How the VA Defines Disabilities and Benefits

veterans disability benefits

Are you now in physical or psychological pain from your service in the U.S. military? Then you should apply for veterans disability benefits from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). 

However, before doing so, you must learn how the VA defines veterans disability benefits and service-related disabilities. With this knowledge, you’ll find it easier to navigate the VA’s application process. 

The Vets National Advocates Guide to VA Disability Benefits

Our guide includes five easy-to-understand articles:

  1. How to File a Claim for VA Benefits
  2. Eligibility for VA Disability Benefits
  3. How the VA’s Disability Ratings Affect You
  4. Understanding VA Disability Claims
  5. How to Appeal a Denied Disability Claim

After reading the articles, you might have more questions regarding your denied veterans benefits.  If you are considering the assistance of a lawyer, agent, service officer or other organization in appealing your denied claim for service-connected benefits, Vets National Advocates can help.

Vets National Advocates is not a law firm; we are advocates for veterans disability benefits, and we fight for veterans who are pursuing compensation. 

To further assist you, we’ve compiled a comprehensive array of resources about service-related disabilities and VA disability benefits.

Service-Related Disabilities


Post-Service Disabilities 

A condition that arises after you are discharged from the military is known as a post-service disability, and you may be able to claim benefits for this condition.

Types of Post-Service Disabilities:


In-Service Disabilities 

The VA defines in-service disabilities as injuries or diseases that occurred in active service and in the line of duty.

Types of In-Service Disabilities:


Pre-Service Disabilities 

If you began your military service with a disability that was worsened by your service, you may qualify for benefits. The VA refers to this pre-existing condition as a pre-service disability.

Types of Pre-Service Disabilities:

VA Disability Benefits


Disability Compensation

(Benefits for Veterans)

You can file a claim for VA disability benefits if you were injured or became ill during active duty or if you had a pre-existing medical condition that was worsened by your military service.

Learn More…


Dependency and Indemnity Compensation

(Benefits for Families of Soldiers)

In some cases, family members of deceased soldiers can apply for Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC), a tax-free monthly payment. Learn More…

Additional information for families:

Survivor Benefits


Special Monthly Compensation

(Benefits for Veterans and Their Family Members)

If you were severely injured in the military, you might also be eligible for Special Monthly Compensation, an additional tax-free benefit.
Learn More…

Additional information about Special Monthly Compensation:

Aid & Attendance


Special Claims

(Other Benefits for Veterans)

The VA says that veterans can utilize its other disability compensation programs by filing claims based on special circumstances.

In one such program — Individual Unemployability —veterans can apply for 100-percent disability compensation. Learn More…

Additional information about Special Claims:

Unemployability Benefits

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