Service-related injuries and illnesses, as well as preexisting conditions that were exacerbated by military service, qualify Veterans for VA disability compensation (pay), which is a monthly, tax-free payment. Physical conditions (such as a chronic illness or injury) and mental health conditions (such as PTSD) that manifested before, during, or after service may be eligible for VA disability benefits. 

In this article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about applying for these benefits. 


from a mental or physical illness or injury (known as a condition)

Besides, at least one of the following conditions must be met: 

  • You can prove that your illness or injury occurred during military service (what’s known as a “in-service disability claim”)
  • You had a medical condition before enlisting, and your service exacerbated it (this is known as a “preservice disability claim”)
  • You have a service-connected disability that did not become apparent until after your military career was over (called a post-service disability claim)


Veterans who were exposed to burn pits, Agent Orange, or any other toxic substance will now have greater access to VA health care and benefits thanks to the new PACT Act. Learn more 

Note: In some cases, we may “presume” (assume) that a service you received was the direct cause of a health problem you’re experiencing. These are referred to as presumptive conditions. To receive compensation for a presumptive condition, it is not necessary to provide proof that your service directly resulted in the patient’s illness or injury. To qualify for the presumption, you need only fulfil the presumptive service requirements.  

Discharge Status

You may not be eligible for VA disability benefits if you were discharged under conditions other than honorable, bad conduct, or dishonorable.

In this case, you can apply for a discharge upgrade. 

Note: The VA’s Character of Discharge review process can determine whether you are eligible for benefits despite a less-than-honorable discharge. This investigation may take as long as a year. 

Conditions covered under Disability Benefits:

You may be eligible for benefits if you have one of the following conditions: 

  • Disability from back pain that has persisted over time (chronic pain)
  • Difficulty breathing as a result of preexisting lung disease or an acute lung injury
  • Extreme deafness
  • Tumor remnants
  • Decreased mobility (problems moving your body)
  • Ulcers
  • Cancers and other diseases caused by hazardous exposure (Learn more)
  • Brain damage from trauma (TBI)
  • Affective Disorders Related to Trauma (PTSD)
  • Depression
  • Anxiety

File a VA Disability Claim

Filing a disability claim can become complex and confusing. That is why, the VA urges you to take the help of an accredited representative or a Veterans Service Officer (VSO) to file a claim or appeal. VSOs advocate for Veterans, active-duty service members, their families, and the deceased. They are certified and trained in claims and appeals processes and can take care of all your VA needs.   

Enter your details below and we shall connect you with a trusted VSO for all your VA needs. 

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