Consultants for America's Veterans has prepared the following list of resources specifically targeting useful information and guidance regarding VA Disability Claims. While the intention of this list is not to provide legal advice nor to guarantee specific outcomes, it is presented in good faith to assist veterans in finding trustworthy disability claims resources.
Suicide Prevention Resources
If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, contact the Veterans Crisis Line to receive free, confidential support and crisis intervention available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs presents a basic overview of disability compensation, including a brief definition of disability compensation, benefit rates description, eligibility, evidence required, presumed disabilities, and how to apply.
Types of Claims
Many types of claims pertain to disability compensation. Some claims may be based upon preexisting disabilities that were present upon entering military service but were exacerbated during service, disabilities that happened during service, disabilities that became apparent following military service, or other disabilities with special circumstances. This resource from The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs provides information about each of these varied types of claims.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs provides multiple resources about compensation. Learn more about V.A. compensation rates, access current rates, determine how rates are calculated, and find out how cost-of-living adjustments are made.
Eight-Step Claims Process
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs details the eight distinct steps typically followed in most claims for disability compensation. The time required to complete each of these steps may vary depending upon the amount of evidence that must be gathered to support the claim, the required types of evidence, and other conditions affecting the complexity of the claim.
This resource from The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs delineates the sufficient evidence requirements for the processing of disability claims.
How to Apply
Need to know how to apply for VA benefits? This multifaceted resource from The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs details how to apply online, via mail or fax, in person (using the facilities locator for VA regional offices), or when working with an accredited representative. Includes links to pertinent forms.
VA Forms Search
The Department of Veterans Affairs Forms website provides a searchable database of VA forms which are available in multiple formats. Many forms are in PDF format and can be completed, saved, and edited online; while other forms may be offered as printable blank forms for manual completion.
This benefits calculator offered by The American Legion can aid in determining your eligibility for a multitude of available benefits. Answer a few simple questions and receive a customized report to share with your Department Service Officer.
Tips on How to Obtain VA Benefits
Gain a better chance of accessing VA benefits from the start. U.S. Veterans Magazine shares useful tips in this article to help veterans avoid the aggravation and delay caused by a denial of benefits.
VA Benefits by State
The American Legion national website provides this useful state-by-state directory of veterans benefits. Benefits for veterans with service-connected disabilities may vary in some states.
VA Claims and Appeals Process
In cases of denial of benefits, partial denial, or insufficient disability compensation, recourse is available through the VA appeals process. Military.com provides this step-by-step guide for filing appeals.
This resource from Military.com gives a brief description of compensation options available to veterans, their spouses, surviving spouses and parents.
VA Claims and Separation Benefits
The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) offers resources to veterans, service members and their families seeking assistance with the claims process. This article presents the VFW Pre-Discharge program which ensures assistance to separating and retiring active-duty military personnel in obtaining their VA benefits and entitlements upon discharge.
Get Help Filing Your Initial Claim
A Veterans Service Officer (VSO) can assist in filing a claim or appeal. This resource provides information regarding the required credentials of a VSO, what a VSO actually does, potential costs involved in using a VSO, and how to find and utilize the services of a VSO.
NVF Disability Compensation
This resource from the National Veterans Foundation (NVF) gives an overview of disability compensation, eligibility requirements, and how to apply. The NVF also provides resources in helping veterans find a Veterans Service Officer to aid in the process.
Challenging Your Discharge Status
This resource from StatesideLegal.org includes a description of the discharge review regulations for each military branch, how to request a review, and the steps of the review process.
Veterans Benefits Explained
The Military Times 2018 Benefits Guide for service members, veterans, and spouses presents the latest updates on military pay, retirement, education, and other resources.
Military.com provides this summary of veterans benefits, including major veterans benefit programs, documents, eligibility, and the application process.
Military Branch Newspapers
This 2016 Army Times report details future VA budget plans as well as efforts to improve wait times, the disability claims backlog, and lack of basic VA services. https://www.armytimes.com/veterans/2016/05/19/house-senate-pass-va-budget-plans-for-next-year/
This article from Air Force Times discusses how nearly 60,000 veterans in 2014 drew military retirement pay plus veterans and Social Security disability benefits at the same time, according to a congressional auditors report.
These resources are presented by the Integrated Disability Evaluation System from Wounded Warrior Marine Regiment:
This 2017 article from Navy Times details a new disability claims process from the Department of Veterans Affairs that will significantly decrease decision wait times to thirty days or less.
U.S. Coast Guard veterans who have served full-time are eligible for VA benefits including disability compensation. This 2017 article is one of a two part series detailing how VA disability resources specifically apply to U.S. Coast Guard veterans.
This article from NOAA details the organization’s departmental policy, guidance and training on disability issues. http://www.eeo.noaa.gov/special_emphasis_programs/disability_program/