What is a “claim for benefits”?

While beginning the transition to civilian life, chances are that you will likely come across many terms that are new to you. As simple as the phrase “claim for benefits” might sound, it is actually multifaceted. Below, you will find a list that tries to encompass MOST of the components of what can make up a claim for benefit:

  • Service-connected disability compensation for primary conditions
    • A direct correlation between military service and resulting condition.
  • Secondary service connection for disabilities resulting from, or aggravated by, primary conditions
    • When a service-connected injury can cause another injury or condition.
  • Non-Service Connected pensions
    • Payable to certain “wartime veterans,” whose income is below certain levels, are over the age of 65, or are under the age of 65 but totally and permanently disabled by a non-service connected disability
  • Analogous ratings
    • If condition or symptoms do not appear on the VA’s schedule of ratings, the VA must consider whether – and how – your condition is analogous to other conditions on the VA Disability Schedule of Ratings.
  • Increased Ratings
    • If there is an increase in severity (frequency, duration, chronicity of current symptoms) or manifestation of new symptoms the veteran may seek an increase.
  • Total disability compensation payments based on individual unemployability (TDIU)
    • When a veteran’s service-connected disabilities inhibit their ability to get and keep substantially gainful employment, the veteran may apply for unemployability.
  • Additional Monthly Compensation for Dependents
    • Monthly compensation to offset the costs incurred by veterans with dependents whose income is limited by their service-connected disability.
  • Special Monthly Compensation (SMC)
    • A benefit paid above-and-beyond a current impairment rating; available to veterans that lost – or lost use of –  specific organs or extremities in military service.
  • Extra-schedular ratings
    • When the VA rating schedule does not properly compensate a veteran for the frequency, severity and duration of a service connected disability, the VA is required to consider an “extra-schedular” rating. Use this link for more information.

Leave a Reply