Veterans’ Disability Benefits and the Service-Connection

Unfortunately, not all injured or unwell veterans are eligible for veterans’ disability benefits. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) follows strict guidelines on determining a veteran’s eligibility, which starts from measuring the disability’s service-connection. The applicant must prove through the documents he submits that the injury or illness that he sustained were directly service-related.

Military personnel who were discharged from service due to disability that occurred while they were serving are the most qualified for the benefits. To prove this, applicants must present several evidence, including documents that show the injury or illness that rendered him disabled actually took place while he or she was on active duty. A medical document prepared and provided by the military medical personnel is strong proof.

Sometimes, the injury or illness can be caused by the aggravation of a pre-existing illness. Although this may initially seem inadequate proof of eligibility, the VA can consider it if the applicant can prove that his pre-existing medical condition has been noted upon his entry in the military. Meaning, his superiors were aware of the potential aggravation of his condition through his service in the military.

Relevant cases may also involve those where a military service member may only begin to suffer illness that can be presumed as related to his stint while in service. Popular examples include tuberculosis and multiple sclerosis. Presumed connection like this can be considered by the VA, although the benefit amount may not be considerable.

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