Maximizing Your Retirement with VA Disability Benefits

Jun 12, 2023

Veteran getting VA Disability

Many veterans are injured during their service and find it difficult or impossible to work with the injuries they sustained while on duty. Veterans risked their lives for our country and VA Disability is an option for them to get the compensation they deserve for service-connected injuries or illnesses.

Veterans’ Affairs Disability or VA Disability is a benefit available to disabled veterans, with either a service-connected disability or a pre-existing condition that worsened during service. This benefit provides monthly financial compensation, and when used in tandem with other federal benefits, can provide financial security for years to come.

In this article we want to show you how VA Disability can help you overcome the setbacks your injury has caused.

What Is VA Disability?

VA Disability is a benefit available to veterans with a service-connected disability. This means that the veteran’s disability was caused or made worse by their time in service. VA disability compensation is a monthly benefit paid to veterans for injuries sustained during their service and sacrifice for their country.

VA disability compensation rates are based off your level of disability and your dependents. If you have a severe disability or if you have dependent children or parents, you will be compensated more.

When calculating your disability rating, the VA will take into account the evidence you provide, any results of VA claim exams, and any other information provided from your federal agency. Learn more about VA Compensation Rates here.

How Do I Know if I’m Eligible for VA Disability Benefits?

To be eligible for VA Disability, you must have a current illness or injury that affects your mind or body, and you must have served on active duty, active duty for training, or inactive duty training.

Additionally, at least one of these must be true:

  • You became sick or were injured while serving in the military—and can link this condition to your illness or injury
  • You had an illness or injury before you joined the military—and serving made it worse
  • You have a disability related to your active-duty service that didn’t appear until after you ended your service

How Do I Apply for VA Disability Benefits?

You can apply for VA Disability benefits online, or use the printable form here. It is recommended to hire legal representation to assist you throughout the application process.

You can choose to have your claim expedited if you are experiencing extreme financial hardship, effects from a serious illness or injury that ended your service or have a terminal illness.

It is best to submit a VA Disability claim within one year of separation from the military. Due to its backlog, the VA can take months or years to grant benefits and applying within a year can make you eligible for back pay.

Can You Receive VA Disability and FERS Disability Retirement?

Many veterans choose to enter the federal workforce after their military service. If you are employed by the federal government and your service-connected disability has worsened to the point where it affects job performance, you may be eligible for FERS Disability Retirement.

FERS Disability Retirement is a benefit available to FERS career employees with at least 18 months of creditable service and a disability that is preventing them from performing at least one of the essential functions of their job.

On this benefit, you will receive a secure monthly annuity, creditable years of service, health and life insurance, and the ability to work in the private sector.

For FERS Disability Retirement, your disability does not have to be caused by your job, therefore, it can be caused by prior military service. Because of this, you will be able to receive these benefits on top of your VA Disability. The combination of these two benefits can provide significant financial security for years.

If you think you may be eligible for FERS Disability Retirement, contact a FERS Disability Retirement attorney to discuss your options.

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