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10 tips to get your Disabled Veterans Benefits

First I want to thank any Veteran that is reading this article as it is my pleasure to be able to help Veterans and families with getting benefits. The benefits you truly deserve! My Brother, Father, Husband, Sister, Brother in law and Niece are all in the military representing Army, Navy, Air Force and National Guard. I created this hub because many of people today are not aware or getting all the benefits they could be. Many disabled Veterans, think it might be too hard to get benefits. At times its hard for Veterans and families, because they do not know how to get started and what's going to happen next. I am here to tell you Just DO it!!


You do not want to miss out on benefits you deserve. Many Veterans don't even apply for benefits because they have heard horror stories about how many people get turned down. Many of our Veterans are homeless and without benefits and I think its because nobody took the time to tell them how to prepare to get benefits. I will help you get prepared to get your benefits, and trust me it is not a cakewalk BUT is is possible,so let's get positive and get to it!!

2. Every time you go to your DR. get a copy of the "notes" of what was discussed. Bring a friend with you or loved one to help you to be there for strength and witness, if you can, write your questions down and then have your doctor answer them.

Did you know you have a right to ask for your medical records for free? Many VA hospitals and offices can give you a CD of your records with all of your medical appointments and info on them for free. You can get copies of all the labs and tests that were done on you as well. You will need to go to records office to get one.

2. Find out what your ailments are and see if they could be related to the past while you were enlisted. Many times veterans find themselves somewhat disabled post war, with PT-SD, Depression, Gulf War Syndrome, Diabetes, Heart problems, Cancer , Paralysis, Sleep Apnea, all of these ailments are connect to getting disability payments every month depending on what percentage the VA rates you. That's why it is important to keep all your doctors records, with you, while in-service or out. See Chart Below

Disability Table

VietnamO.E.F. & O.I.F. Iraq AfghanistanAtomic Gulf War


Respiratory Problems


Radiation Exposures

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Sleep Apnea

Decreased lung capacity

Lung Capacity Decreased

Cancer 21 kinds

Fibromyalgia Syndrome

Degenerative Spine Conditions




Irritable Bowel Syndrome


Sleep Apnea

Sleep Apnea




Chronic Bronchitis

Chronic Bronchitis




Obstructive pulmonary disease,

Pulmonary Disease


Sleep Apnea




Thyroid Disease

Gastrointestinal Disorders




Brain Tumors







Did you know that when you file a claim, it is better to claim several ailments so that all the ailments add up to a higher disability rating? That means more money per month for you and your family, and more benefits.

U.S. Navy Hospital Corpsman HM1 Richard Barnett, assigned to the 1st Marine Division, holds an Iraqi child in central Iraq

U.S. Navy Hospital Corpsman HM1 Richard Barnett, assigned to the 1st Marine Division, holds an Iraqi child in central Iraq

Iraq and Afghanistan

More than 95% of the troops wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan have survived, and more than 400,000 new veterans have invisible wounds treated by the V.A. for mental health problems most commonly PTSD many veterans have suffered traumatic brain brain injury TBI mild concussions from bomb blasts which could lead to long-term problems. All of these Men and Women are eligible for some kinds of benefits.

  • Disability
  • Education and training
  • Home loan
  • Life insurance
  • Pension
  • Survivor benefits and dependency indemnity compensation

Good INFO & Help Sites

Vietnam and Gulf War

For Vietnam and Gulf War Veterans many diseases on the list are presumptive meaning, if you have those conditions you will get benefits, BUT not the Navy, only if your ship is on the Agent Orange "Brown Water List". I left a link below so you can see if your ship is on the list. If you are in the Navy and your ship is not on the list then just take a look at all your current and past ailments like PTSD, Sleep apnea, Tinnitus, and try to get buddy letters aiding in your claim. If you were hospitalized for anything, be sure to claim the injury related to that incident, your current pain levels, and any other drs. appointments you made after the fact. There is one disease that's exception for blue water Navy veterans non-Hodgkin's lymphoma may be granted service connection without showing inland waterway service or that they set foot in Vietnam.

Agent Orange Brown Water Ship list

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Discounts and Benefits for Vets

Compensation Rates for Disabilities

  • Compensation Tables
    Index of current and historical compensation and pension rate tables
  • Compensation Home
    Portal to where VA compensation and pension benefits programs are described; to include rates of payments and how to apply for VA benefits.

Veterans and Families Stay Strong

Many Veterans, put an application in and wait and do not hear from the VA for months. So then they get nervous and wonder if the VA even got it. Most of the time, the application gets processed and it will be about one month for them to get back to you. Please be make sure the VA has received your application about two weeks after you process a claim. Most claims take one year to get processed.

VA Claim Process Timeline

Claim Process: Usually 1 year

  • File a claim right away! Its called a disability compensation. Payments are retroactive to claim date (Must have your DD-214 to file claim) its called VA form 21-526EZ
  • In about a 1 month you will receive a notice that the VA received your claim with a priority group rating and eligibility to get medical attention at the VA. At that time you will want to get as much medical attention you can and if they find anything, add it to your current claim.
  • After 3 months they usually send you a letter stating they need more paperwork done, send that stuff in ASAP.
  • In 6 months they send you a letter stating what they have received and what they still need from you. Get as much turned in as you can for them.
  • 1 year later they finally send you a letter stating they are in the final stages of your claim.
  • 3 months after that you receive your award letter stating your ratings at 10-100 percent rating depending on each aliment. Example Tinnitus 20% PTSD 40% and IHD 50% totaling less that one hundred percent with their goofy math. 80 % disabled. or something like that.

It is worth all work and the waiting, because you get back pay for all those months you waited to get your benefits for the whole year. So get online and file with E-benefits you can do it all online too, believe it or not! You can also get help with the DAV they provide help with claims and free transportation for veterans with a claim filed. While you have a claim filed you want to get as much medical attention you can to find out all the ailments you have to add to your claim, YES you can add more on to your claim, but they will only back pay you for when you added it on.

Be sure to grab a copy of the Federal Benefits booklet to get all the details for benefits at any VA office.

Good luck and feel free to ask me any questions! YES you can do this and YES you will succeed!!

  • Veterans Pension - Pension
    Pension is a benefit paid to wartime veterans who have limited or no income, and who are age 65 or older, or, if under 65, who are permanently and totally disabled.

Also if you are a veteran or a wife of a deceased war veteran and meet the income requirement and are over 65 you are eligible for a pension even if you are not disabled. or if you are disabled, but not by a war incident. Disabled Veterans can also get an aid and attendance benefit for when you live in a assisted living facility or nursing home. Many people do not pursue this and it is a nice added benefit if someone is on medicaid.

VA Veterans Health Handbook

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This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.


Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on January 06, 2014:

The length of the claim process is enough to make them sicker. The Disability Table is an eye opener. This is very thoughtful, and I hope those for whom it was written will take advantage of the information. Thank you and Voted Up!

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