Unveiling Eligibility: A Guide to Understanding What VA Disabilities You Can Claim

Post Preview

Learn how to apply, track the status of a claim, and manage reviews and appeals.

VA disability compensation is paid to veterans with disabling injuries or illnesses incurred or worsened by their military service. Most are rated for multiple conditions, known as a combined rating.

The most common disabilities approved are tinnitus, ear ringing, and respiratory illnesses.

Physical Disabilities

For those suffering from physical disabilities, several conditions can be claimed. These range from injuries to the limbs, such as amputations, to more subtle problems, such as limited mobility caused by arthritis or osteoporosis. Many disabilities are listed in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Title 38, Part 4, Schedule for Rating Disabilities.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) – PTSD is one of the most accessible disabilities to prove in service connection, mainly when a detailed stressor statement and corroborative evidence are provided. The highest disability rating available for PTSD is 100%.

Limitation of Flexion: Knee injuries are prevalent among veterans and can be rated based on the severity of symptoms. This is the #2 most accessible disability to prove in service connection and can be rated up to 100%.

Mental Disabilities

When navigating the process of filing for benefits, a common question is, “What VA disabilities can I claim?” It’s essential to identify what VA disabilities you can claim based on your service-related conditions. Most veterans who file disability claims have a mental health condition, and those conditions can be just as disabling as physical ones. To prove that you have a mental illness that prevents you from working, you need to provide documentation, support from your medical team, and proof that you cannot work in any job.

Some of the most common disabilities veterans receive for psychiatric conditions are PTSD, tinnitus (ringing in the ears), and migraines. PTSD is one of the most accessible disabilities to get service-connected because it stems from traumatic events during military service. PTSD can be rated up to 100% disability.

Many veterans who have a combination of physical and mental disabilities are rated at a combined rate. This is because the ratings for each condition are ranked in order of severity, and your combined rating is based on that ranking. You must be honest when testifying about your symptoms. Exaggerating your symptoms can harm your case.

Psychological Disabilities

A wide range of psychiatric disorders can impact the lives of veterans. Symptoms like anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder can have dramatic impacts on the way veterans function in their daily lives. Veterans who have these conditions often do not realize they are suffering until after leaving service, but a disability rating can help compensate them for their impairments. When filing a claim for mental health disabilities, it is essential to provide as much detail as possible about the symptoms and the impact they have on your life. Medical records are often helpful, but you can also submit statements from people close to you regarding your experiences and their effect on your life.

When it comes to mental disabilities, the VA will evaluate your condition and assign a rating based on its severity. A 0% rating means your condition has been formally diagnosed but does not interfere with your occupational or social functioning. A 100% rating, on the other hand, would mean you suffer from complete occupational and social impairment due to your condition.

Other Disabilities

Several illnesses and injuries can qualify for disability benefits. For example, veterans can get compensation for a neurological disorder if it causes a significant limitation in daily living activities.

It’s also possible to receive a higher disability rating when multiple conditions are rated together. For instance, a veteran with TBI and back injury rated at 50% each will get an overall rating of 80%. This is because the highest individual rating is subtracted from 100 to establish a whole-person efficiency rating.

Other disabilities that may be rated include tinnitus (ringing in the ears), spinal injuries, and chronic coughing. It’s important to remember that you must prove that your condition existed before you enlisted in the military and was made worse by service. This can be accomplished through detailed stressor statements and corroborating evidence.