To receive disability from the VA, a veteran must go through the VA Disability Process.
After submitting a claim, the veteran undergoes the C&P Exams to determine the severity of the conditions being evaluated for disability. The VA’s Rating Authorities then assign a VA Disability Rating to each condition. These ratings are based on the laws of the VASRD and are used to determine the exact amount of disability the veteran will receive.
Note: All VA Disability is NOT taxable!
Applying for VA Disability
To apply for disability, veterans must submit a VA Disability Claim.
It is best for veterans to apply within one year of their date of separation from the military. If a claim is submitted within this first year, then the veteran will be eligible to receive VA Disability Back Pay and all of their conditions will be assumed service-connected unless there is definite evidence that they are not.
If, however, the claim is not submitted until after this 1-year mark, then the veteran will lose all the pay for the period between their date of separation and the VA’s Rating Decision, and they will need to provide evidence that their claimed conditions are definitely service-connected.
If a service member is being separated from the military because of a medical condition, then a claim will be automatically submitted as part of the Integrated Disability Evaluation System. If the service member is separated for any other reason, they can apply for disability from the VA on their own.
Maximizing Your VA Disability
To ensure that you receive the best disability benefits possible from the VA, you must carefully prepare for the VA Disability Process.
It is essential that all the necessary information the VA needs to properly assign VA Disability Ratings to your conditions is submitted along with the original VA Disability Claim. Find Your Conditions on our site to determine what evidence is needed.
With this information, you can also ensure that the physician who conducts your C&P Exam records the proper information needed to rate your conditions. Unfortunately, not always do the physicians know exactly what information they should record, so going in armed with this knowledge can help you ensure that your process runs smoothly and that your disability is determined correctly.
The VA can adjust your disability over time if a condition worsens or improves. If your condition has worsened, and you’d like to get your disability increased, you do not need to submit an appeal. Simply submit a new claim and check the Increased Evaluation box.
What is VA Disability?
VA Disability is a system of benefits offered by the Department of Veterans Affairs for American veterans who have medical conditions caused by or related to their military service.
Am I eligible for VA Disability?
You are eligible for disability benefits from the VA if you have one or more medical conditions caused by your military service. You must be able to show proof of service-connection for each condition.
How do I apply?
To apply, submit a VA Disability Claim along with evidence of service-connection and all medical records regarding the conditions on the claim.
If I qualify, what benefits will I receive?
If you qualify for benefits, you will receive a monthly payment as well as full medical care from the VA for the qualifying conditions.
How long does it take to receive my disability benefits?
Brand new claims usually take 3-6 months to process. Once processed, you will start receiving payments in 1-3 months.
How much money will I get monthly?
The exact amount you receive monthly will depend on your overall rating and if you have any dependents. You can find the VA's current rates on our VA Disability Chart page.
I've been out of the military for many years. Can I still submit a claim?
Absolutely. The VA will grant benefits to any veteran with a medical condition caused by military service, no matter how long they've been out of the military. You will be required to provide proof of service-connection.
What do I do if my conditions have worsened?
The VA will update ratings over time as your conditions worsen and progress. If your conditions have worsened and now qualify for a higher rating, you can submit a new claim and check the box for an increased evaluation.