of Veterans Disability Benefits

Various benefits may be available to Veterans and their families through the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Unfortunately, many veterans have no idea about the benefits they are entitled to receive in exchange for the services they gave and the sacrifices they made in defense of our country.

Veterans Compensation Benefits

VA “compensation” is a disability benefits program that provides monthly cash payments to compensate veterans for service-connected disabilities.

To receive this benefit, the veteran must show:

  • A current disability: You must prove a current disability that has been diagnosed by a medical professional.
  • An event in service: You must demonstrate a precipitating disease, injury, or event in service.
  • Medical nexus evidence: You must show that the current medical condition is “as likely as not” related to military service. This basically means the reviewing doctor believes that there is at least a 50-50 likelihood that your current disability was a result of your military service.

If you meet these three criteria, basic benefits are paid to you based on how severely you are disabled, and on whether you have a spouse, children or dependent parents. An additional compensation amount may be given if your spouse is determined to require Aid and Assistance.

Total Disability Based On Individual Unemployability (TDIU)

If you have a service-connected disability that prevents you from working, you may receive compensation at the 100% disability rating level, even if the medical condition itself does not meet the requirements for a 100% disability rating. These are claims for “Total Disability based on Individual Unemployability” or “TDIU”.

When evaluating a claim for TDIU benefits, the VA considers two issues:

  • Whether your service-connected disabilities satisfy certain percentage rating requirements.
  • Whether you are prevented from securing or following a “substantially gainful occupation” because of the service-connected disabilities.

The VA is prohibited from considering some other factors, e.g., your age or your non-service-connected disabilities.

Monthly Disability Benefits

If you have a service-related disability, you may receive compensation of up to $3,100 in monthly benefits for you and your dependents.

Disability payments to veterans are made based on the degree of the disability. The VA gives a disability rating to each injury, illness or disease. Congress permits the VA to award disability ratings from 0% to 100%, in 10% increments.

When a veteran carries a 100% rating, he or she is considered totally disabled.

Widows and widowers of deceased veterans may also be entitled to payments. The VA provides for a monthly payment where the cause of death was a service-connected condition or where the veteran was totally disabled because of a service-connected condition for a long period of time before the death.

VA Pension Benefits

This pension is a monthly benefit paid to veterans (or eligible surviving spouses) who have limited or no income.

You cannot receive both a pension and service-related compensation simultaneously. If you are eligible under both programs, the VA will pay whichever of the two benefits is the greater amount.

VA pension is a needs-based program that supplements the income of veterans, who are unable to support themselves after becoming disabled. To be eligible for VA pension benefits, you must have wartime service, low income and a total disability. However, your disability need not be related or connected to your military service. Veterans aged 65 years or older may also qualify for VA pension benefits.

There are no legal fees unless you win.

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Monthly Disability Benefits
Monthly
disability benefits
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Total Disability Individual Unemployability
Total disability based
on individual unemployability (TDIU)
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Veterans Disability Compensation
Veterans
disability compensation
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