The benefits of filing a VA claim go beyond receiving disability compensation. If you have a VA disability rating, you may also eligible for:
Healthcare through the VA, which could be crucial in the treatment of your service-connected illness or injury.
Hiring preferences at certain local, state, or federal jobs based on your VA disability rating and 10-point preference rating.
Waver of the VA Loan funding fee, which can increase your savings when purchasing a home.
Reduced property taxes, based on state.
Education or training benefits for you and your dependents, based on state.
Dependents Indemnity Compensation (DIC) for your survivor after you pass.
Submitting a VA Disability Claim and Receiving Your Disability Rating
The most expedient way to receive your disability rating is to file a claim though the Benefits Delivery at Discharge (BDD) program. You can do this 180 to 90 days before you leave the military and it is the best option if you are preparing to separate from the military and believe you have an illness or injury caused or made by active-duty service.
If you submit a claim after separating from the military, the VA will review your military and civilian medical records and potentially conduct a medical exam(s). They will use this information to determine your disability rating, if any.
If they accept your claim, you will receive a VA disability award letter that details the disability rating for each condition listed on your claim. Your combined VA disability percentage and the number of qualified dependents will determine the amount of compensation you receive each month.
Where to Get Help When Filing a VA Disability Claim
Filing a VA claim can be overwhelming. Fortunately, AAFMAA has VA Claims Coordinators who will walk you through the maze of the submission process. They’ll help you organize your claim and ensure you avoid common mistakes that could be detrimental to your claim. Then, when you receive your VA award letter, AAFMAA’s Member Benefits Team can help you understand all the benefits and entitlements you have earned.
Contact AAFMAA Member benefits at 888-961-4432 or [email protected] for more information.
The AAFMAA Learning Hub contains more information to help you understand your VA Benefits, including a useful webinar “Untangling the Confusion Around VA Disability Ratings.”
This article was originally published September 8, 2020.