Applying for VA Benefits
It’s in your best interest to have an experienced lawyer help you in the application process. You should consult a lawyer who is accredited by the VA, and who has experience in handling veterans’ disability claims and appeals. Your lawyer can also help you in gathering the information necessary to successfully prove your claim.
Although there is no time limit for most initial VA disability claims, you should file a claim as soon as possible because the filing date stamped on your application is the date when your benefits will start. There is a significant backlog in the veterans disability system, so receiving veterans disability benefits is usually a very long process. On average, it takes about one year for your application to be reviewed and for you to receive a rating decision approving your claim.
A service-connected disability compensation benefit (DC) is a dollar benefit paid to Veterans who are disable by an injury or illness that was incurred or aggravated during active military, naval or air service. Compensation may also be paid for post-service disabilities that are considered related to, or secondary to disabilities occurring in service, even though they may arise after service. The period of active military service begins on the date you enter basic training and ends on the date of your discharge from active service.
There are two types of VA benefits that may be available to you:
- Non-service connected pension (“pension”)
- Service-connected disability compensation (“compensation”)
The eligibility for a pension is:
a. You served for 90 days one of which had to be during “wartime;” and
b. You are permanently and totally disabled or unemployable, and
c. You have limited income and net worth.
A non-service connected pension “pension” is a monthly payment to a veteran who meets certain minimum wartime service requirements, who became permanently and totally disabled from disability or disabilities that may or may not have been related to military service and who meets certain income and net worth requirements.
Service-connected disability compensation or a compensation benefit is a disability benefit for a disability that was incurred or aggravated or a death that resulted from a disability that was incurred or aggravated in the line of duty in active military, naval or air service.
Yes, disabled veterans can collect both Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits and VA benefits at the same time. We will review your eligibility for both programs and file applications on your behalf.
Although there is no time limit for most initial VA disability claims, it is in your best interests to file a claim as soon as possible as your filing date is the date when your benefits will begin. There are time limits to file an appeal if you don’t receive a fully favorable decision by the VA on your claim.
There is a significant backlog in the veterans disability system, so receiving veterans disability is usually a very long process. On average, it takes about one year for your application to be reviewed and for you to receive a rating decision and be approved for benefits.