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FAQs Disability Compensation

Who is eligible to receive VA disability benefits? 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 in-service 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 post-service disability claim)

Remember, there is no time limit to file a claim!

What is a service-connected disability? An injury or illness that was incurred or aggravated during active military service.

How is compensation by the VA calculated? VA assigns Overall Disability Ratings based on the severity of the service-connected condition. The VA has established 10 grades of disability. These grades are: 0%, 10%, 20%, 30%, 40%, 50%, 60%, 70%, 80%, 90%, and 100%.

If you have more than one service-connected condition, the VA will calculate your overall disability rating. This involves more than just adding up the percentages of each condition. Your overall disability rating may be different from the sum of your individual ratings. Your overall disability rating will determine the compensation you’ll receive each month.

Will I have to pay taxes on veterans disability compensation? No. Veterans disability benefits are tax-free.

What do I need to apply for VA disability?

  • Discharge papers (DD214 or other separation documents)

  • Service treatment records

  • VA medical records and hospital records that relate to your claimed illnesses or injuries

  • Private medical records and hospital reports that relate to your claimed illnesses or injuries

What is CRDP? Additional Benefits for Eligible Military Retirees Concurrent Retirement and Disability Pay (CRDP) is a DoD program that allows some individuals to receive both military retired pay and VA disability compensation. Normally, such concurrent receipt is prohibited. Veterans do not need to apply for this benefit, as payment is coordinated between VA and the military pay center. To qualify for CRDP, Veterans must have a VA service-connected rating of 50 percent or greater, be eligible to receive retired pay, and:

  • Be retired from military service based on longevity, including Temporary Early Retirement Authority (TERA) retirees; or

  • Be retired due to disability with 20 or more qualifying years of service*; or

  • Be retired from National Guard or Reserve service with 20 or more qualifying years.


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