Three Steps to File a Veteran Benefits Claim
The first step in filing a veteran benefits claims is determining if you are eligible for a presumptive disability or other service-connected condition.
Step 1: Are you eligible for VA disability compensation?
You may be able to get VA disability benefits or compensation if you have a current illness or injury (known as a condition) that affects your body or mind and you meet at least one of the requirements listed below.
Both of these must be true. You:
- Served on active duty, active duty for training, or inactive duty training, and
- Have a disability rating for your service-connected condition
And at least one of these must be true. You:
- Got sick or injured while serving in the military—and can link this condition to your illness or injury (called an inservice disability claim), or
- Had an illness or injury before you joined the military—and serving made it worse (called a preservice disability claim), or
- Have a disability related to your active-duty service that didn’t appear until after you ended your service (called a postservice disability claim)
- A chronic (long-lasting) illness that appears within one year after discharge, or
- An illness caused by contact with contaminants (toxic chemicals) or other hazardous materials, or
- An illness caused by your time spent as a prisoner of war (POW)
Step 2: Are you covered?
- Qualified dependents
Other than honorable, bad conduct, or dishonorable discharge
If you received one of these discharges, you may not be eligible for VA disability benefits. However, there are two ways you can tray to quality for benefits: