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How Long Must One Serve To Be Eligible For VA Disability?

If you have an illness or injury related to your military service, you may wonder if you can qualify for VA disability benefits. Learn about this vital question below. For additional information, an Illinois VA disability lawyer at Harold W. Conick & Associates may be of service.

What Are The Qualifications For Receiving VA Disability Benefits?

You may qualify for VA disability benefits if the following criteria apply:

  • You actively served in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, or Coast Guard. If you were on inactive duty, the only disability that qualifies is related to a stroke, heart attack, or injury.
  • You must not have received a dishonorable discharge from the military.
  • You have to have a qualifying medical condition that affects your ability to hold gainful employment. The VA will complete a review of your medical records to decide if the disability qualifies you for benefits.
  • An event during your service must have at least contributed to your medical condition. This must be proven with solid evidence.
  • The VA rated the medical condition a minimum of 10% disabling. If the administration rates your service-related condition 0% disabling, you may qualify for other benefits but not VA disability.
  • Your medical issue cannot be because of willful misconduct.

What Are Conditions That May Be Covered By VA Disability Benefits?

If you have any of the following conditions related to your military service, talk to your Illinois VA disability lawyer about receiving benefits:

  • Chronic back pain that has been diagnosed as a back disability
  • Breathing issues that stem from a current lung disease or condition
  • Severe loss of hearing
  • Scar tissue from past military injuries
  • Ulcers
  • Cancers related to contacting toxic chemicals while serving in the military
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • PTSD
  • Depression

How VA Disability Affects SS Payments

If you receive VA disability benefits, you also can receive benefits from the Social Security Administration. However, because SSI is needs-based, the income you receive from the VA will affect your SS benefits. According to SSA, VA benefits are unearned income because they do not come from employment. So, your VA benefits are deducted dollar-for-dollar from your SSI benefit.

How To Prove You Are Eligible For VA Disability?

The claim hinges on the ability to prove that your illness or injury is related to something that happened during your military service. The evidence proving this connection usually includes:

  • Discharge paperwork, which shows you did not receive a dishonorable discharge
  • A current medical diagnosis
  • Medical treatment records
  • Your military service record
  • Testimony from your treating physician is also helpful

Speak To An Illinois VA Disability Lawyer Today

Do you wonder if you can qualify for VA disability? Whether you reside at the 360 Chicago, the Riverwalk, or somewhere else nearby, you may be entitled to VA disability benefits as a military veteran.

The Illinois VA disability attorneys at Harold W. Conick & Associates can assist with questions about eligibility for VA disability benefits. Our lawyers serve the greater Chicago metropolitan area, including Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin. Please contact our Illinois VA disability attorneys today for a complimentary consultation about your VA disability case.