VA Disability Benefits Basics

There are a number of different benefits that a Veteran may be entitled to receive.  Types of benefits include the following:

  • Pension benefits;
  • Readjustment benefits;
  • Disability benefits;
  • Vocational benefits;
  • 1151 benefits for medical malpractice; and
  • Dependency and indemnity benefits.

A veteran’s disability claim is referred to as service-connected benefits. To be entitled to receive service-connected benefits, a veteran must meet the following criteria:

  • Been discharged honorably;
  • Served on active duty; and
  • The disability is related to the service.

The elements need to establish a disability is as follows:

  • Have a current disability;
  • Evidence of an incident during service; and
  • A connection between the current disability and the incident.

Current Disability

A veteran must have a current disability that he or she suffers from.  If a person is healed, this may not entitle the veteran to benefits.  Here, a veteran must present evaluations from a physician, as well as other supporting documentation.

Evidence of the Incident During Service

A person must be able to present evidence demonstrating that an incident occurred during service that caused his or her injuries.  Here, a person may be able to present medical records while in service or logs indicating that he or she was exposed to a chemical substance.


A veteran must be able to demonstrate that his or her disability is a result of his or her military service. Here, an expert opinion may be necessary to support a veteran’s claim.

If you or a loved one is a veteran that suffered an injury during service and is seeking to apply for veteran’s disability benefits or has had an application for disability benefits denied, it is important to contact an experienced veteran’s disability lawyer who may assist you or a loved one through the process.  Filing an application for veteran’s disability benefits or appealing an application that has been denied, is a complex process that requires the attention of a skilled veteran’s disability lawyer.

The attorneys of Sullivan & Kehoe, LLP concentrate their practice in veteran’s disability law. With over 50 years of combined experience between its lawyers, our attorneys may be able to assist you or a loved one in obtaining disability benefits.   Call our office at (800) 395 -7830 to schedule a consultation in our New York City, Garden City, Kings Park, Riverhead, or White Plains office.

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