As compensation for military service, United States veterans may qualify for special benefits from the government. According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), “compensation” most often refers to either compensation for a disability that is a direct result of an injury sustained while on duty, or a pension for service that is available for veterans over 65. If you’re not sure whether you qualify, we’ll explain the basic veterans benefits eligibility criteria below.

Certain parts of the VA compensation program only help military veterans with a service-connected physical or mental injury. While this specific type of VA benefit is not directly associated with the Social Security disability program, veterans who qualify may also be eligible to receive Social Security disability benefits. These two programs require separate applications, and different agencies handle these claims.

Veterans Benefits Eligibility: Who May Qualify?

Veterans of the United States Armed Forces (including the U.S. Army Reserve and National Guard), their spouses, children, or dependents may qualify to receive a variety of veterans benefits. But first, you need the right kind of discharge for veterans benefits eligibility. For this reason, every serviceman and servicewoman discharged for any reason other than dishonorable may qualify. The minimum duty requirements vary for each situation, and the VA encourages all veterans to apply.

Survivors of veterans, including parents, may also be eligible to receive benefits.

How to Qualify for VA Disability Compensation

In order to receive compensation from the VA, service men and women must be able to demonstrate that they are at least 10% disabled. This disability must be “service related.” In other words, your doctor directly links this health issue to your military service. In addition, your doctor must medically diagnose this condition, which must be current or ongoing. For more detailed information regarding your eligibility, visit the VA’s page on disability benefits.

If you have more veterans benefits eligibility questions, need help with your application or were already denied, don’t give up. You may qualify for a free, no-obligation consultation with a VA-accredited lawyer near you. Ready to see if you may qualify? Click the button below to start your free benefits evaluation online now!

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