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What Are VA Disability Benefits?

Older adults often have several questions about Veterans Affairs (VA) disability benefits. What are the benefits available? How can you apply for them? And, most importantly, how can they help you?

VA disability payments are monthly tax-free payments granted to Veterans who were injured or became ill while serving in the military. If you have any physical or mental conditions that arose before, during, or after your time serving, you may qualify for VA disability benefits.

We’ll answer some of the most common questions about VA disability benefits. We’ll also provide an overview of the application process, so you know what to expect. Let’s get started!

What Kind of Benefits Can You Get from the VA?

When you enroll as a Veteran, you are immediately given access to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) comprehensive Medical Benefits Package. This includes coverage for preventive care, primary and specialty care services, diagnostic testing, and inpatient and outpatient care services. In addition, veterans can also receive mental health services, women’s health services, and complementary and alternative medicine. VA also provides benefits for long-term care, including nursing home care, home health care, and respite care. In addition to medical benefits, VA also provides several other benefits to veterans, including:

  • Disability compensation
  • Pension
  • Education and training
  • Employment
  • Housing
  • Insurance
  • Loans
  • Burial and memorials

If you have any physical or mental conditions that began before, during, or after your time serving in the military, you may qualify for VA disability benefits. In addition, veterans who were injured or became ill while serving in the military or whose service exacerbated an existing condition are eligible for monthly tax-free payments called VA disability benefits. To learn more about VA disability benefits and how to apply for them, visit the Department of Veterans Affairs website.

What is Average VA Disability Payment?

If you’re a Veteran with a 10% to 20% disability rating, please refer to the chart below.

Even if you have a dependent spouse, child, or parent, you won’t receive a higher rate than 10% to 20%.

Rates for veterans with a 30% to 60% disability rating


What is the Easiest VA Disability to Claim?

The easiest VA disability to claim is a mental health disorder, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or anxiety. It is critical to seek care from a mental health expert if you are suffering symptoms of a mental health issue. Musculoskeletal condition is the second easiest VA disability to claim. If your military service caused or exacerbated a musculoskeletal issue, you may be eligible for VA disability compensation. Depending on the severity of the disorder, the VA disability rating for PTSD can range from 10% to 100%. If you have been diagnosed with PTSD, you should get therapy from a mental health expert. VA disability benefits can help you cover the costs of medical treatment, housing, and other daily living expenses.

What is the Hardest VA Disability to Claim?

A service-connected disability is a physical or mental condition resulting from an injury or that occurred while you were serving in the military. If you have a service-connected disability, you will need to provide evidence of your injury or illness, as well as evidence that it is directly related to your time in the military. For example, chronic Fatigue Syndrome has a maximum or peak VA disability rating of 100 percent. Suppose you are suffering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and it is impacting your ability to work or live a normal life. In that case, VA disability benefits may be able to help you.

What Does 80% VA Disability Get You?

Veterans who are rated at 80 percent disabled by the VA receive $1,778.43 a month from the Veterans Administration. Disabled veterans who meet the eligibility requirements may receive additional monthly compensation for dependent children and parents. Suppose you’re a veteran with an 80 percent VA Disability rating and difficulty maintaining gainful employment. In that case, there may be another option for you. 

TDIU benefits are equivalent to a VA Disability rating of 100%. However, you do not need a 100% disability rating to get TDIU benefits. VA will look at your case to see if you’re unable to work and earn a living because of your VA service-connected disabilities. If the VA finds that your disabilities make it impossible for you to maintain gainful employment, they may award you TDIU benefits. These benefits are not automatic, however. You will need to provide evidence to support your claim that your disabilities prevent you from working.

If you think you may be eligible for TDIU benefits, contact a VA-accredited attorney or Veterans Service Officer today. They can help you gather the evidence you need to support your claim and file the appropriate paperwork with the VA.

The level of disability compensation that a veteran receives from the VA is calculated on a scale of 0 to 100%. While the 80 percent VA disability rating is common, many disabled veterans believe they should be given benefits consistent with a 90 or 100 percent rating. To be given a 100 percent VA disability rating, a veteran must be completely unable to work and will require regular aid and attendance from another person. In addition, a 100 percent VA disability rating entitles the veteran to the maximum monthly compensation that the VA offers.

If you are a Veteran who is struggling to make ends meet, VA disability benefits may be able to help you get back on your feet.

Do You Lose VA Disability if You Work?

You can maintain a job while receiving VA disability benefits, except TDIU benefits. If you’re eligible for total disability based on individual unemployability (TDIU), you could earn the same amount of disability benefits as a veteran who is completely handicapped. To establish your payment, the VA will issue you a disability rating based on the severity of your ailment. Your rating ranges from 0 to 100 percent, with 100 being the highest. Having a 20 percent disability rating from the VA, for example, means your condition entitles you to compensation but is less severe than an 80 percent rating. TDIU needs the applicant not to be able to work because of their service-connected disability.

If you are receiving TDIU benefits from the VA, you cannot work a job that would financially support you. You must disclose your earnings to the VA if you work while receiving VA disability payments. Your benefits may be lowered if your income is too high. The VA will consider whether or not you can work a full-time job, part-time job, or if you can only do odd jobs when they review your case. You can still receive VA disability benefits if you are working. Still, it is important to report any changes in your employment status to the VA.

If you are not receiving TDIU benefits, you can work while receiving VA disability benefits. You can even start your own business. The VA will review your case periodically to ensure that your employment status has not changed and that you are still entitled to VA disability benefits.

It is important to note that if your condition improves and you are no longer disabled, you are required to notify the VA so that your benefits can be terminated.

How Can I Maximize My VA Disability?

You can do a few things to ensure you are receiving the maximum amount of VA disability benefits to which you are entitled. 

First, make sure that you have a complete and up-to-date VA claim. This means that all of your service-connected disabilities should be included on your claim form. If you have new or worsening symptoms, make sure to report them to your VA doctor so that they can be added to your claim.

Next, ensure you have current supporting documentation for all of your service-connected disabilities. This includes things like medical records, prescriptions, test results, and statements from your doctor describing the severity of your symptoms. The more evidence you have to support your claim, the better chance you have of receiving the maximum amount of benefits.

Finally, make sure to stay up-to-date on the VA’s disability compensation rates. The VA adjusts these rates every year, and if you are not receiving the maximum amount of benefits, you may be missing out on the money to which you are entitled.

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