The process to receive VA disability can be long and complicated. Paperwork, gathering documentation, and lots of waiting are often a part of applying for VA disability benefits. There’s a lot to know about VA disability, from eligibility to compensation and much more. If you’re new to learning about VA disability, keep reading to learn the basics of disability benefits and compensation.

va disability

What is VA disability?

VA disability is a monthly compensation program given tax-free to veterans who have sustained a service-related injury or condition. Veterans Affairs will assign each individual a rating that corresponds with the severity of the injury or condition that determines the monthly disability payment he or she will receive. The disability rating is represented by a percentage that’s based on doctor’s reports or testing, results of an exam, and other testimony to someone’s condition. That rating can also qualify someone for other benefits including health care, education, and home loans. 


In order to be eligible for VA disability, a veteran must have sustained an illness or injury caused or made worse by their military service. Some conditions are presumed to be due to service, while others may require proof through an exam or doctor’s records from the VA or a private establishment. Eligible veterans include those who were released or discharged from service under honorable conditions. If you received anything other than a dishonorable discharge, you may still be eligible for disability benefits. 

Some examples of conditions that are eligible for VA benefits include:

  • Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Severe hearing loss
  • Chronic pain
  • Lung disease

Types of Compensation

VA. disability offers several types of compensation for qualified individuals. Each type of disability benefits cover different circumstances as determined by Veterans Affairs. 

Disability Compensation

Veterans can receive tax-free monetary compensation as recognition for a disability that occurred during or after service. The amount depends on the rating, which is determined by the severity of the veteran’s disability. The VA can also compensate individuals for injuries or conditions related to the original condition.

Special Monthly Compensation

The VA can issue Special Monthly Compensation to veterans, spouses, and surviving spouses as a tax-free benefit. As the name implies, this benefit is paid due to special circumstances of a disability, such as loss of limb or the need for an aid. 

Disability and Indemnity Compensation

Disability and Indemnity Compensation can be issued to surviving spouses, children, or parents of a service member. In order to receive Disability and Indemnity Compensation, the service member must have died during active duty, training during inactive duty, or due to their service-related disability.

Special Circumstances

A disabled veteran can also make claims based on special circumstances due to a service-related disability. This can include several benefits including dental, hospitalization, a clothing or automobile allowance, and more.

What Do You Do if You’re Denied VA Disability Benefits?

Many veterans lose hope when the VA denies their disability benefits. But for many, the first denial isn’t the end of the road. Sometimes, the denial can be due to missing information or forms filled out incorrectly. An attorney who specializes in representing veterans can be a great resource to help you appeal the denial to get your VA benefits and receive the compensation you deserve.Do you have questions about a VA claim? Contact the American Disability Action Group for a free consultation today.