What Kind of VA Disability Claim Do I Have? The Answer May Affect Your Benefits

You’ve struggled with depression all your life, but it became noticeably worse after your tour in Iraq. After years of coping the best you could, you were forced to leave the service and go back home. You know that VA disability payments are available for soldiers like you, but can you still get them if you knew you had the condition before you joined the military?

Different Kinds of VA Disability Claims by Date of Injury

The VA understands that injuries can happen at any time, and have allowed several different types of disability claims based on when your condition became intolerable. The VA acknowledges the following types of injuries in VA disability claims:

  • Pre-Discharge. Any person who served in the military and has experienced a disabling condition within 180 days of discharge or retirement from active duty military (or full-time National Guard) is eligible to file a claim for disability.
  • Pre-Service. Many people may suffer from conditions before entering into military service, only to have those conditions worsened by military duty. If you had a known disability that was aggravated by active duty service, you may file a VA disability claim.
  • Service-Related. Some of the easiest claims to prove involve an injury that occurred during active military service. Most injuries that occurred in the line of duty will qualify for compensation; however, evidence of negligence, willful misconduct, or alcohol or drug abuse that led to the injury may cause your claim to be denied.
  • Post-Service. In some cases, the VA will allow disabled veterans to file claims after the 180 day time limit. These claims are for disabilities that are related to military service, but have taken a while to show any symptoms. Many victims of the Viet Nam war, Iraq wars, missions in Afghanistan, and other locations that involved exposure to harmful chemicals could lead to post-service claims.

If you are not sure what type of claim to file, the VA disability attorneys at Cuddigan Law can help. We cannot file your application, but we can also help you file an appeal if your application is denied, and we do not charge you anything unless we win the benefits you deserve.

For more information, order our free book, The Essential Guide to VA Disability Claims, or call us today to find out how we can help you.

 

Sean D. Cuddigan
SSA and VA Disability Attorney in Omaha, Nebraska
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