A veteran who has experienced an injury or disease that was caused or made worse by their military service can receive disability benefits. The amount of time that has elapsed since their active duty does not matter. Anyone who is eligible to receive veterans disability benefits should apply to claim them as soon as possible.
Methods of Application
– The federal government provides an online application for veterans disability benefits. Visit the Department of Veterans Affairs website to initiate the application process.
– Applicants can also submit their paperwork by mail. Visit the Veteran Affairs website to download the correct form, and then mail it to your closest Veterans Affairs (VA) office; they are located throughout the country.
– If you are within the United States, you may call the VA office at 800-827-1000 to submit an application by phone. Veterans located outside of the United States should call 412-395-6272.
It’s also possible to receive help filling out and submitting paperwork. A disability lawyer can help you complete your claim, or you can visit a VA organization or service office to receive help from their representatives.
Completing the Paperwork
The application requires information about medical conditions that necessitate the compensation. When completing these forms, include specific information about diagnosed conditions, injuries, and illnesses. If possible, add specific details, such as the date on which you first began experiencing symptoms and the specific medical diagnoses you received from your physicians. Submit copies of your medical records that verify and substantiate your claim for disability, if possible. You have up to one year to submit the necessary documentation. If you don’t have all your records, the federal government can request your records on your behalf.
When you receive confirmation of your disability or illness, apply for compensation immediately. Early application preserves this date as the effective date for benefits, which can affect the amount of benefits you receive. Do not allow a lack of medical documentation about your disability to stop you from completing the process; you can submit verification paperwork later, if necessary.
The approval process for veterans disability benefits can vary. You may receive a decision within a few months, but it can take up to three or more years of processing to reach a decision. Some applicants may be able to fast-track the approval by submitting complete medical records with the initial application. This can effectively streamline the review time and enable the government to more quickly return a decision.
Some people are eligible for special fast-track status. Former POWs, as well as those who have suffered sexual trauma in connection with the military or have post-traumatic stress disorder, receive priority processing on their claims. In addition, Vietnam veterans who were exposed to Agent Orange and are submitting a claim will receive special priority processing. Those who are homeless or who have emergency financial needs can also receive priority service.
If you are unsure of how to proceed with an application for veterans disability benefits, ask for professional assistance so that you can submit your claim in a timely manner.