No. You do not have to be wounded in combat in order to qualify for veterans’ disability benefits. While veterans who suffered gunshot wounds, lost limbs, became deaf because of explosions, or received other combat-related injuries certainly can and do qualify for veterans’ disability benefits, they are not the only veterans who qualify for such benefits.
Who Else Qualifies for Veterans’ Disability?
Veterans’ disability benefits cover any service-related medical condition. This includes conditions that developed as a result of the person’s military service, as well as pre-existing medical conditions that worsened as a result of the person’s military service. In addition to combat injuries, veterans’ disability benefits also cover injuries suffered in service-related car accidents, sexual assaults, and on-the-job accidents, for example.
Common injuries and conditions for which veterans may receive benefits include:
- Traumatic brain injuries and other head injuries
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Eye injuries
- Ear injuries and hearing loss
- Back, neck, and spinal cord injuries
- Joint problems
- Sleep apnea
- Hypertension (high blood pressure)
- Heart disease
- Mental disorders
If you are a veteran who is suffering from a physical or mental condition that you believe was caused by your military service or aggravated by your military service, it is important to discuss your rights with an experienced veterans’ disability attorney. You may have the right to recover veterans’ disability benefits.
Your Recovery of Benefits Is Not Automatic
Instead, you will need to prove that your disability was caused by or aggravated by your service, and you will need to prove the extent of disability. If you file the right paperwork and supporting evidence, the Department of Veterans Affairs may approve your application for veterans’ disability and you may begin getting the benefits you deserve.
Do not risk having your application for veterans’ disability denied or delayed. Contact an experienced veterans’ disability lawyer today for a free, confidential consultation about your rights and for more information about getting the fair benefits you deserve.
by Paul B. Burkhalter Managing Partner of Morgan & Weisbrod, Board Certified in Social Security Disability Law.