Military Disability


The DoD’s Military Disability
The VA’s Military Disability

Military Disability is compensation and benefits given to all veterans who have service-connected conditions.

Military Disability is broken into two kinds: DoD Disability and VA Disability.

The DoD’s Military Disability

The DoD gives disability to service members who develop service-connected conditions that make them Unfit for Duty.

Military Disability is available to veterans with service-connected conditions.

To receive disability from the DoD, a service member must go through the Integrated Disability Evaluation System, which combines the DoD Disability Process with the VA Disability Process to make it easier and faster for the service member to get Military Disability from both organizations.

During the DoD Disability Process, the Medical Evaluation Board (MEB) reviews all of the service member’s conditions and sends a report to the Physical Evaluation Board (PEB) on which of the conditions are medically unacceptable.

The PEB then reviews the case and officially determines which of the service-connected conditions make the service member Unfit for Duty and thus qualify for Military Disability. A Military Disability Rating is then assigned by the VA to each condition. These ratings determine the exact amount of Military Disability Benefits the service member will receive from the DoD.

If the service member does not agree with the PEB’s decision, they can try to increase their Military Disability from the DoD by submitting an appeal.

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The VA’s Military Disability

While the DoD gives disability only for conditions that make a service-member Unfit for Duty, the VA gives disability for every service-connected condition a veteran has.

The VA Disability Process begins with the veteran undergoing Compensation and Pension Exams (C&P Exams). The VA then assigns a VA Disability Rating to every service-connected condition.

The ratings are then used to determine the exact amount of Military Disability the veteran will receive from the VA. Our VA Disability Chart contains all the current monetary rates for the VA’s Military Disability. 

If a veteran does not agree with the VA’s decisions, they can submit an appeal.

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What is Military Disability?

Military Disability benefits are given to veterans with service-connected conditions. There are two types: VA Disability and DoD Disability.

Do I qualify for Military Disability?

You qualify for VA Disability if you are a veteran with service-connected conditions. To qualify for DoD Disability, you must be a service member with service-connected conditions that also make you Unfit for Duty.

How do I apply for disability?

If you are still active duty, you can apply for both DoD Disability and VA Disability at the same time through the IDES process. If you are already a veteran, then you only qualify to apply for VA Disability and can do so by submitting VA From 21-526EZ.

If I qualify, what benefits will I receive?

The DoD provides Disability Separation benefits for ratings up to 20% and Disability Retirement benefits for ratings 30% and up. The VA provides healthcare for each qualified condition along with a monthly payment.

How long does it take to receive my benefits?

The IDES process takes around 6 months to complete. If you are only applying for VA Disability, the claim usually processes in 3 months. Once the processes are complete, you should start receiving your benefits in 1-3 months.

How much money will I receive monthly?

This gets a bit complicated. The DoD will provide a monthly payment for disability retirees. The exact amount is determined using an equation that can be found on our DoD Disability page. The VA will provide different monthly amounts based on the rating and the number of dependents. All VA rates can be found in our VA Disability Chart.

I've been out of the military for many years. Can I still submit a claim?

For VA Disability, you can submit a claim to receive benefits at any time. For DoD Disability, once you agree to a non-disability discharge, you are no longer eligible to receive DoD disability benefits.

My conditions have worsened over time. Can my Military Disability increase?

VA Disability can increase any time your conditions worsen enough to qualify for a higher rating. Just submit a new claim and check the 'increased evaluation' box. DoD disability is not eligible to be increased since it is based only on the severity of your conditions at the time of separation.

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