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Applying For VA Disability Benefits

Published on June 25th, 2017

Before you can apply for disability benefits you first must be designated by the DVA as being at least 10 percent disabled and the disability must be service related. Furthermore, the claimant must have been discharged under anything but dishonorable circumstances.

How to apply:

The application forms and instructions are available online or from any regional office of the VA. If you use the office facility you can ask the help of staff when preparing the application. If you are so inclined, you can enlist the help of an agent or lawyer.

At this stage you must:

  • Establish that you are disabled, and
  • Confirm that the disability stemmed from your military service

You will be given a physical examination at this time in an effort to determine how disabled you are in terms of percentage.

You need to have evidence:

You cannot expect the DVA to action your application if it is not supported by documented medical evidence. You need to supply records that prove the injury or illness is related to your years of service.

You are free to use your private physician to provide statements of your disability. If you wish to avoid having to pay a private doctor you can be evaluated by the DVA.

The medical evidence may be injury specific although there are circumstances where it is presumed that the disability is service related:

  • If you were a prisoner of war
  • Exposed to radiation, mustard gas or Lewisite while serving
  • Exposed to agent orange while serving in Viet Nam
  • Veterans of the Gulf War

There is no limit set on applying for VA disability benefits, even the remaining WW2 veterans can still apply. There are many conditions that may take years to manifest or get progressively worse over time. It is wise to apply as soon as you are aware of symptoms that indicate a disabling condition.

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