If you have been injured or made ill while on active duty in the armed forces, or if a previous health condition was made worse by your service, you may be eligible for veterans’ disability benefits through the Department of Veterans Affairs.
But Before You Can Collect Benefits, You Must Apply for Benefits
You can apply for these tax-free benefits by filling out VA Form 21-526, Veterans Application for Compensation and/or Pension. This form will require you to submit specific information, including:
- Medical evidence showing that you are disabled. This includes information about your injury or illness and your medical records from doctors and hospitals.
- Information about your limitation. The VA wants to know if you are housebound, if you rely on someone else for assistance, or if you are in a nursing home.
- Information about your active service. This includes separation papers.
- Information about any Reserve or National Guard duty.
- Information about your dependents, including your spouse and children.
After submitting your application and other information, you may be examined by a medical professional at a VA hospital. After that, the VA will review your case and make a decision regarding the benefits you deserve.
You may file your veterans’ disability benefits claim online at the Veterans Online Application (VONAPP) website. You can also mail or take your application to the nearest VA office. It may be a number of months before you hear from the government regarding your application. If your claim is denied, then you may appeal their decision.
Save Time—Get Your Application Right the First Time
Applications that are incomplete or incorrect will be denied. This means more time without the benefits you’ve earned and that you deserve while you appeal the decision.
We understand that it can be difficult to talk about your medical condition, but we encourage you to find out more about whether you may qualify for veterans’ disability benefits and about how the process works so that you can make an informed decision about whether to apply for such benefits. Please contact us today for a confidential consultation.
by Paul B. Burkhalter Managing Partner of Morgan & Weisbrod, Board Certified in Social Security Disability Law.