2024 VA Service-Connected Disability Rates

VA service-connected disability compensation rates will increase 3.2% in 2024. Here are the current VA disability compensation rate tables.
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va disability rate tables
Table of Contents
  1. Will Disabled Veterans Get a VA Pay Increase In 2024?
  2. 2024 VA Disability Pay Charts
    1. Veteran Only
    2. VA Disability Rates: 10% – 20% (No Dependents)
    3. VA Disability Rates: 30% – 60% Without Children
    4. VA Disability Rates: 70% – 100% Without Children
    5. VA Disability Rates: 30% – 60% With Children
    6. VA Disability Rates: 70% – 100% With Children
  3. VA Disability Compensation COLA Raises
  4. About VA Disability Ratings and Compensation
  5. What is a Service Connected Disability?
  6. Requirements For Veterans Disability Pay
  7. Applying for VA Compensation Benefits
  8. Disability Ratings are Awarded on a Case by Case Basis
  9. Calculating Multiple VA Disability Ratings
  10. VA Disability Ratings Are Not Always Permanent
  11. A Change in Your Family Status Can Change Your VA Disability Payment
  12. Receive Your VA Disability Check Faster
  13. Who Should I Contact if I Have Questions About My Disability Rating?

The 2024 Cost of Living Adjustment for VA disability compensation comes in at 3.2%. You will see the pay increase beginning with your January VA disability compensation payment.

The following article explains VA Service-Connected Disability Ratings, discusses how VA disability compensation works and shows 2024 VA Disability Pay Rates and previous rates based on the veteran’s disability rating and the number of dependents.

Will Disabled Veterans Get a VA Pay Increase In 2024?

Yes. The current VA disability compensation rate will increase by 3.2%, in line with the Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) raise. The increase is lower than the 8.7% raise veterans received in 2023. See the charts below or use the VA disability pay calculator here.

2024 VA Disability Pay Charts

Veteran Only

The following rates cover only the veteran. We have also displayed the previous two years so you can see how your compensation has changed over time. See the charts below if you have a spouse, child(ren), or parents as dependents.

VA Rating2024 Rates2023 Rates2022 Rates
VA Service-Connected Disability Compensation Rates (Veteran Only)

Veterans: Are you under 90% rated?

Winning approval for military service-connected injuries and illnesses can be a challenging process. Be confident that you’re getting the compensation that you medically, legally, and ethically qualify for.

Answer a few quick questions to get the most accurate veteran disability rating that your conditions warrant here.

VA Disability Rates: 10% – 20% (No Dependents)

Note: If you have a 10% to 20% disability rating, you won’t receive a higher rate even if you have a dependent spouse, child, or parent.


VA Disability Rates: 30% – 60% Without Children

Dependent Status30%40%50%60%
Veteran Alone$524.31$755.28$1,075.16$1,361.88
Veteran with Spouse Only$586.31$838.28$1,179.16$1,486.88
Veteran with Spouse & One Parent$636.31$904.28$1,262.16$1,586.88
Veteran with Spouse and Two Parents$686.31$970.28$1,345.16$1,686.88
Veteran with One Parent$574.31$821.28$1,158.16$1,461.88
Veteran with Two Parents$624.31$887.28$1,241.16$1,561.88
Spouse Receiving Aid and Attendance$57$76$95$114

VA Disability Rates: 70% – 100% Without Children

Dependent Status70%80%90%100%
Veteran Alone$1,716.28$1,995.01$2,241.91$3,737.85
Veteran with Spouse Only$1,861.28$2,161.01$2,428.91$3,946.25
Veteran with Spouse and One Parent$1,978.28$2,294.01$2,578.91$4,113.51
Veteran with Spouse and Two Parents$2,095.28$2,427.01$2,728.91$4,280.77
Veteran with One Parent$1,833.28$2,128.01$2,391.91$3,905.11
Veteran with Two Parents$1,950.28$2,261.01$2,541.91$4,072.37
Spouse Receiving Aid and Attendance$134$153$172$191.14

VA Disability Rates: 30% – 60% With Children

Dependent Status30%40%50%60%
Veteran with Child Only$565.31$810.28$1,144.16$1,444.88
Veteran with Spouse and Child$632.31$899.28$1,255.16$1,577.88
Veteran with Spouse, One Parent and Child$682.31$965..28$1,338.16$1,677.88
Veteran with Spouse, Two Parents and Child$732.31$1,031.28$1,421.16$1,777.88
Veteran with One Parent and Child$615.31$876.28$1,227.16$1,544.88
Veteran with Two Parents and Child$665.31$942.28$1,310.16$1,644.88
Add for Each Additional Child Under Age 18$31$41$51$62
Each Additional Schoolchild Over Age 18 in a Qualifying School Program$100$133$167$200
Spouse Receiving Aid and Attendance$57$76$95$114

VA Disability Rates: 70% – 100% With Children

Dependent Status70%80%90%100%
Veteran with Child Only$1,813.28$2,106.01$2,366.91$3,877.22
Veteran with Spouse and Child$1,968.28$2,283.01$2,565.91$4,098.87
Veteran with Spouse, One Parent and Child$2,085.28$2,416.01$2,715.91$4,266.13
Veteran with Spouse, Two Parents and Child$2,202.28$2,549.01$2,865.91$4,433.39
Veteran with One Parent and Child$1,930.28$2,239.01$2,516.91$4,044.48
Veteran with Two Parents and Child$2,047.28$2,372.01$2,666.91$4,211.74
Add for Each Additional Child Under Age 18$72$82$93$103.55
Each Additional Schoolchild Over Age 18 in a Qualifying School Program$234$267$301$334.49
Spouse Receiving Aid and Attendance$134$153$172$191.14

Do Disabled Veterans Qualify for VA Home Loans?

Disabled veterans who have VA loan entitlement are eligible for a VA home loan. However, all active-duty military and veteran borrowers have multiple requirements to hit in order to fully qualify for a VA home loan, including meeting the service standards and a lender’s specific credit score minimum to residual income and acceptable debt-to-income ratio.

Check if you meet the official VA loan requirements here.

VA Disability Compensation COLA Raises

Note: Increases in VA Service-Connected Disability Rates are tied to the same Cost of Living Adjustments (COLA) provided by the Social Security Administration. These are the same rates the government uses for determining the cost of living increases for Social Security recipients, military retirees, and federal civilian retirees.

2014 was the first year the VA included amounts above a flat dollar amount. In previous years, the amount was rounded down to the nearest dollar. This change won’t make a huge difference now, but if the policy remains in place, it will compound over time.

Here are the most recent COLA raises:

YearAnnual Social Security COLA
Source: SSA.gov

About VA Disability Ratings and Compensation

If you were injured or became seriously ill while serving in the military, you may be eligible for certain veterans’ benefits, including VA disability compensation. The VA pays this benefit to certain military veterans who became ill or injured while serving on active duty.

Certain veterans may also be eligible for VA health care benefits.

What is a Service Connected Disability?

According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, VA Disability Compensation is:

a benefit paid to a veteran because of injuries or diseases that happened while on active duty, or were made worse by active military service. It is also paid to certain veterans disabled from VA health care. The benefits are tax-free.

Department of Veterans Affairs.

If you have a service-connected disability, you may be eligible to receive a monthly compensation payment. You may also be eligible to receive additional compensation if you have a service-connected rating of 30% or higher and have dependents, if you have missing limbs or if your spouse is living with a severe disability.

Requirements For Veterans Disability Pay

To be eligible for VA disability benefits or compensation, you must: 

  • Have served on active duty, active duty for training or inactive duty training and have a current illness or injury that affects your mind or body. 

Additionally, at least one of the following situations must be true: 

  • You got sick or injured while serving in the military and can link this condition to your illness or injury (called an inservice disability claim)
  • You had an illness or injury before you joined the military—and serving made it worse (called a preservice disability claim)
  • You have a disability related to your active-duty service that didn’t appear until after you separated from the military (called a post-service disability claim)
  • You have one of the VA’s “presumed disabilities:”
    • Chronic (long-lasting) illness that appeared within one year of your discharge
    • Illness caused by contact with contaminants (toxic chemicals) or other hazardous materials
    • Illness caused by time spent as a prisoner of war (POW)

When deciding on a disability claim, the VA considers the above eligibility requirements, as well as how your condition affects your daily life, activities and employability. 

Applying for VA Compensation Benefits

When applying for VA benefits, you must file a claim. Make sure to supply as much supporting information as possible, including how the injury or illness occurred, any medical treatment you received, current health status, and how your life has been affected by the injury or illness.

You will need to fill out VA Form 21-526, Veterans Application for Compensation and/or Pension, or apply online using VONAPP. Be sure to provide a copy of your DD Form 214.

Disability Ratings are Awarded on a Case by Case Basis

To rate a disability claim, the VA first tries to determine whether or not you sustained your illness or injury in military service. Then, they assign a rating for each illness or injury.

If the VA determines your injury or illness isn’t related to your military service or didn’t happen while you were in the military, they will deny your claim. If the VA approves your claim, they will assign it a rating between 0% – 100%.

A 0% rating shows there is an illness or injury that is connected to your military service, but it doesn’t warrant compensation at this time. It is still good to get a 0% rating compared to no service-connected link because if the condition worsens at a later date, you can apply to have your disability rating upgraded.

Veterans: Are you under 90% rated?

Winning approval for military service-connected injuries and illnesses can be a challenging process. Be confident that you’re getting the compensation that you medically, legally, and ethically qualify for.

Answer a few quick questions to get the most accurate veteran disability rating that your conditions warrant here.

Calculating Multiple VA Disability Ratings

The VA uses a special method for calculating multiple disabilities.

Here is a simplified example:

Example: If you have a 30% disability rating, the VA would multiply that against 100%, which is assumed to be good health. This gives you 30%. Subtract that from 100% which leaves you with 70% (consider this your new starting point for your health rating). Then subtract 70% from 100% and you are left with 30%. If that is your only disability, then your final VA Service-Connected Disability Rating is 30%.

If you have multiple ratings, you continue with the process, using your final number each time as your starting point. Continuing with our example, if your next rating is 10%, you would multiply 10% against 70%, which is 7%. You subtract that from 70%, which leaves you with 63%. Subtract 63% from 100% and you get 37%. Your disability rating is 37%, which rounds up to 40%.

It can get complicated quickly, so I have an in-depth article and podcast that explains how the VA calculates combined disability ratings. I highly recommend reading and/or listening to get a good idea of how the process works!

VA Disability Ratings Are Not Always Permanent

Many disability ratings are temporary. The VA retains the right to reexamine your disability rating at any time. If they wish to reexamine you, you will receive a Notice of Reexamination letter in the mail which will include a scheduled appointment date.

Make sure you attend this appointment or reschedule, as the VA can reduce or terminate your benefits rating if you fail to attend this scheduled appointment. After the VA reexamines your condition(s), it will make a recommendation to increase, decrease, or leave your benefit at its current rating.

There are times when your ratings may be protected, based on the type of disability, how long you have held the rating, your age or other factors.

Here’s more information on VA disability reexaminations and benefits reductions.

A Change in Your Family Status Can Change Your VA Disability Payment

Remember to contact the VA whenever you have a change in family status as your rates may change as well. 

If you have a 30% disability rating or higher and you are also supporting qualified dependents such as a spouse, child, or parent, you may be eligible to receive a higher VA disability payment.

If your disability rating is 20% or lower, changes in your family status should not affect your VA disability payment rates.

The VA will not know when there is a change in your family status, so you will need to inform them immediately when something changes, like a birth, wedding, a parent moving in with you, divorce, a child coming of age, or the death of a qualified dependent.

Inform the VA of a change as soon as possible.

The VA will sometimes backdate payments to make up for any shortfalls, like if you had to wait for your child to receive a social security number to report a new dependent.

In the case of the loss of an eligible dependent, your payment may decrease. The VA can recoup overpayments if you failed to notify the VA of a change in family status in a timely manner.

Receive Your VA Disability Check Faster

When you file your disability claim, be sure to give the VA the routing number to your bank so you can enroll in direct deposits. This is faster and more secure – and a requirement as of March 1, 2013. I recommend using a high yield savings account so you can earn more money through interest.

Call or visit your regional VA medical center with specific questions related to VA benefits.

Who Should I Contact if I Have Questions About My Disability Rating?

There are many organizations that specialize in helping veterans with their benefits and claims.

The first place to start is with the VA. VA representatives have access to your records and are the best source for up-to-date information.

However, the VA isn’t always the best place to get assistance with your claim, especially if you are filing an appeal after the VA denied your claim. In that case, I recommend contacting a veteran benefits counselor at your county VA office, or an organization such as the DAV, AMVETS, VFW, American Legion, or a similar Veteran Service Organization.

You can also use the Physical Evaluation Board Forum to anonymously ask questions about VA disabilities, ratings and the military medical board process.

If that doesn’t work, consider hiring a lawyer who specializes in VA disability claims. I don’t have any specific recommendations for lawyers, so please do your research before hiring a law office to represent you. At the minimum, you will want to ensure they specialize in military law, VA disability claims, social security disability claims, or similar types of law. As with all legal agreements, also make sure you understand the compensation structure.

Please note that while I have a solid understanding of how the VA disability system works, I am unable to answer specific questions regarding one’s VA disability claims or specific medical conditions. These questions should be addressed by the VA, your medical professionals, or a veterans benefits counselor.

Thank you for understanding, and thank you for your service!

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Reader Interactions


  1. Thomas Humiston says

    I am rated at 90% but unemployable and receive 100%.. If I marry would my wife continue to get my benefit ?

    • Doug Nordman says

      Thomas, your VA disability compensation would go from the 90% rate of “Veteran Alone” to the row for “Veteran with Spouse Only.”

      I’d recommend checking with a Veteran Service Officer to see whether your “Veteran with Spouse Only” compensation comes from the 100% column. You can find a VSO through your local VA clinic, or local chapters of the VFW, American Legion, DAV, or MOAA.

  2. Chris Northcott says

    My son recently graduated high school. I’m rated at 100% disability. Just recently they lowered my pay. Called to have it reinstated because he will be attending college full time. They said if he’s using the G.I.Bill they wouldn’t include him in the disability pay any longer. That it would be double dipping. Is this true?

    • Doug Nordman says

      I don’t know the answer, Chris, but here’s some background and suggestions.

      There is a section of federal dual compensation law from the 1960s that affects military pay and benefits:
      However over the last 25 years, parts of it have been repealed and other military laws have created many exemptions to this situation.

      You earned your GI Bill and you’ve already paid for that as well as been rated for your VA disability compensation, so it seems that you’d merit both.

      I’d talk with a Veteran Service Officer to see if they can quote you a specific policy (from the VA website or a handbook) or a more specific federal law. If the VSO isn’t sure then I’d consult a lawyer about the federal laws for the VA benefits in Chapters 35 and 38.

      You could also talk with the VSO about whether your son should be using your GI Bill or your Chapter 35 benefits (Dependents Educational Assistance).

      Finally, the solution might be as simple as documenting that your son is attending college. You could upload his university’s attendance letter to your eBenefits account

      • Lori says

        Not sure where you’re from but if you’re having trouble finding your VSO, you can always contact your patient advocate at your VA medical center, they are a great resource. If is a smaller one, they will get you in contact with the “main hub” to find your local or nearest VSO to help you get this matter straightened out and get you the help all the way through that you need.
        Good luck!

  3. carlos mercado says

    i have a 70% with a100% permanent and total unemployability for 8 years what benefits is my wife entitle to


      Champ VA healthcare benefits and I think there are some education benefits too. I’m newly P&T and trying to figure out all my benefits.

  4. Godwin Barley says

    I am in the Reserves, and I am currently 20% rated. During my PHA, I told them I was having lower back pain and they blew me off. I went to a civilian doctor, and X-Rays came back showing moderate degeneration of my lower spine. How can I upgrade my rating and does anyone know typically what percent that would be?

    • Doug Nordman says

      Godwin, the best recommendation I have is to work with a Veteran Service Officer, who’s probably helped file dozens of updated claims

      You could find a VSO with your local chapter of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, or Disabled American Vets, or the American Legion, or even MOAA. You can learn more about VSOs at the VA’s website:
      and use their directory to search their Regional Benefit Offices:

      Your state government’s Veterans Affairs branch may also be able to help find a VSO or claims lawyer in your area.

      We don’t have the resources, knowledge, or experience to estimate how your VA disability rating would change. A VSO might be able to discuss their experience.

  5. peter gregory says

    30% disability rating awarded in 2016, almost 8 years after I retired. A process indeed, and far smarter people than I have written books on the VA disability process. Two takeaways though.

    If your VSO or case worker cares more about your package than you, expect a certain result. You need to own your case and process to that end. “No” or “Denied” is never the final answer if you do not want it to be. It took eight years to change a “No” to a “Yes.” Other cases took far shorter, other cases far longer. And I think most of us assume we present a very strong case for the maximum awards, but at the end of the day there are other things in our power to control that we can change money wise. Because at the end of the day its a matter of how much money you have in your pocket at the end of every month.

    In the last few years I have done the following to yield far more after tax income than the $500 or so 30% with spouse I get every month.

    -Refi the house

    -Cut the cable, in the NE anyone with Comcast knows that story

    -Renegotiate both Auto and Life insurance with USAA. Yes what they charge you for both is never a closed book, pick up the phone and call.

    -Change your electric/utility provider. In a state like PA you have about 30 options any given year.

    -And the big one for military retirees before Medicare: What are you paying for health care?

    These changes over the last 3 years have increased what we keep about $600/month year over year— independent from any VA award process.

  6. Aj kitchen says

    I am 100% service connected and so is my husband. Our children are all grown and I’m wondering why his amount is 3,600/month and mine is 3,200/month?

    • Doug Nordman says

      Johnie, in 2020 your compensation will vary from $627.61 to $783.61 per month depending on whether your family is just you or a spouse, one child, and dependent parents. Additional compensation is included for additional children.

      If you’re receiving a military pension then you’re required to waive that amount of your (taxable) pension for the (tax-free) VA disability compensation.

  7. Robert R. Hampton says

    After many years working with my VSO and other DAV Personnel I finely received my Letter stating I have a combined evaluation of 100% and I am receiving service-connected disability compensation from the Department of Veteran Affairs, (I had been appealing a denial of benefits due to denial of a link to Agent Orange). These was implemented March 01, 2020, and had become effective on December 06, 2011. I had originally filed under myself only. I just recently filed to have my spouse covered as we were married in ’76. This was awarded along the same line. It was brought to my attention that, out of my 4 kids, Two of them were under the age of 23, in college after my effective date , one for 11 months in that period of time and the other for 35 months during the time I became elegable and they turned 23,respectfully. Do I have an opportunity to request benefits based on these months of plausible coverage?

    • Doug Nordman says

      That’s correct, Robert, your VA benefits are adjusted for eligible children– up to the age of 18 or (if they’re unmarried full-time college students) the age of 23.

      Your VSO can help you add your children to your eBenefits account with their dates of birth and their college dates. You’d have to document their full-time college with an attendance letter from their admissions office certifying that they were full-time students during those dates.

      Then your VSO would be able to help you research the compensation that you were due for those months and adjust the total amount of your retroactive benefits.

      • Doug Nordman says

        That’s a very good question, Aj. If you’re asking about the compensation tables, they’re gender-neutral. If you haven’t already checked them, they’re listed here:

        More details of the calculations are here:
        It might be possible that he’s receiving more disability compensation from the VA’s statement that:
        “You may be paid additional amounts, in certain instances, if:
        … you have a seriously disabled spouse.”

        If you haven’t already, I’d check both of your most recent VA disability ratings letters to ensure that the factors are the same.

        I understand that your family is all grown, but I’d also check each of your eBenefits profiles for errors in the “spouse, parents, and children” data. If any of your childrens’ birth dates are incorrect then the VA might think they’re still under 18 years old.

  8. reighn9 says

    How/where do I find a VA compensation rate table for effective dates 01/01/1990 through 10/31/2011? Pre-12/01/1999 are not on the VA website in historical rate tables.

    • Doug Nordman says

      Good question, Reighn9, I haven’t been able to find anything online either.

      My apologies if you’ve already thought of these three suggestions:
      1. Check with a Veteran Service Officer or your local VA clinic/regional office. That compensation information might not be on a search-indexed server but it may be in a database or a PDF which could be sent to you.
      2. Talk with your local chapters of the VFW, DAV, and American Legion. They might have files or newsletters going back that far.
      3. (Most painful.) Look up the legislation. The annual appropriations acts will either provide a compensation table or an inflation adjustment for you to derive your own tables.

  9. john says

    My daughter is 15 and was born with Cerebral Palsy. She can not walk independently and relies on her wheel chair or walker. I am currently 70 percent disabled. When she turns 18, will I still receive benefits for her and what is the best way to start the process of notifying ebenefits and the VA now, to avoid any problems when she turns 18?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello John, The best thing to do is to contact the VA and have them walk you through the paperwork to ensure the VA will continue to recognize your child as a dependent. You may need to recertify or reverify every so often, but I am not positive how that process works. The VA can provide more information.

      I wish you the best, and thank you for your service.

  10. Kevin says

    December 4, 2019 at 5:57 PM
    We just lost my mother so I was looking online to see what my fathers new rate of pay will be. He is 100% disabled. He was just recently declared legally blind. Will that make difference in his disability pay?

    Hi Diane,

    I will say since your mother passed away your dad’s disability pay will decrease by $150 or so and also since he has been declared legally blind he should qualify for AID AND ATTENDANCE but you got to take him along with the medical write up showing he is legally blind to a VA rep nearest you and then they fill out the application and submit it to the VA along with your dad’s doctor’s write up and that is like $2300 additional to what he is getting for being 100% disabled through the VA, dont wait for take him to see a local VA rep asap and get it done..

  11. Kevin says

    August 6, 2019 at 5:11 PM
    I have a student loan from prior to my military service. Im a disabled vet with 90% rating. Is there a way to decrease or dismiss this student loan?

    Hi Linda if you have a student loan and want it to be forgiven then you must be at 100% disability rating and then fill out the federal student loan forgivness form and then send those docs in and then not only will your loan be forgiven all the payments you made will be refunded back to you as well…

  12. Kevin says

    October 2, 2019 at 8:35 PM
    I was just awarded a 70% rating for PTSD am I eligible for unemployable disability also

    Hi Randy here is what you need to do and get- If you have or intending to get a rating for PTSD here is the magical thing you need to do!!! You need a letter written up by either a VA Mental Health Psychiatrist or a civilian Psychiatrist and within that letter he/she needs to have in it (magical words) Chronic Severe PTSD and Totally Unemployable!!!!!!! When the Psychiatrist writes up this type of letter for you and signs it then you submit it to VA for a disability rating and you will be rated at 100% hands down!!! If you are at lets say at a 30% rating for PTSD you then submit for an appeal and send that letter with the appeal to the VA rating board and you will be getting a new rating of 100% and totally unemployable!!! after that you be able to get many benefits like no more property taxes that you file at your county township and if you wear some sort of a brace but it must have metal in it then you will be eligible for clothing allowance as well which is paid to you once a year but you need to go to prostetics dept and get with the person in charge of that to fill out the clothing allowance for you and submit it for you, then you be on static status for life to where you no longer have to fill out the clothing allowance form each year because it will be automatically be EFT into your checking account, I for one went years fighting for and increase for PTSD and when you go for the C&P exam the mental health doctor will come out and try to trick you by saying- Hi i am doctor so and so how are you doing today- and being off guard you going to say i am doing ok and you made eye contact and then as soon as you walk into his little office he writes down- the veteran shook my hand, made eye contact, and said he is doing ok now when he/she does that you just as well might stop get up and walk out because the VA will look at that and say he said he is doing ok and he made eye contact-you get what I am saying to my fellow vets?

  13. Kevin says

    If you have or intending to get a rating for PTSD here is the magical thing you need to do!!! You need a letter written up by either a VA Mental Health Psychiatrist or a civilian Psychiatrist and within that letter he/she needs to have in it (magical words) Chronic Severe PTSD and Totally Unemployable!!!!!!! When the Psychiatrist writes up this type of letter for you and signs it then you submit it to VA for a disability rating and you will be rated at 100% hands down!!! If you are at lets say at a 30% rating for PTSD you then submit for an appeal and send that letter with the appeal to the VA rating board and you will be getting a new rating of 100% and totally unemployable!!! after that you be able to get many benefits like no more property taxes that you file at your county township and if you wear some sort of a brace but it must have metal in it then you will be eligible for clothing allowance as well which is paid to you once a year but you need to go to prostetics dept and get with the person in charge of that to fill out the clothing allowance for you and submit it for you, then you be on static status for life to where you no longer have to fill out the clothing allowance form each year because it will be automatically be EFT into your checking account, I for one went years fighting for and increase for PTSD and when you go for the C&P exam the mental health doctor will come out and try to trick you by saying- Hi i am doctor so and so how are you doing today- and being off guard you going to say i am doing ok and you made eye contact and then as soon as you walk into his little office he writes down- the veteran shook my hand, made eye contact, and said he is doing ok now when he/she does that you just as well might stop get up and walk out because the VA will look at that and say he said he is doing ok and he made eye contact-you get what I am saying to my fellow vets?

  14. Diane Pederson says

    We just lost my mother so I was looking online to see what my fathers new rate of pay will be. He is 100% disabled. He was just recently declared legally blind. Will that make difference in his disability pay?

  15. Joseph McGrath says

    I retired in dec 93 with 30% disability from the Marines and 20% from the VA, In April 2019 I submitted a request for reevaluation of disability from the VA it just came back with a rating of 80%. ($1631.69) I was receiving ($276.84) which was deducted from my retired pay. Will the new amount also be deducted from my retired pay or does CRDP or CRSC apply? Thanks for the info in advance

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Joseph, Based on the provided information, you should be eligible for Concurrent Receipt, meaning you would receive both your full military retirement pay and your VA disability pay without offset. You can read more about this here.

      I wish you the best, and thank you for your service.

  16. Mel-Mel says

    V.A said I owe 30k because they took my dependents off going all the way back to 2007, they wanted address and dates that due to the nature of my disability I can not remember. Me and my wife have been separated going on 6/7 years she isnt cooperative in helping recall the information I need. Plus I have a 9 yr old that I never added to my deers… I grew frustrated with the process and just let them take the 30k over 3yrs. At first I just dropped all my dependents and they said fine. But a year later is when they came back and said we’re going back to 2007..

    I’ve heard that once they start taking a large portion of your benefits that its next to impossible to stop it.

    I dont have the energy to fight the Gov, they always win anyways..

    • Doug Nordman says

      I’m sorry to read about that, Mel.

      I’d suggest that you work with a local Veteran Service Officer or your state Veterans Administration office. You can find a VSO through your local chapters of the Disabled American Veterans, the American Legion, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, or even MOAA. Their services are free to you, and so are the services from your state vet’s office.

      They’ll help you gather the documentation for straightening out your family benefits, and then help you recoup the money that you’ve already earned and paid for.

  17. leo mendoza says

    Hi I’m receiving va compensation. I would like to know if I can still claim my 19 year old son? He is in prep military college since august of 2019. what do I need to do? Thank you.

    • Doug Nordman says

      Good question, Leo! When he’s a full-time student then you can claim him for your VA disability compensation eligibility up through age 23. Here’s the requirement from the VA’s website at:
      Children (including biological children, step children, and adopted children) who are unmarried and either:
      – Under the age of 18
      – Between the ages of 18-23 and attending school full-time, or
      – Who were seriously disabled before the age of 18

      I strongly recommend using eBenefits to update your claim info. Here’s an in-depth video on adding your son through eBenefits, including supplying information about the school and his program:

      You could also submit a stack of paper forms or use a local Veteran Service Officer, but eBenefits is generally worth the occasional hassle & frustration.

  18. Matt says

    My Dad receives VA disability compensation at the married rate. My Mom argues with him that the VA gives him the extra amount for her, and that he is supposed to give it to her each month. The VA originally and mistakenly approved his claim at the single rate. After sending the VA proof of marriage, they updated his disability compensation to the married rate. They also sent a letter explaining the correction, and the increased amount of disability for being married, which my Mom interprets as “her money” that my Dad should give to her each month. I had found an internet article some time ago, stating the reasons why the extra “married amount” is not money the VA is giving to the spouse, but money for the veteran because they are married. They are elderly and I’m trying to put this to rest to stop the bickering. I would sincerely appreciate it if you could offer an explanation, a link from the VA, or any type of justification I can show to my Mom to prove the VA did not send that letter to tell my Dad he has to give the the “married portion” of his disability each month. Sincerely, Matt

  19. Shannon Beach says

    If my husband was in the military and married with one child when he was discharged and originally awarded his disability but has since divorced her and their child is now over 18 but we have married and had a child of our own, can he still claim the married with one child? He’s been receiving single pay for over 10 years while we’ve been married.

  20. Linda Swarny says

    I have a student loan from prior to my military service. Im a disabled vet with 90% rating. Is there a way to decrease or dismiss this student loan?

  21. Jesse Craig Haugh says

    So, I was just informed there is a different payment rate for single, and married with child. I’m currently receiving disability at the single status, when I’ve been married, with children since before I joined the military. Who do I contact to have my status changed, and to get back pay initiated?

  22. jim says

    if i die will my wife still get any compensation? 90%, out for 16 years, married 10 years.

  23. Hector says

    I am a disabled veteran. I got hurt in 1974 and 1975 and I received a disability rating of 10%.

    How can I improve my disability rating? Can you point me in the right direction and the right person?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Lori, Thank you for your comment. This sounds like a situation that warrants individual attention beyond what can be provided via email.

      I recommend speaking with someone who can review his specific situation and offer personalized assistance (this is not something we are qualified to provide).

      The best thing to do is to contact a veterans benefits counselor at the VA or county VA office, or with a Veterans Service Organization such as the DAV, AMVETS, American Legion, VFW, etc. They have counselors who offer free, individualized claims assistance.

      I wish you and your son the best!

    • Randy crouch says

      I was just awarded a 70% rating for PTSD am I eligible for unemployable disability also

  24. Tyler says

    Great roll-up on the 2019 VA compensation and a good over all explanation of how disability works with military retirement. I’m not quite there yet but know some guys who are. I’ll pass it on.

    • Lori Stone says

      My son just got an increase for mental health, many issues they balled together, and went from 30% to 70% that was the only change. He was at 80% disability overall, somehow hes at 90% now????
      He also put in a claim for IU? Dont know decision, will it show on ebenefits? Hes still waiting on his ‘package ‘ of paperwork to come in mail. But it’s only been 3 months n he got a decision, he was also told he would be receiving a monthly SMC due to his high mental health issues.
      But amt he got in acct today leaves us baffled. ( I help him with finances, Bill’s, medication, appts, etc.)

      Any info you can offer???

      • Doug Nordman says

        Jesse, the simplest method would be logging in to your eBenefits account and adding your family members.

        Since you may be eligible for back pay, you might want to visit your local Veteran Service Officer and figure out how far back the VA will go. They can also add your family members, and they may want to see marriage certificates & birth certificates.

      • Doug Nordman says

        Hector, I’d start by visiting a Veteran Service Officer for a review of what’s been done and what needs to be done. You could start with a copy of your VA claim file (if you have your C-file) and your DD-214 discharge paper, and later add your service & medical records.

        You can find a VSO at a local VA clinic or local chapters of the American Legion, the DAV, the VFW, or even MOAA. You might also be able to get help from your state’s veterans benefits agency– state benefits as well as the VA’s federal benefits.

        The “Related Content” links up in that post have more information about submitting a claim and updating it.

      • Doug Nordman says

        That’s a tough question, Tom, and I can’t find a straightforward answer. You’ll need to consult a Veteran Service Officer, a JAG, or a lawyer who’s familiar with veteran’s benefits.

        Your parent is a dependent when you’re supporting them, but the financial qualifications for additional disability compensation are based on both income and assets. In addition, there’s a separate program of Dependents and Indemnity Compensation for the parents of a deceased veteran. Both are mentioned in the Code of Federal Regulations for Title 38 of U.S. Code:
        but it’s hard to tell which sections apply to veteran’s disability compensation (with dependent parents) or the surviving parents’ DIC of a deceased veteran.

        The basic definition is on the VA’s website:
        “Parents, who are in your direct care and whose income and net worth are below the limit set by law.”

        A parent’s application is not handled by eBenefits but rather has to be filed with VA Form 21P-509.
        Before you spend the time filling out the form, it’s possible that a VSO (or the lawyers) will have the latest guidelines on accounting for the parent’s income & assets.

      • Doug Nordman says

        Jorge, what 2018 chart are you comparing the rates to? The rates on this post’s 2019 tables are at least 2.8% higher than the 2018 rates.

        In 2018 my VA disability compensation (30% rating, no kids) was $466.15. In 2019 it’s going up to $479.83.

        What disability rate are you searching for? How much was your last compensation deposit?

      • Heather Smith says

        For starters you need to do an Intent to file. Then you will have 1 year from that date to get th VA Regional office the correct paperwork and then they will start working on your claim for increase.

        You can go to the Regional office, any service organization, or your local VAMC to start both. At the VAMC you will talk to a service organization there. Hope this helps

      • Heather Smith says

        You will not get back pay to the time that you got out unless you just got out and its within your 1 year of getting your Notification letter. It states in that letter you are being paid at a single rate, so if your passed that 1 year mark, unfortunately you lost that back pay. You can go onto benefits or call 1800827100 and they can be added over the phone and know right then if you need to upload documents. Again if your are past that 1 year mark, it will take effect the day you contact the VA.

  25. Ryan Guina says

    Thank you for reading this article! Please note that I have closed the comments section on this article. There are over 700 comments on this article – most of which deal with very specific situations. Unfortunately, I am unable to answer specific questions regarding one’s VA disability claims or specific medical conditions.

    The best course of action is to contact a veterans benefits counselor at your county VA office, or an organization such as the DAV, AMVETS, VFW, American Legion, or similar Veteran Service Organizations.

    These organizations have trained benefits counselors who should be able to review your personal and medical situation and provide a better answer to your question than I can provide. Most VSOs offer these services free of charge.

    Alternatively, if you prefer to use the anonymity of the Internet, you can use the Physical Evaluation Board Forum, which offers an excellent community that offers advice on VA disabilities, ratings, and the military medical board process.

    Please use our Contact Form to notify us of any editorial changes that need to be addressed in this article. Please do not send personal questions related to VA disability benefits or reexamination notices. Unfortunately, I will not be able to answer them.

    Thank you for understanding, and thank you for your service!

  26. John says

    A friend of mine has been told by the VA that his Non-Hodgins’s Lymphoma (NHL), due to exposure to Agent Orange-type herbicides while serving in Vietnam, is SC. However, he was given a 0% benefit rating. He is @ 70 yrs. old and is retired. His surgeries and radiation treatment for NHL were completed @ 10 years ago. His VA disability application is about one year old. I thought a SC disability for NHL meant the applicant would be some level of payment benefits. Am I correct? I urged him to appeal the VA’s decision. Thank you.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello John, Your friend should contact the VA for an explanation of benefits. They should send him an award letter explaining his condition, the service-connected disability rating, and what it means. He will also receive a packet explaining his benefits.

      The VA also sends out a form for appealing a decision when they send award letters or make any changes to benefits. So your friend can appeal the decision at any time if he believes an upgrade is warranted. I would recommend he contact his county VA office or a Veterans Service Organization such as the DAV, AMVETS, American Legion, VFW, or similar organization. They have trained benefits counselors that can offer free claims assistance.

      As for his specific condition and rating, I don’t have a firm answer. Some ratings can be downgraded or given a 0% rating if or when the underlying medical condition(s) improve. In this instance, you mentioned he had NHL and received treatment 10 years ago. If there are no longer signs of this condition, then the VA may have determined it warrants a 0% rating at the moment. However, this 0% rating also means the VA acknowledges there is a service-connection, which makes it easier to apply for an upgrade if his condition later changes.

      Again, I cannot speak for this specific situation, only the possibility of what may have happened. Your friend should take this up with the VA or a veterans benefits counselor.

      I hope this is helpful. I wish your friend the best of health and I thank you both for your service!

  27. Alexander P Potts says

    In 2013 I was rated 50% for PTSD & 0% for back. In 2018 I filed for the exact same issues, PTSD & back. I was awarded 70% for PTSD and 0% for back. Any chance to get a portion of back pay since it’s for the same 2013 diagnosis? Also, I never filed an appeal for my back, I’ve just been denied twice bc they can’t link it to service connection. I’m filing my first appeal for my back, bc after reading their decision its obvious they’re not taking into account the car wreck in Iraq that put me in the hosiptal for a week. I’m confident I can either find more evidence about the wreck or get at least 10%-20% during the appeals process. I know, wishful thinking. But say I get a rating for it, any back payments since it’s for the same exact type of claim they denied in 2013?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Alexander, These are great questions. I’ll do my best to answer, but you should verify specifics with the VA.

      Regarding the PTSD ratings – the VA has strict criteria for what constitutes each PTSD rating. So they likely viewed your 2013 and 2018 applications differently. If that is the case, then you would have had to have appealed the 2013 decision and have been awarded an increased rating at that time to receive back pay. I don’t know if you can receive back pay for the new rating that was given in 2018.

      That said, this is something you should verify with the VA or a veterans service organization.

      As for your back injury – you should absolutely find documentation of your car wreck and hospitalization – that will be instrumental toward your potential rating. You should also file an appeal. It’s possible it is too late to file an appeal for the 2013 decision. So you would need to file an appeal for the most recent decision in 2018.

      Regarding the date of pay and back pay —

      If you are awarded a disability rating, the VA generally only awards compensation to the date of the application. If your application is denied and you appeal their decision and are later awarded a rating, then you would usually be awarded back pay to the date of the application.

      But in your case, I don’t know if you would be able to appeal the 2013 decision since so much time has elapsed. If you appeal the 2018 decision and are awarded a rating, then you would likely receive back pay to the date of your 2018 application.

      Again, I recommend working with a veterans benefits counselor at your county VA office, the VA, or through a Veterans Service Organization such as the DAV, AMVETS, etc.

      I wish you the best, and thank you for your service!

  28. Eddie G says

    I separated from the Marine Corps in 2009. While I was in I suffered an ankle injury, which still bothers me to this day, as well as having patellar tendinitis in both of my knees, as documented in my military records. I was told before I left that I wouldn’t be eligible for anything, but I need to know if that’s ACTUALLY the case. And if I am eligible, what rating would be chosen?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Eddie, You may be eligible for a VA disability rating based on any injury or illness that occurred or was made worse while serving on active duty. But no one can give you a possible rating via email – the only way to know for certain is to apply for VA disability compensation. You can do so online, at the VA, or with the assistance of a Veterans Service Organization. Many VSOs have trained benefits counselors that offer free benefits claims assistance. I would start with one of those and go from there. I wish you the best, and thank you for your service!

  29. Rodney Searight says

    i retired 24 years ten percent disability for high blood pressure as a result of the high pressure i was put on dialysis three times a week am i eligible for an increase

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Rodney, It is possible but I cannot say for certain. The best thing to do is to apply for an increase in benefits. You will need to contact the VA to do this. Or you can contact a veterans benefits counselor at a Veterans Service Organization such as the DAV, AMVETS, VFW, American Legion, etc. I wish you the best, and thank you for your service!

  30. Bobby Jimmy says

    What is the proper course of action if the 2019 COLA has not showed up on our checks? I thought mine looked fairly similar to the previous month, but a review of my bank accounts showed the same check each month for most of the year.

  31. Jones says

    Thanks for this thread and helping so many Vets with complicated questions!

    I had a rating of 0% in 2010 and am now looking to re-apply and hopefully have the rating increased. I’m living outside the US and wondering if I need to go back to my home state to the VA office there? Any idea how long this would take (would I need to move back home while in this process?).

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Jones, I do not know if you are required to move back to the US, but you would need to be available to visit a VA medical center for your examination and any possible reexaminations. I recommend contacting the VA for more specific information. I wish you the best, and thank you for your service!

  32. Darcy Henriquez says

    Question I have a 90 percent Disability rating from the VA am I eligible to get a DoD retired ID Card

  33. Vern says

    If husband and wife are veterans and they both receive VA connected compensation. If one of the spouses passes. Will the remaining spouse receive their spouses compensation?

    • thomas j. thomas says

      i recived back pay to 1976 due to the va not getting my military record along with my medical records. i recived a medical discharge in 1957. i recived over $ 800,000 in back pay

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Vern,

      No, the survivor is not eligible for monthly VA disability compensation. However, there may be certain other benefits if the veteran passed away due to complications from their VA service-connected disabilities. You would need to contact the VA to learn more.

      I wish you the best, and thank you for your service!

  34. Roger says

    Hello, perhaps you can provide a clarification irt the current rate table. The numbers in the 2019 rate table don’t add up. In other words, they are not a full 2.8% increase. Just taking a figure at random, say the 90% rating with Dependent from 2018 at $1,932.68. A 2.8% COLA increase is $1,986.80 instead of the $1,986.62 listed in the table for 2019. Try this with any of the other amounts….not one value in the 2019 rate table is an exact 2.8% increase over the 2018 value. In years past the calculation was exact…but this seems to no longer be the case. Is the VA applying some new bizarre formula in order to arrive at the skewed numbers?

    Thank you and Happy Holidays.


  35. Erica says

    Hi there Happy holidays.. a bit of an odd question but I was wondering do we get our service connection check on the 1st or Friday cause new years is a holiday?

    Thank you in advance
    Happy New year
    Best Erica Manson

    • collins says

      official pay date is December 31st. However depending on your bank, you may see money a little earlier.

  36. Thinh tra says

    I’m files my in June 2017 . I comeback a most a year later to ask him what’s my status and I find out somehow the guy fax my documents to the VES is missing some pages. Now I’m received 50% . Cam I get back pay in 2017?

  37. Roosevelt says

    I’m currently receiving 60% disability from VA. That said, I’ve been trying to get my percentage increased for a number of years now with no success. I severely broke my nose in basic training (1980) and had out-patient surgery at Eisenhower Army Medical Center (EAMC). Although, I had sinus problems prior to retiring from the military. Military doctors/PA indicated that I just had allergy problems. So when I retired, I did not get a rating on this injury. However, years later a ENT doctor did a CT sinus scan noticed that I had past trauma to my nose and sinus cavity. I’ve since had surgery but continue to have sinus issues. To wrap this up, this injury never made it to my health records. I called EAMC to get my records and they indicated that all records after a certain date were transferred to the national archives. I checked with the National Personnel Records Center and VA and they do not have anything from EAMC. When I filed my VA claim, it was denied due to insufficient proof. VA asked if someone in my basic training unit could write a letter if they remembered the incident. I have not seen or talked to anyone in basic training in over 30+ years. So does anyone know what I can do? I’m at my wits end with VA. Thanks in advance!

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Roosevelt, Thank you for your comment. From my understanding, the VA needs some form of proof to verify the injury or illness occurred on active duty. This is most commonly found in medical records, but can also come in the form of a written statement from a witness or someone who is aware of the event.

      Beyond that, I’m not sure what your options are. I recommend working directly with a veterans claims counselor at an organization such as the DAV, AMVETS, American Legion, etc. I wish you the best, and thank you for your service!

  38. Fernando says

    Thank you for your support for the military and veterans. I am 100% service-connected. I just wanted to share some advice for active duty and vets with mental health disabilities as far as correctly and lawfully filing compensation claims that may possibly give positive results. Documentation!! Always document yourself!! When you have issues, go to your military medical (active duty) or the VA for veterans and have them document your crisis/ailments!! Also, equally important and something that WILL help you and that I have followed all rules and regs from is the Federal Veterans Laws, Rules and Regulations manual and from the Veterans Benefits Manual. Both are from the National Veterans Legal Services Program and LexisNexis. The manuals cost a little bit but will assist you properly when preparing yourself for and filing a compensation claim. They are both very well worth the purchase. But always remember, “Documentation”.

  39. Roger W Robinson says

    I have a 100% PT and 10% hearing loss. I just read here where Sleep Apnea is disability of up to 50%? I have been on a CPAP for over 10 years. If I were to apply for this would this affect my current monthly award?


    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Roger, It never hurts to add a medical condition to your VA disability claim. But the maximum you can receive is still 100%. If you are already receiving 100% disability, then you cannot receive more than that.

      That said, you should always document all medical conditions that occurred or were made worse during your military service.

      I wish you the best, and thank you for your service!

      • collins says

        yes however, there exists certain schedulers that warrants /grants additional pay depending on the disability. For example: Loss of use of ____. You may receive additional pay but your percentage will never go beyond 100%.

  40. STEVE FALK says


    • Henry says

      Short answer, YES. Quoted from the Vet Services Rep Handbook “Some conditions need not actually manifest during service to be linked to service—i.e. In-service noise-induced hearing loss, cancer caused by exposure to radiation in service, and post-traumatic stress disorder resulting from an in-service trauma.” Basically, you’ll need to get your provider to write a “Nexus statement” that shows that the dreams are “as likely as not” connected to the in-service trauma. Handbook can be found here. Hope this helps. Thank you for your service.

  41. tiffany keys says

    So I was involuntarily separated in SEP and received separation pay. I am currently 100% PERMANTELY disabled. Do I have to pay the separation pay back?

  42. Dale says

    i had surgery on my left knee in 1974 at lettermam army Hospital i a renjury and a full knee replacement now i only have 15% range of motion do i qualify for VA benefits

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Dale, You may be eligible. To find out, you would need to file a disability claim with the VA. You can do so directly with the VA. However, since so much time has passed, you may find it easier to have someone assist you with your claim.

      You can often find free assistance from a veterans benefits counselor at your county VA office, or through some of the major non-profit veterans service organizations, such as the DAV, AMVETS, VFW, American Legion, etc.

      I wish you the best, and thank you for your service!

  43. rick smith says

    I have a strange question. I am 100% service connected disabled. Do I lose my disability if I take college classes online and does the VA pay for them? I do not want to get a degree for work purposes but just for personal satisfaction. Thanks in advance, Rick.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Rick, No, you should not lose your disability rating for taking college classes. The VA normally pays for college courses through the GI Bill. However, disabled veterans may be eligible to use the Vocational Rehab program to take courses or career training. That said, the intent of Voc Rehab is to obtain a job in a new career field. So you would need to create a career plan and work with a counselor to set up a plan for education and training that will lead to a job.

      My recommendation is to contact the VA or a benefits counselor that can help you walk through your options. You can call anonymously if you wish, however, it is best to give the VA your information when you make the call so they can look up the exact benefits you are eligible for.

      I hope this is helpful. I wish you the best, and thank you for your service!

    • Ryan Guina says

      Roy, in this case, back pay is generally awarded to the date of the initial claim. However, I would verify with the VA to ensure their policies.

  44. Larry Iloff says


    I just received my rating for the first time, it is 30 percent, I have major back problems and sciatica that wasn’t considered service connected because it wasn’t in my service records, only in my civilian records. I have good documentation on my DBQ’s plus a statement from my wife and my surgeon was in the U.S. Army medical corps. I can’t believe that I wasn’t rated for those. I had my C&P exam on November 23rd and case was completed on November 29th here in the Phoenix, Arizona office. I am now going to appeal this what are my chances? Thanks

  45. Samuel Tate says

    Hi,I was service in 91 and 20% for gout but never rated for degenative joint desease now I claim it different. AM I eligible for back pay cause they combine them together .

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Samuel, VA service-connected disability compensation back pay is usually only granted to your separation date if filed within a year of leaving the military, or to the date you filed your disability claim if it was filed more than a year after separating from the military.

      I hope this is helpful. I wish you the best, and thank you for your service!

  46. Ed says

    1) if a service member does 20+ years of active duty, they retire, draw benefits immediately
    2) if a service member does X years of active duty, then gets out, does Y years in a reserve component, when X + Y = 20 or more years, they retire, and draw benefits at age 60+
    3) if a service member does 20+ years in a reserve component, and retires, they draw benefits at age 60+
    4) if a service member has 20+ years of service, is eligible for retirement, becomes injured, they can draw concurrent benefits

    my problem. I did 6 years of active duty, got out, did 8+ years in the reserves (all good years with required number of “points”), after 9/11, went back active duty, did just over 8 years , became injured, I had over 20+ years of federal service, I would have been eligible to draw retirement,
    This is the problem, it seems that when you retire from “active” duty, they “convert” the reserve time to active duty time, and you actualy loose time in service, they credited me with only 18 years of service, will not draw full retirement, nor concurrent benefits, is this just a nature of the beast or is this a “fixable” situation.

    • Dave Irontail says

      Oh man. Genuine ‘loose’ time is the worse, amiright?
      Get a grip, brother. You need to tighten down.
      Yeah, I know you ain’t gonna publish this response. NP. Just wanted to say: “Thank YOU Ryan, for your military service, and for this website”. What a wonderful and well thought out site, brimming with great advice for fellow vets! Hand Salute, Brother!

  47. James Allbright says

    Does any one know the VA Disability Center’s phone number for the adjustment in compensation for divorce? Who do I call so I dont get ******* from over collecting.

  48. James Michael Robinette says

    I’m getting ready to move a few miles just across the state line. I’m a 100% disabled veteran. Will I lose my disability compensation if I move across the state line?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello James, You will not lose any federal VA benefits if you move across a state line. You will want to look into any state benefits that you may be receiving now or that you might be eligible for in your new location. One common benefit is homestead tax exemptions for disabled veterans. I wish you the best, and thank you for your service!

      • Michael Lizotte says

        Veterans out there with 100% Disability.
        You can also apply for Social Security if you haven’t worked in a year. You will need a letter from a dr. stating you haven’t for a year, and you no longer can work. If you get denied 2 or 3 times you will need a good (local) Social Security lawyer, make sure that’s all they do. It can take years for this to run the course.
        You can also get a discount on land taxes with your Va disability.

  49. David Keretz says

    I have been receiving 10% compensation for 6 years and i have recently been awarded 70% compensation for a different claim.I was wondering if my total compensation increases to 80% or do I just receive the higher amount of 70% that I have just been awarded?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Kenneth, you can contact the VA customer service line. They can look up your claim and help you understand your rating, which medical conditions are rated and how much, and help you understand which benefits you are eligible to receive. You should also be able to find this information on the VA’s eBenefits website. I wish you the best, and thank you for your service!

  50. Ike says

    Good morning, my mother is a VET from the army and she’s suffers from manic depression from being in the military… we never knew that she was eligible to receive any type of compensation from the VA… she had last left the army I believe in or around 1989 on an honorary discharge… my question, if and when we go to apply for her to receive compensation, would see be entitled to any type of back compensation from when she left the reserves or would they only go by the date that she first filed a claim???

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Ike, Thank you for your question. The VA usually only awards back pay to the date the claim is filed, unless they file the claim shortly after leaving military service. In this situation, the back pay would likely only extend to the filing date. I wish you and your family the best!

  51. Darel Gallagher says

    I was not aware that I can continue to receive benefits for dependents that are full-time students up into the age of 23. I discovered that today. All three of my children are now over 23 and each of them was a full-time student until they reach that age. Is it possible to get backdated payments or a situation like this?

  52. Ronnie Byrd says

    I am 56 and a 28 year retired reservist with 12 mo deployment eligible for early retirement compensation. I have just started receiving VA disability rating of 70%. Am I qualified to receive retirement pay any earlier than age 59?


  53. Jim Pallister says

    I currently have an appeal in for 6 issues and I received a SOC for 5 of the issues which I’m fine with. The other issue was granted however I’ve received no paperwork or anything on ebenefits. Wouldn’t you still get a SOC for PTSD if it’s under 100% because it not max allowable and second does it just take awhile to process once granted? Thanks.

  54. Michael Allan Dudash says

    I was talking to a couple of people about my rate of %10 , and they all seem to be telling me the same thing that given the injury and the fact that the Dr. left my ankle with limited mobility to the point that I now use a cane it should be higher. In looking it up myself I did find that within code 5270 it should be %40 on mobility and one person told me that if a Dr. makes changes that cause this it should be %100. What is the best course of action of forms or contact if what I have found is true to change the rating.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Michael, The best course of action is to work with a Veterans Service Organization such as the DAV, AMVETS, etc. They have trained benefits claims counselors that should be able to help you file an appeal or file a new claim. I wish you the best, and thank you for your service!

  55. Bruce Watt says

    I have twin sons that will turn 18 just prior to their senior high school year. Will they are still in high school and does that credit stop when they graduate?

    They will both be going to college. Will I still receive credit for them while in college? If so, presuming they are full time students, how long?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Bruce, Thank you for your question. There is a form you can send to the VA to verify they are still in school (VA Form 21-674). Your children will still count as dependents while they are still attending school full-time, whether that is high school or college. The cutoff age is 23. You will need to submit this form each year to verify school enrollment.

      I hope this points you in the right direction. I wish you the best, and thank you for your service!

  56. Gregory Jones says

    I receive 40% disability and I have other medical issues I have due to my service in the Marine Corps, I have also been retired for 5 years now and I am ashamed to say I have no idea on how and with whom to start a disability appeal.

    • Joe Edstrom says

      I recommend going through a VSO to get their help filing your appeal. I used the DAV to file my VA Disability Claim and will continue to utilize them for any appeals. Often times the folks working at the various VSO’s (DAV, VFW, etc.) are retired military / VA Disability Rated as well…so they know how the game works. They should, at the very least, be able to point you in the right direction if your appeal needs legal assistance versus standard appeal processes. Hope this helps.

  57. Garnell Edwards says

    I am really dissatisfied with the Marion, Il C&P examination officer who performed my exam. I really thought she was rude. I have been receiving benefits for my right foot since about 2010. It could never get better only worse and it has. She wrote a report saying that I said it was getting better which was a lie. So they took my benefit according to what I was told by the service officer, which was wrong. So they sent me to an outside doctor who’s opinion was totally different, but totally ignored by the guys who make these decisions. So my officer brought it to their attention. What did they do? They sent me before this same rude and very arrogant person they sent me to the first time. I think it’s a shame that within the last 8 months I have had 3wzans for the same thing with no help to me at all. I lost my benefit for no reason at all except for what this one examiner has written. How can they be so different?

    • Sam L says

      Same thing happened to me in Indianapolis, O’grady was her name, and only a RN- not even a doc. Now I am fighting like hell to get my benefits back. She made *hit up and flat out lied. Because of her lies now my record is stained. On appeal they look at her lies vs the facts which are documented on my Service records. She needs to be FIRED! I have turned her in but she is still there. The system is broken!

    • Danny says

      I had a rude examiner back in 2010-2011 at Marion, IL also. I got rated at 30% which is way lower than I should’ve been after my records were reviewed by a civilian doctor who served as a doc in the Navy. I have no idea how to get my record reviewed again for an updated rating or if I can even do that? I switched to the VA in Evansville, IN because I was no longer going to put up with Marion’s incompetent facility. Semper FI!

      • Ryan Guina says

        Hello Danny, You can always submit an appeal or apply for an upgrade or a new claim. See your local VA office about filing a new claim, or visit a Veterans Service Organization for assistance with your claim. I wish you the best, and thank you for your service!

    • Joni S says

      You need to seek a COUNTY Veterans Services Officer (CVSO) not a VA affiliated representative, a CVSO works for you, not the federal government, they are knowledgeable and highly trained. You earned your VA benefits, whatever you do, don’t give them to a lawyer!

      • Mojo Jojo says

        I wish I could agree after working for a CVSO while in college, but my last few experiences were not good. Not only did they fail to obtain the appropriate compensation rating, one attempt resulted in my rating being decreased by 20%. I moved on by representing myself, gathering documents and writing out my own timeline of events, medication schedule and uses, as well as articulating the nature and condition of my disabilities that show a significant change in severity of my permanent physical injuries. One of the most successful CVSOs in my area wanted to do everything for me which included choosing what the decision making authority would be considering.
        Sometimes you just need to skip the lawyers and other representation and let them see you as more than a name on paper.

  58. Christopher Burkhart says

    Good Day, I recently had my rating increased from 40 to 70% due to winning an appeal. The percentage increase was post dated back one year to my retirement date. I’m a 26 year retired AD vet. I know some of the details regarding concurrent receipt. My question is: am I entitled (and can I expect) the difference in compensation for the entire year to be paid to me? And, does my service pay center owe me any back pay due to the adjustment in compensation? It was Coast Guard and I think they’re in the process of transitioning to DFAS now. Since I was awarded the increase after pay cut I’m anticipating I should see something at the end of this month. Silence on the line from the CG pay center thus far. Thank you for your assistance.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Christopher, Thank you for your question. I believe you will receive the backdated increase from the VA, as well as the Coast Guard. The VA will generally cut a check within 1-2 months of awarding the backdated pay. But I am not 100% certain how the process works for the military side of the house. You may need to verify and/or coordinate with DFAS or the Coast Guard pay system.

      I’m sorry I don’t have a firm answer, but I don’t work for these agencies and I haven’t seen this information publicly listed anywhere.

      I wish you the best, and thank you for your service!

  59. Chris McMullin says

    I received a 100% disability rating from the VA. I have two questions.
    1. The rating had “No” checked for Total and Permanent. I am coming up on a year after receiving the rating. I am utilizing Tricare and don’t go to the VA for my care. Does this have any adverse affects on me when they re-evaluate my records? Will they advise me as to when I will need to see a VA doctor for re-evaluation?
    2. I am paying the co-pay on my medications and CPAP supplies. Should I be filing with the VA to get reimbursed for these things?

  60. KS says

    I know this may be an article that doesn’t receive much traffic anymore but I have a question no one can seem to give me a single answer. I left the military after only serving a short time due to a sexual assault to me. My TIS is a year and one month and I am working to file a claim for PTSD from an MST. I have used my Post 9/11 GI Bill and only qualify for 50% due to training days being deducted from my total days in service. If I left the military under a hardship separation will I still only qualify at 50%?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello KS, Thank you for your question, and I’m sorry to hear about your experience. I don’t have a good answer to this question. I recommend working with a Veterans Service Organization or the VA to get a better understanding of your benefits under this situation.

      I would also look into whether or not you qualify for Vocational Rehabilitation, which may also make you eligible for additional educational benefits.

      I’m sorry I don’t have a better answer for you, but this is a situation I haven’t heard of, and I don’t want to give you the wrong answer.

      I wish you the best, and thank you for your service!

  61. charlie says

    can i claim va disability compensation for something that happened to me in the military back in 1980 was afraid to tell anybody.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Charlie, Thank you for your question. There is no statue of limitations for claiming a service-connected disability. However, you will need to be able to prove the link to your military service. This could include a copy of your medical records supporting your injury or illness, a sworn statement from a witness, or other proof that you were injured or became ill during your military service and that condition persists to this day.

      As you might imagine, the longer you wait, the more difficult it an be to prove your case. I recommend working with a veterans benefits counselor at a Veterans Service Organization such as the DAV, AMVETS, American Legion, VFW, etc. They have trained counselors that offer free claims assistance. I wish you the best, and thank you for your service!

    • Tom says

      Hey Charlie, I was in a similar situation, my problem happened in 1970 and my mind had buried it for 46 years. Then the floodgates opened. I was advised to apply which I did. I am on appeal to the board.
      Ask your VSO about markers in the event that it’s not in your records. Mine wasn’t. But there were numerous changes to my attitude and performance reports.
      Regardless of the incident, I believe you will find plenty of support.
      Best of luck and don’t give up.

  62. Jerik says

    Good Morning,

    I am in search of finding some guidance for my medical history while in service. I was diagnosed with Basel Cell Cancer in 2010 due to my deployment to Iraq. The cancer cell was removed shortly after. I was told by the Army doctor who removed the cancer cell that I may have 80% disability for this. I am trying to see who I might talk to or a number I could call to find out more. At this time I am currently still on Active Duty. I also have recently had a SLAP tear in my right shoulder which is being treated now but nothing has worked my last resort is surgery which could be coming up in September 2018. Any information or guidance would be greatly appreciated.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Jerik, Thank you for your question and I hope you will fully recover from the cancer.

      If you are still on active duty, then make sure you have everything documented in your medical files and maintain a personal copy so you have a reference in the event your records are misplaced or incomplete when you leave active duty. You will need these medical records when you file for a VA service-connected disability rating after you leave the military.

      There are two different disability ratings – a military disability rating and the VA service-connected disability rating.

      The military can assign a disability rating if you go through a Medical Review Board. The VA assigns one if you apply for a disability rating after you leave the military. The disability ratings cannot be awarded until you go through either the Medical Review Board or the VA disability claim. So the number the doctor gave you is an estimate, not an official guarantee.

      The military disability rating is used when determining whether or not the member is still fit for duty, or the possibility they will receive a medical discharge or medical retirement. From my understanding, the service member’s doctor will need to recommend the member for a Medical Review Board if they believe the member is not medically fit for duty.

      The VA disability rating can only be applied for after the member leaves active duty.

      I recommend contacting the VA or a Veterans Service Organization if you wish to learn more about VA disability ratings. The VA has benefits counselors, and they would be happy to meet with you to discuss the VA disability filing process, and what to expect.

      You can also contact a benefits counselor at a VSO, such as the DAV, AMVETS, American Legion, VFW, etc. They have trained benefits counselors that can offer free benefits claims assistance.

      I hope this is helpful, and I wish you the best of health!

  63. Tim M says

    Hi, I recently got denied service connected for diabetes because my records didn’t contain complaints, treatment, or diagnosis for the condition. However, if they were to look in my records during service time, my blood sugar levels were always high in blood test. The just never treated me for it. How can I get them to look at those blood test. If they were always high, they should have treated me for it and since they didn’t I should be able to get something for it correct?

    They did that with my hypertension…was always listed but never treated me for it until after I got out. I got service connected but 0%…It’s getting worse so I put in for re-eval.

    I’m just concerned there doing something similar with my diabetes but not allowing me to get service connected because they are not looking at my blood work test and just going by what’s written down. Any help would be great. Thank you.


    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Tim, Thank you for your question. You can show the VA doctors or evaluators your military medical records and indicate there was a problem during your military service and the problem has worsened since then.

      I recommend getting assistance with your claim from a veterans benefits counselor at a Veterans Service Organization. Many organizations offer free claims assistance from trained counselors.

  64. william Highland says

    If the VA rates your disability ….say 60%…do you have to wait to age 60 or 62 to draw compensation? thanks

    • Ryan Guina says

      Disability compensation payments should begin the month after the Award letter is sent by the VA. There are exceptions. For example, if the veteran is retired and is receiving concurrent receipt. Or if federal law requires the VA to recoup payments because the veteran received a separation payment from the military when they left active duty. I recommend contacting the VA for more information specific to your case.

  65. James Randolph says

    I filed a claim for PTSD an was Denied then filed a Reconsideration claim an was Denied their reason for Denile of my claim was they couldn’t find proof I was out of the country or even in Combat but yet I was who do I contact next or what is my next step I had my mental health Doctor sign letters at my V.A.MEDICAL CENTER PROVING MY PTSD I did everything required of me an that was their only answer they could give me an I’m rated at 50% I’m about to go nut’s PLEASE HELP ME I’m at the end of my mental rope’s. …THank You

    • Ryan Guina says

      James, your best course of action is seeking assistance from a trained benefits counselor who can offer one on one assistance. I sent you an email privately.

  66. Samuel Snedeker says

    My stepdaughter Lost her Father at the age of 11 in 1978 so they say from agent orange he was wounded twice in Viet Nam and has many medals and was a tunnel rat because he was so small he was 60% disabled when he got out i heard that she could get some compensation from his death there was never a file claimed and me and my wife just did so because we just found some lost paperwork about him we then filed the claim in May of 2018 with additional more paperwork we came across in June and sent that in also it is now late July and have not heard from the Va how much longer do you think it will take and what if she does get approve for an award how much she might receive?? Thanks Sam and Alice.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Sam, Thank you for contacting me. This is outside my area of expertise. The VA can sometimes take several months to process claims and or requests, then determine if additional benefits are to be awarded to the claimants.

      I recommend working with a Veterans Service Organization to help you better understand the process and have a point of contact who can assist you. Many VSOs have trained benefits counselors who offer free claims assistance. Some recommended organizations include the DAV, AMVETS, American Legion, VFW, etc. I wish you and your family the best.

  67. Michael A Arsensault says

    I have been declared 51% disability rating for my blown disks in my back and continuing depression n anxiety panic attacks since I retired in 2004. I just looked at the disability pay chart n it looks like I’ve been paid for myself with spouse only. Does my dependent 34 yr old daughter diagnosed with cerebral palsy since birth (mentally 12 years old) and my two grandchildren, age 9 and 11 who we have full permanent guardianship since birth count as dependents? I don’t think I have been getting paid with dependent children rate since I retired in 2004. Should I have been? If so, what do I do?

  68. Paul says

    Sir, i have a question about dependent healthcare benifits. If i get a rated of 70% disable, can my kids and wife gets a medical insurance or health care benifits? Thank you sir

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Paul, Thank you for your question. You would need to contact the VA about this. In most cases the answer is no, but there may be specific programs I am not aware of. The VA wil be able to give you a definitive answer based on your profile and specific benefits. I wish you the best, and thank you for your service!

  69. MALEA says

    My husband was awarded 100 percent SC in 2017. Prior to receiving his SC, He paid for all hospital bills, medications, etc., that related to his SC. My question is – will the VA reimburse him for all the payments he made, to a non VA medical facility, that relates to his SC disability?

  70. Rose Malfabon says

    My daughters father applied for disability in California, but he died in 1995. Is there any way of finding out if he was supposed to receive benefits backpay after determination he claimed he got injured in Korea. I know he had an open claim because I took him to the VA in Westwood for his examination and I remember he told me that if he was considered disabled service related that he would get paid from the time he applied is this true and how could his daughter find out? Especially if there are any benefit that were never disbursed what can she do and are there any other benefits available?

  71. jennifer l O'Donnell says

    My son has a 90% disability and we were wondering if he can work at all. How many hours or how much can he earn. He does not want to lose his benefits.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Jennifer, Thank you for contacting me. He can work as he is able. He should be able to work without losing any of his benefits.

  72. Dale N. Rouse says

    If I won a large amount in the lottery, would it affect my disability pay?

  73. hilton g. hill says

    dear sir i have been fighting the v.a. for 60 years for what is rightfull mine, yes i was one that records were burned back in the 60 , but i had records it prove that i was a vet. my question is after 57 years i did win my case with the v.a. long fight, my hands and feet were frost bitten over seas, after 60 years they gave me 80% disabilites pay, but three years ago i filed for more in which i am not able to use my hands no feet, so they put me at 100% but only paid me the same, i appeal it and just now they have grant of TDIU is warranted as of april-28-2015, up to now, does mean i will get more pay or still stay the same its hard for me to under stand one said one thing one says another please help me in this matter what is a grant of TDIU is warranted mean, tanks

  74. Phoebe says

    One of my husband’s drs. said, “I have never… nor will I ever… fill out one of these VA disability forms.” His other specialists have had no issues w/the VA forms.
    Do we have any recourse to this one dr. denying to fill out one of the forms needed to apply for his much deserved VA disability?
    Thank you for any information you may be able to offer us.

  75. Joycie Laws says

    If I receive VA disability payments how will my regular social security benefits be affected?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Joycie, your social security benefits should not be impacted by receiving VA disability payments. These are two separate benefits. Best wishes.

  76. Daniel says

    I received my va benefits payment for the first time this month on the 4th and here it is at the end of the month I haven’t received an award letter. Who do I call and talk to?

  77. Anne G says

    Help! I am a disabled vet and I have never seen such a miscarraige of justice as what has been done to my fiancee. He was a pilot in the Air Force 20 years ago and was in a horrible accident- broken back, shattered leg, jaw, head injury. They kicked him out. No board, no VA info, nothing. Back then he fought to stay in. They threatened to lose his medical records. Looks like they did. I had him apply for VA disability 3 years ago and it has been a nightmare. They have done nothing!! Half his records are gone as well as a lot of his memory. No one has helped us or seems to care. PLEASE HELP US

  78. Bob H. says

    Hi, I currently have a 90% rating. I’m submitting a new claim, within one year of retirement, for new issues. According to the table, I would need an additional 45% rating to bump up to 100%. That seems steep for a 10% increase in rating. Is that correct? Other question is are all VA compensation payments for retirees tax-free? Two VA reps told me no taxes but the DFAS website says yes (for concurrent receipt, non-combat related). Thanks for your help?

  79. Bryan says

    I was denied disability for a eye injury that occurred while active duty in the line of duty on the flight line opening ground support equipment. I had noted this I applied for disability in 1998. It was denied as service connected with no evidence.

    There was a error in my medical records they have the wrong eye noted. I was evaluated by a VA testing facility and they found damage to the eye I had the injury in. Since I resubmitted a claim for the correct eye in Jan 2018 do I get back pay from the time I submitted it or do I get back pay from the actual claim in 1998?

    I am curious on how this works since there was a error in my records?

  80. Richard Kirby says

    I am 100% service connected and living in Germany do to the fact that my wife is a DoD employee. I have been using the Foreign Medical Program to obtain payment for medical care that is service connected. It is taking the VA up to 240 days to pay the vendor. The reason they are using is they have to translate the invoice. What do they think it would mean to have a foreign medical program. Also they pay in US dollars on the date of service and not on the date of payment so with the exchange rate changing daily the vendor gets shorted and comes after the veteran. When you go back to the VA they want you to appeal which takes another 90 too 120 days. Thank you for your service.

  81. Juliana says

    Hello I am currently receiving 50% disability and I have no dependents in my claim. I pay monthly bills and my husband covers the rent. Can i add my husband and children as dependent on my claim although my husband claims them as dependents in his taxes? Thank you

    • JS says

      Your disability payments have nothing to do with taxes. Yes you can add your children and spouse

  82. Wesley says

    Can VA reduce a disability rating if I appeal? Also if I appeal, will I still receive my monthly VA compensation? Any assistance is greatly appreciated.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Wesley, Thank you for your question. The VA can change your rating if your underlying medical condition has changed. The VA will review your condition when if you appeal a higher rating. That can result in the same rating, or an increased or decreased rating, depending on the outcome of the examination. I recommend having someone from a Veterans Service Organization assist you with your appeal. Many of them have trained benefits counselors that offer free claims assistance. Their expertise and experience should be helpful when filing your claim.

      I wish you the best, and thank you for your service!

  83. Becky says

    I was told in a VA briefing that if I get rated at 100% and if my child is in school full time, she can get $1000+ a month in benefits as well as paid tuition. I know about the tuition benefit but have never heard of he getting compensation. I can’t find anything about it in writing. Is that true and where do I find more info?

  84. Jeremy says

    Hi Ryan,
    I reeive 100% compensation based on a service-connected disability. I have been reviewing my wife’s options for health benefits. It appears that I am eligible to sign her up for either TRICARE or CHAMPVA, however, I can not figure out which of these will provide her the best coverage. Also, after I pass away which will continue to be the best for her?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Jeremy, Thank you for contacting me. Unfortunately, I’m not a TRICARE expert. You will need to run the numbers for your personal situation to see which will be the best for you. You may have to run different scenarios (for example, both in your current situation, and if you pass away before your spouse).

      It’s also a good idea to look at the availability of the coverage in your area. TRICARE and CHAMPVA both offer excellent value, but their networks may differ in your region.

      I would contact TRICARE to see if they have an ombudsman or customer service rep who can help you understand your options and possibly run the numbers.

      If they don’t have anyone available, you may try a Veterans Service Organization, such as the VA, DAV, AMVETS, American Legion, etc. They often have trained benefits counselors that can assist you with benefits. I wish you the best, and thank you for your service!

  85. Dale N. Rouse says

    I just got approved for 70% service connected. Are taxes taken out before I get the money, or do I pay at tax filing time?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Dale, Thank you for your question. VA Disability compensation is not subject to any income taxes – you do not need to claim it or otherwise mention it on your income taxes. I wish you the best, and thank you for your service!

  86. Thomas Morrison says

    I am a Vietnam Veteran ( Marine ) ;since 2013 I have been rated 100% due to prostrate cancer ( agent orange ) also 60% for Ischemic heart condition 50% for PTSD and 10% for hearing loss Now they say I have a temporary ratting How do I change it to permanent? How much would my wife receive when I pass on ?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Thomas, Thank you for your question. Many types of disability ratings are automatically classified as temporary because they are conditions that can change (this can include many types of cancer and PTSD, both of which can improve over time). I do not know if it will be possible to have your specific 100% rating changed to permanent. Survivor benefits will vary depending on several factors. I won’t be able to provide a specific answer because it can vary.

      I recommend speaking with a veterans benefits counselor at the VA or with a Veterans Service Organization such as the DAV, AMVETS, American Legion, VVA, etc. They have counselors who offer free claims assistance on a case by case basis.

      I wish you the best of health, and thank you for your service!

  87. William Ray McBryar says

    I received a notice that I was enrolled for health insurance in December 2017. Does this qualify me to receive a hearing aid? I was tested by an audiologist at the VA in Decatur, Ga, in December 2017 and determined to have hearing loss, which resulted in being approved for a monthly disability payment.

    William Ray McBryar

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello William, Thank you for contacting me. You will need to contact the VA to verify eligibility for a hearing aid. I cannot answer specific health or specific benefit related questions, because each situation is unique. I wish you the best, and thank you for your service!

  88. james Saunders II says

    Had a sleep study done in a VA hospital, results said “sleep apnea” written on the VA form results. Later another person reviewed the first report and said “nope” just “insomnia.” Va denied any rating for sleep apnea. What to do now?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello James, Thank you for question. I recommend working with a Veterans Service Organization such as the DAV, AMVETS, American Legion, VFW, or similar organization. They have trained benefits counselors that can assist you with your claim and offer specific advice on how to proceed. I wish you the best of health, and thank you for your service!

  89. Maria Trapasso says

    Sir: I am the wife of an 87 year old veteran of both the Korean and Vietnam wars with 100%, permanent disability rating, including approximately six hundred dollars for aid and assistance. My husband now requires almost total care and it has become a full time task for me as he will not allow anyone other than me to assist him in toilet and bathing, dressing, eating etc. I do not mind taking care of the man to whom I’ve been married for 64 years, however I’m finding it has become increasingly difficult to do that and maintain a household. Can I request an increase in Aid and Assistance in order to hire help, leaving more more time for me to attend to my husband? Sincerely, Maria

  90. Eddie Myers says

    Are disability payments taxable? I have a rating of 90% but have not been to locate a form to validate amount received and a taxable amount.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Eddie, Thank you for your question – no, VA disability compensation payments are not taxable. You do not need to claim them or otherwise list them on your tax return. I wish you the best, and thank you for your service!

  91. Paul karpiak says

    I received a 0% compensation rate when I first signed up for health benfits, since then my compensation claim had been approved for 90%. Will I receive a new benfit booklet ergo are all my records updated and now Meds will be free

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Paul, Thank you for your question. You should receive a new Award Letter from the VA specifying your benefits, including whether or not your prescriptions will be covered. You can also contact the VA to verify this information or to receive a copy of your benefits package. I wish you the best of health, and thank you for your service!

  92. Alan says

    Ryan… thank you for your service & this opportunity for us to ask questions in your forum. I’m a 100% Nam DAV & simply wish to know what happens, in the event of my death, with respect to my wife. Does she receive the whole portion of my check, a portion of it and, if a portion, how much ?
    Is there a website I should visit or speak with a rep at my local VVA org. ?
    Thank you & respects to you & my fellow brothers & sister vets !!

    • Ryan Guina says

      Alan, thank you for your question. This is a great question, and one that may vary depending on circumstances. There are different factors regarding survivor benefits, including who is eligible and under which circumstances. Not all spouses receive VA disability compensation payments after the military member passes away. However, in some cases, the surviving spouse may be eligible to receive Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC). This is available to surviving spouses of a veteran who died as a result of a service-connected injury or illness (there are some other factors that may apply, I’m writing this based on the situation you described). The VA has more info here.

      This is a situation when speaking with a veterans benefits counselor at the VVA, DAV, AMVETS, or a similar organization will be helpful. They should be able to help you understand if she will be eligible for any survivor benefits, and how to claim them if she is. Make sure you take good notes on this topic and keep them with your final planning documents. This will help the claims process progress more smoothly.

      Planning and preparing for your survivors is always a good idea, even if it will be 20 years from now. Once you have this sorted out, it would be a good idea to meet with an estate planner and draw up a will. This is a good idea even if you plan on leaving everything to your spouse. It will make the legal process faster, easier, and less expensive. Probate can be extremely expensive and time-consuming without a will.

      While you are on this line of thought, now is a good time to make your intentions known regarding a military burial. If you desire a military burial, then make sure you get all your paperwork in order so the task becomes easier when it’s time. Most funeral homes take care of the details, but they need the correct proof of service to get the process started.

      I know these are difficult topics to think about. But I can assure you that they are much easier to face now than for your survivors to try to deal with them after the fact.

  93. john says

    hello and thank you for the information being provide
    my c-file for PTSD concludes MDD, and have symptoms in the 30,50,and 70 rate tables. I also currently have 10 % tinnitus . I had a c-file for ankle trouble (SC), with not normal ROM and arthritis , and a comment it does effect my ability to do my job. have any idea if the VA will deny my claim, if not what will they assign a rating? am I entitled to (SMC) or even TDIU based on the language of ankle exam results?
    a lot here

    • Ryan Guina says

      Pierre, a 70% rating and a 50% rating combine for 85%, which rounds up to 90%. So that should be your rating. You can confirm this with the VA,or with your VA disability rating award letter, which explains your individual and combined ratings. I wish you the best of health, and thank you for your service.

  94. Neal Brookman says

    I am a Vietnam veteran with boots on the ground, infantry, and sent through areas where Agent Orange was used. I was given a disability a few years ago for heart disease (bypass surgery). I have had several stents since that time. I also have a partial disability for anxiety (20%). I 2015 I had radical prostate surgery. I went through the series of treatment since then. My incontenence is very bad. Two weeks ago I went through post surgery evaluation with the VA and was given a 90% rating. However, even though I answered their questions regarding erectile dysfunction, it was addressed in the letter sent to me giving their reasons as to my final jjrating. Doesn’t the rectile dysfunction come in to play. I can’t take meds because I also take nitro. The pump doesn’t work for me. I can’t see giving myself shot and I don’t want to go through another surgery with an implant.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Neal, Thank you for your comment. I suggest working with a Veterans Service Organization on your claim. They can provide personalized assistance and help you file your claim and provide advice along the way. I am not qualified to do any of that. I wish you the best of health, and thank you for your service!

  95. Dan Noble says

    If I have received a letter from the VA stating they will cover my medical for PTSD does that mean I should be able to get disability?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Dan, Thank you for your question. I recommend contacting the VA for verification. You should receive an Award Letter from the VA that covers your VA disability compensation claim, your disability rating, and any and all compensation benefits that go with it.

  96. Purn Howard says

    I am waiting for my new rating hearing. I am currently 50% due to migraines, but on the new rating information, it indicates, “Occupational and social impairment with deficiencies in most areas, such as work, school, family relations, judgment, thinking and/or mood,” which falls in the category of 70%; but after reading the doctors summation, it indicates that “Veteran cannot sustain the stress
    from a competitive work environment or be expected to adequately function in gainful work activity due to his condition.” Doesn’t this fall under 100% rating, or will the Judge make a determination whether it is 70% or 100%? I am curious…

  97. Wendy says

    My husband is 60% VA disability {10% (back) 2013 and 50% (PTSD)2017}. He separated from the Army in 2002 at which time he filed a claim for his MTBI which was denied less than 6 months post separation. He did not realize back then that he could appeal that decision. Fast forward 5 years, after we married we learned that he could go back for it and we refiled, again it was denied, only this time we appealed the decision. He has since started having seizures that his VA neurologist have documented as “highly likely due to his moderate to severe brain injury incurred due to a failed parachute landing while on active duty in January 2001.” The seizures have rendered him unable to drive meaning unable to work (we live in a rural area with no pubic trans). We have filed for SSID but of course he was denied for that and is awaiting the date for a hearing with a ALJ. My question is, WHEN the VA finally does approve his TBI claim will they have to back pay to the original filing date of 2002 or when we refiled in 2013?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Wendy, Thank you for contacting me. This is outside my level of expertise. I recommend contacting a Veterans Service Organization to see if they have a benefits counselor who can assist you with your claim. Many offer free claims assistance. Some recommended organizations include the DAV, AMVETS, VFW, American Legion, etc.

      Alternatively, you may wish to hire a lawyer to help you with this portion of the claim. Many lawyers will work on a contingency basis, meaning you only pay them if they win your case. They should offer a free consultation.

      I wish your husband the best of health.

  98. Daniel says

    Hello Ryan,

    I am 100% service connected total and permanent (since 1988). I have a helpless child (diagnosed with ASD, Aspergers, Schizoaffective Disorder, Depression, Anxiety, Dysthymia), who was officially determined a “helpless child” by the VA, 10/10/2014. What should my helpless child’s benefit be in addition to my 100% service connection rating?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Daniel, Thank you for contacting me. I don’t have direct experience with this. As I read the VA compensation tables, it looks like there is no age limit for helpless child dependents. But I am not sure if there is a greater compensation amount. I recommend contacting the VA or a Veterans Service Organization for additional information. I wish you the best, and thank you for your service!

  99. Toby says

    I have a 50% VA disability due to PTSD. Now my PTSD is interfering with my civilian career. Sometimes my stress makes it impossible to carry out my professional duties. Do I get additional benefits if I lose my job?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Toby, I recommend setting up an appointment with the VA to reevaluate your rating and/or to receive additional treatment. It would also be a good idea to work with a Veterans Service Organization to help with your claim. There are many organizations that offer free benefits claims assistance through trained counselors. I wish you the best of health, and thank you for your service!

  100. Daniel Battershell says

    Hello Ryan,

    I have a 70% paid rating for combined physical injuries received while active duty. I believe there was a 100% rating however the VA math must be common core.. I have been out of the military for 25 years and am currently having issues maintaining employment. is there a way I can draw the 100% assigned on paper? Sorry if this has been covered, I was unable to find the question or answer

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Daniel, Thank you for contacting me. It may be possible but you would have to apply for it. Here is an article that explains the difference between a 100% schedular disability rating (your actual disability rating is 100%), and 100% individual unemployability, which is when the VA gives you a 100% disability rating due to unemployability, rather than your actual rating. Please be aware that you will be limited in the amount of money you can earn from a job if you have a 100% individual unemployability rating.

      I hope this is helpful. I wish you the best of health, and thank you for your service!

      • Daniel Battershell says

        Appreciate your response Ryan. The article was helpful.

        Interesting, yesterday I received a letter from the D.V.A.. they have a seminar scheduled for next week. Information is;

        Friday 01/05/2018
        18:30 – 19:30

        V.F.W. #9241
        6297 Main Street
        Georgetown, Ca 95634

        Hope this will help out another Vet too.

        Ryan, I’m very grateful to you and your efforts to help out veterans. it means a grate deal knowing there are people willing to take the time and share their knowledge. Thank you!

  101. Christina says

    Hello Ryan I am 100% disabled however recently I was granted an additional 60% back dated to April 2017. Is it true they will not pay any additional for the 60% please advise.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Christina, Thank you for contacting me. The maximum disability compensation rate is 100%. The VA does not pay more than the 100% rate. There may be certain additional benefits you are eligible to receive, but these are handled on a case by case basis. I recommend speaking with VA or a Veterans Service Organization for a full benefits review. These organizations have trained veterans benefits counselors that can help you file a benefits claim.

  102. Fred Dublin says

    I am currently at 70% for diabetes, protein in urine (stage 3kidneydisese) . Agent orange in VietNam. I how have a mass in my kidney that has been defined as Renal Cell carsonoma. If it is cancer and they take part of the kidney, is that a reason to see if I can get a higher rating so my wife gets something if I die?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Fred, This is outside my level of expertise. I strongly recommend consulting with medical professionals to get the appropriate diagnosis and treatment. In the meantime, contact a Veterans Service Organization with your disability claim and related questions. They have trained benefits counselors that can assist you with your claim as well as offer individual assistance. They are more equipped to handle your inquiry. I recommend contacting the DAV, AMVETS, VFW, American Legion, Vietnam Veterans of America, and similar organizations. I wish you the best of health, and thank you for your service!

      • Joseph L says


        I read your post where you say the VA can re-examine your rating at any time to increase reduce or keep the same. My concern and question is if you are 100% service-connected not an IU but regular service connected do to injuries sustained in Iraq (OIF) and you’re rating also says ‘permanent and total’ what does that mean? Can you be re-examined or lets say you can be because it’s the government does permanent and total just mean it’s unlikely they will re-examine or it just means no re-examine is scheduled at this time?I heard a rumor that you’re reading is permanent after 10 years but when you get close to the 10 year mark is when they start re-examining you!! So I know this is kind of a compound question but I would really appreciate an answer for each question.

        And also not trying to be greedy I am 100% and am so greatful for that but I can’t seem to hold a job because of my injuries some people have suggested that I go to Social Security administration to get an allowance from them if I did would I never be able to work again because I know you’re allowed to work when your service connected not IU, correct? In fact I really need to know the answer to that if you’re allowed to work if you’re hundred percent service-connected?

        And are there any restrictions on working while being 100% service connected and curious even though this is not my case how much are you allowed to work if you are IU you? I know them SSA is not your field but if you know anything about it I would be greatful. Thank you for your service both military and law 🙂


      • Janet says


        I can answer a couple of your questions. A rating of “permanent and total” means that your disability is not expected to improve over time (as compared to a temporary 100% disability while recovering from surgery, say). That also entitles you to additional benefits, like dental care and education assistance for your kids. There’s no impact to your benefits if you work– in fact, it’s encouraged for you to work, and the VA can even give you counseling and vocational training to help with that.

        “IU” is “individual unemployability”, a rating given when a person is not 100% disabled but, given their personal situation, are effectively not employable. Now, if you have an IU rating, you aren’t allowed (able) to work.

        As for re-evaluations… that depends on a lot of things, but mostly on what type of injury you have, and whether you’ve been getting ongoing care from the VA for it. Some injuries change more than others, and so they’re checked more frequently than others. If you’ve been getting care for your injury from the VA, they may just do this “in the background” so to speak. I should say, the presumption is that the condition still exists, and they can also increase the rating if it’s warranted. I’d encourage you to at least “check in” with the VA clinic periodically, and get your meds/devices/prosthetics/whatever from them, to have it in their system that your situation is being monitored.

        I don’t know anything about the interaction between the VA and Social Security, but I’d suggest you ask one of the VSOs (AmVets, DAV, American Legion, etc.) to walk you through your options.

  103. Dan says

    Hello my disability rating is 40% with spouse. Last year I paid taxes on my disability rating I called and spoke with dept of finance that they would take care of it. I yet have not seen a seperate section for va disability nor has my wife been added who is a dependent. Can my wife be claimed as a dependent or is it too late any suggestions I would appreciate. Thanks

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Dan, VA disability benefits are not taxable, and the VA will never withhold taxes from those payments. There is nowhere on the tax form to claim disability payments as income. If you claimed your disability compensation as income and paid taxes on it then you will need to file an amended tax return to inform the IRS there was an error on your tax return. I recommend working with a tax professional to complete this form to ensure it is done correctly.

      You can add dependents on your VA disability claim if it is 30% or higher. You will need to follow the directions in the article and provide the required documents, including your marriage certificate.

  104. Rob says

    My disability was rated at 20% for hearing loss and a right knee injury. When I filed my claims they included my right ankle, left knee, lower back and my left wrist. I was denied for thes injuries so I appealed the decision. Just recently I received the decision for the appeal and was denied again. The decision was because and I quote the evidence does not show an event, disease or injury in service. It also says because i did not seek treatment for these injuries since my military service I was denied disability for these injuries. I have been out of work for over 2 1/2 years due to pain, not being able to walk long distances, sitting for long periods of time and also I was denied employment numerous time due to the fact I have to wear braces on both of my knees and I also take pain/anti inflammatory meds everyday that the VA as prescribed to me. I currently receive $264 every month which does not cover the cost of food. I had MRI’s done on both knees and my lower back and both show deterioration in both knees and bulging disks in my back. How can I be denied I have proof in my medical records and the MRI’s please help.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Rob, I won’t be able to offer any specific claims advice. You will need to speak with someone who can offer customized assistance based on your medical conditions, previous claim history, and other factors. I recommend speaking with a veterans benefits counselor at the VA or with a Veterans Service Organization. They have counselors who offer free claims assistance on a case by case basis. Here are some recommended service organizations. I wish you the best of health, and thank you for your service!

    • Chris Chilcott says

      I can’t agree more go to a VSO, they will help you for free. Go to the VA website and look at the disability rating system. Educate yourself and go to a VSO. I assume you have a copy of your medical record, keep in mind some injuries are harder to prove depending on how long you have been out. Back injuries are one of them. I injured my back while on active duty and was medically separated at 14 years of service. There are lots of fakers, some told me what to say…so they deal with people trying to get over. Be persistent…and document everything. Good luck

    • Thomas Jason Trubenbach says

      A point that has been missing is that arthritis in the knees, bulging discs in the back and the like are all natural parts of aging. I see arthritis and degenerative discs in teens at times, which are genetic conditions and would occur whether you were in the military or not.
      Degenerative discs and arthritis in the knees, backs, hips, etc happen to 100% of us. The question is what happened during your service that contributed to those conditions.

      I am both a healthcare provider as well as a veteran and understand just how difficult it is to navigate these things.

      The other question as a healthcare provider who specializes in orthopedics is, why not have your knees replaced to eliminate the arthritis and restore your normal level of function? Then you don’t have to worry about 20%, 60% or whatever percent of disability. I’ve seen the VA making great changes to improve their reputation over the past 2 years or so. I’d discuss different options with you care team to get you back where you want to be.

      We generally don’t like to replace joints if you are too young as we know they will wear out someday, but there are exceptions. If you are what we might consider “too young” but you have no cartilage left in your knees, it’s often times better to restore your normal function so you don’t end up being a couch potato with no quality of life.



      • Joe modesto says

        What is considered too young, I’m 45 years of age and a 2o year retired infantry man I had my knees checked out did the shots on my knees to eleviate the pain but now I’m back to day one since I retired back in June 2016 and also no cartilage in my knees with all the pain on my knees due to bone on bone should I seek care and proceed with surgery and how is that going to affect my percentage

      • Ryan Guina says

        Hello Joe, It sounds like you should visit your doctor. It would also be a good idea to speak with a representative at a Veterans Service Organization to see if they have any advice for your claim. They have trained counselors that can advise you on your situation and help you file a claim if necessary. I wish you the best, and thank you for your service!

    • Woodrow says

      If you didn’t file a claim with VA within 12 mos after your separation from service the VA will / can deny. See AmVet – they can give you a form called Treating Doctors Professional Opinion you can take to any/your doctor for an evaluation/exam and to get their opinion on what degree they believe your current conditions are due to injuries from service. It helps if you give them cc’s of everything pertinent from your military service medical records to give them a higher degree of confidence for the category you feel they should sign. That will enable AmVet to ask the VA to please “reconsider” your claim, saving you the need to “appeal” something you don’t like. That will enable the VA to send you out for another doctor evaluation if I’m not mistaken. Good luck and best wishes!

      • lambda5555m says

        No they can’t. When I first filed, they blew that claim off. I filed again in 2007, 2009 and 2010. I then wrote to General Shinseki about it and poof, everything got fixed, except they went back to 2007 instead of 2005 when I had filed within a year of getting off of active duty. They only go back one year for your disabilities based on the date of your claim. The best way is to file within one year of getting off of active duty and they backdate it to when you got off of active duty. If you file two years later, they will go back a year from when you claim the disability. The backdating after one year is not going to happen, unless you had a missed claim or clear and unmistakable error. I have filed claims for things that I got in service a few years after I got off of active duty, so that is not the case. If it is in your medical records and service connected, they can’t deny it if you file 5 years after you get off of active duty. Hope this helps…Thank you for your service…

  105. Ben says

    If I EAS’d from the Marine Corps in January of 2015, will I be compensated to that date? Or start from a more recent date? I haven’t made some disability claims until just this past month. (Oct 2017)

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Ben, Thank you for contacting me. The VA usually only awards back pay to the date of the claim. I recommend working with a Veterans Service Organization when filling your claim, as they can often help avoid common pitfalls and mistakes, and it may make your claim process faster. Some recommended organizations that offer free claims assistance include the DAV< AMVETS, VFW, American Legion, and others. I wish you the best, and thank you for your service!

      • lambda5555m says

        They will give you one year back pay. If you file within that one year time period after you get off of active duty, then you will get it back dated to when you got off of active duty. They may try to just pay you from the date of the claim, but don’t let them do that to you. If they do, then really complain and they will have to do it.

  106. William R. Huse says

    I would like a review of my disability amounts. I receive 30 percent for my knees. They have gotten so bad that I had to have shots in both knees this week to prolong surgery. Additionally, I had a hearing test done again and they are so bad that they have now fitted me for hearing aides. Both of these injuries occurred on active duty. I can hardly walk often times because of the pain, and if I am not looking at the person talking to me I can’t hear them. I am about to the point of not being able to work. Please take the time to review my case and get the disability percentage up to where it actually helps with my bills. Thank you

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello William, Thank you for contacting me. You will need to contact the VA to set up a review of your medical conditions. I recommend working with a Veterans Service Organization to help you file your disability claim. They have trained counselors who can assist you at no charge. Some recommended organizations include the DAV, AMVETS, American Legion, VFW, an others. Just call around to find an organization in your area. I wish you the best, and thank you for your service!

      • Becky says

        Do you know if you are rated 100% do they still take it out of your retirement check and make it a tax free portion? Thank you.

      • Ryan Guina says

        Becky, in most cases, the individual with a 100% service-connected VA disability rating will be eligible for concurrent receipt, in which the individual receives both the military retirement pay, and the full VA disability compensation. The disability compensation is always tax-free, while the military retirement pay is usually taxable income at the federal level (state taxes vary by state). Concurrent receipt applies to retired military members with a disability rating of 50% or higher.

        If the service member has a military medical retirement instead of a traditional 20-year retirement, the pay situation may vary. If that is the case, I recommend working with DFAS to understand how the pay and benefits work, as it may be unique to the individual.

        This article covers more detail of how disability compensation impacts military retirement pay. I hope this is helpful.

    • Roger says

      Check out Veterans Benefits Network (VBN), just vets helping vets. What Ryan says is true – get in touch with a VSO, they help you with all the paperwork and answer about any question you may have. You should talk to the VSO before getting in touch with the VA, because once you do get in touch the clock generally starts ticking for the one year to submit everything. They’ll discuss requests for increase, bilateral for your knees, hearing, how service connections work, etc.

    • Joe modesto says

      I also had the same issue before I retired after retirement I took a job as a termite inspector which the job requirements is to crawl under peoples houses been doing it for over a year now and my knees are starting to act up. My doctor said if I ever go back to see him again for my knees surgery will be the next solution what should I do.

    • Jeffrey Castleman says

      Amazing that there is no control over the VA secretary and his lavish spending habits that are at his fingertips and then there are disabled veterans such as myself that have very low ratings due to being denied for years. Now I am about to be unemployed due to my service connected injury as I can’t perform my job. This is just wrong and all I can do is pray things will work out. I hope other Veterans eventually get the help they deserve and Thank You for your commitment even though we are not being treated with dignity and respect……………

  107. Chris says

    I don’t understand the rating system. My friend has “headaches” from service and receives 80% disability for this. I was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder and BROKE MY BACK in the line of duty and I received 40%. Seems a little off to me.

  108. William Reed says

    Hello I served in Desert Shield/Desert Storm. I’m currently rated at 50% . 40% for blood pressure and 10% for my right knee. I was diagnosed with bursitis in my shoulder on sick call during Desert Storm and off duty for three days, I filed and was denied for it because it was not in my medical records, what can I do to prove that I was diagnosed while on duty?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello William, Thank you for your question. It can be difficult to prove a medical condition if you don’t have a written record. You can request a copy of all your records from the National Archives. It’s possible they have additional records that you may not have copies of. If so, you may find a record there. If not, you may have to try to get statements from people who you served with stating you had a medical condition related to your shoulder. This isn’t always guaranteed to work, but it can be helpful in establishing a nexus, or link, to your military service. Another option is contacting a veterans service organization for assistance with your claim. They have trained benefits counselors and many offer free claims assistance. They may be able to help you with this situation. I wish you the best of health, and thank you for your service!

  109. Crawford says

    I have a lower back injury. The army has that rated at 20%. I also have three secondary conditions, will those percentages be added to that 20%, or separate, or how does that work?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Crawford, Thank you for contacting me. The Army and the VA have different rating systems, so you will need to file a claim with the VA. The VA doctors will give you a physical and assign disability ratings based on each condition. They will then use a chart to combine your ratings into a single rating. The math is a little funny at first, but it’s well explained in this article and podcast on combined VA ratings.

      I hope this is helpful. I wish you the best, and thank you for your service!

  110. Cliff says

    I need a straight, forward response to my question.
    I have asked, “what is the retro-period, against an approved service-connected claim”; I’ve received a different answer to match each person I asked.

    Do I need to be represented by a legal source, or, not, to receive the correct compensation.

    Please advice,


    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Cliff, Thank you for contacting me. You don’t normally need to hire an attorney to process a VA disability claim, but it can be helpful in certain circumstances. I would first try to get some assistance from a Veterans Service Organization, such as the DAV, AMVETS, American Legion, VFW, etc. They have trained benefits counselors and offer free benefits claims assistance.

      As for retro-period, that is normally comprised of the time-period after you filed your claim. If your claim was filed in multiple parts, then the retro-period may vary based on when each portion of the claim was filed. It may possibly be retroactive to the date you separated from the military if you filed your claim directly after separating from the military, though you will need to verify that. Back pay is usually granted based on the filing date, not the award date. So if you file in January and the VA awards the rating in July, you would generally be awarded back pay to January.

      Again, all of this is a general scenario and each situation is unique. It would be impossible for anyone to give specific information for your situation without having all the details. That’s why I recommend contacting one of the aforementioned organizations. I wish you the best, and thank you for your service!

  111. kelly little says

    Hello! My father was awarded 100% for prostrate cancer. He served in vietnam. Radiation was done to shrink it but was all they could do because of other medical conditions. His last deposit was 100.00. They said his condition had improved…he has looked through all his mail and cannot find a letter or never received a call to schedule a examination appointment. He is being sent appeal papers but i find it hard to believe that his condition can be considered better when he still has cancer…and i understand sometimes budgets are cut. Do they really cut benefits that much?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Kelly, Thank you for contacting me. This doesn’t sound right without there being further explanation from the VA. This is something that should be investigated further, but that isn’t something I have the knowledge to do. It’s something that requires one on one assistance from someone who has the knowledge and training to work with the VA.

      I recommend speaking with a veterans benefits counselor at a Veterans Service Organization, such as the DAV, AMVETS, etc. They have trained counselors that offer free benefits claims assistance. I wish your father the best of health.

  112. Hery says

    I have a 60% disability, i claimed tinnitus because of my ears and it’s not on the final results, they did checked me at the VA clinic but it’s not there, what can i do?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Hery, Thank you for contacting me. You can file an appeal with the VA. The best way to do that is to contact a veterans service organization such as the DAV, AMVETS, VFW, American Legion, etc. They have trained counselors that offer free benefits claims assistance. I wish you the best, and thank you for your service!

  113. Najee says

    I recently sent out a claim for disability for my thigh. Local doctor’s says its a lebral muscle tear and has to have surgery. The army said it was just a hip flexor when i recieved this injury. I was Army national gaurd but this injury happened while in basic training. will i be entitled for 100 percent disabiltiy being that i have to have surgery and physical therapy? or will they not give me anything?

  114. NaDaniel Brown says

    When I finished my first tour in 2005 from Iraq, I went to the VA for PTSD and emotional disorder. I had an examination done and was given a letter stating that they saw nothing wrong with me. There is no claim status or reference in my Ebenefits account stating this information or any documentation concerning this matter. What should I do? Then after my second tour in 2009 in Afghanistan I reported another claim in 2012, which is when they finally awarded me a rating of 10% and then getting a rating of 40% after appealing their decision. As of right now I have Adjustment disorder with anxiety and depressed mood and right shoulder strain both consider as (Service Connected) at 0%. What should I do? And if I get awarded a percentage could I get it back dated to 2005 for my Adjustment disorder with anxiety and depressed mood when I first went in and was evaluated?

  115. Ashley says

    When I was in school I received VA benefits because my father is a 100% disabled veteran. I graduated from college in 2009 and I currently came across a job posting on usajobs.gov that I would like to apply for but my dad told me to look into veterans preference and if I would be eligible for that like I was for the school benefits. It is all a little confusing and while I am pretty sure that I would not be able to claim a preference when applying for a job (the one of interest is with Army Medical Command) but he is insisting that I would so I was wondering if someone could clarify that for me. Thank you so much.

  116. Javier says

    I have a serviced connected Major Pectoralis Muscle Tendon Tear, which i’ve file twice for reconsideration and keep getting 0%.
    I need to prove functional loss. I don’t know how to go about doing that.
    Anybody. advice?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Thank you for contacting me, Javier. Your situation is unique and requires a personalized answer. I’m not qualified to do this, so I recommend speaking with a veterans benefits counselor at a Veterans Service Organization, such as the DAV, AMVETS, etc. They have trained benefits counselors who should be able to give you a personalized response. I wish you the best of health, and thank you for your service!

  117. Quang Le says

    I am medically retired on 10 Apr 2017 with DOD 100% and VA 100% with P&T rated in 2013.I was still in National Guard while I was rated 100% with P&T. In Apr 2016,I was med-boarded with my PTSD ( with rate 100%) and asthma ( with rated 100% also). Then VA reduced my asthma to 30%, that I lost my P&T, but still 100% VA and DOD 100%.So you should get good advice before doing something .

  118. william c. matthews says

    Hello Im a 100 percent dísabled verteran service connect.
    I was never told by anyone I could have a 10,000 life insurance policy.
    Is there anything I can do about this. I know now time limit expired.

  119. Tyler Schisler says

    Hey Ryan, I have a question, if a veteran is rated at say a total combined disability rating of 60 % effective date of 06/2016, then received retroactive pay for that disability. Then the disability rating was increase to a total combined 70% going back to the same effective date of 06/2016. Will there be additional retroactive pay for the difference of 60%-70% since it was incurred at the same effective date?

    • Drew Lowe says

      I had that happen with me from 70-80% They did end up retroactively paying me the difference. I actually had no idea it was coming all the sudden there was a 1200 deposit

  120. George says

    I have a ratting of 100 percent for Ptsd if I file a claim for a different disability and get a 50 percent rating for it will that increase my compsation amount

    • Luke says

      No 100% is the most you can get, although I would submit all claims anyway. Whom ever is treating you needs a full picture, and any medicine or equipment needed to treat this other ailment will be provided free of charge by the VA if its service connected. Also look into CRSC or PDHRA. They will pay more for anything combat related. and since you are 100% look into social security disability while your at it.

  121. MSmith says

    I got out of the Army back in 1987. I experienced and was treated for back & neck injuries that I injured during basic training. I’ve had ringing in my ears ever since. I never knew that I could even file a claim for this until recently. Is it too late? Will the Army base still have my medical records from back then? I have my medical records from being treated from ringing in the ears and other related issues over the years. Should I file a claim?

  122. Robert says

    I have pending claims I was granted sleep apnea a year ago but had a reman and I am still waiting on a decisions and I have some pending disabilities now I am waiting on a decision rating how long will it take for me to get a decision on it.

  123. bob nebbio says

    Hi Ryan-Vietnam 67-1969 173 Abn two tours in Nam Vet 69 yr old after years of having PTSD back in the 70 I was denied treatment or compensation the VA sent me on my way to fix myself did not work ,over they last three years I tried again final last week I got a favorable outcome Diagnosed wit PTSD not rating yet. Will I have to go through this grueling event again ?don’t know how much I can keep bringing up old wounds I am currently on medication and being threatened.I guess they will take away my compensation if I improve . I will soon retire after 49 years .Great site

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Bob, Thank you for contacting me and I’m sorry to hear it took so long to get your VA case approved. You shouldn’t have to go through the interviews for the VA to award your rating – they should already have all the required information. It’s possible the disability rating could be decreased if you show improvement, but I wouldn’t worry about that. Getting access to health care and improving your health would be well worth it. Also – the VA won’t reduce disability ratings without giving notice and giving you the opportunity to present your case. So you have time to prepare – just be sure to keep your information up to date in the VA system attend any VA appointments they make to review your condition(s). I wish you the best of health and thank you for your service!

  124. Arthur says

    Good afternoon,

    I am currently rated at 60% and I have 15 years of Army National Guard service. Is it worth me staying in the extra 5 years to collect my pension or am I maxed out on benefits? Can I collect both Army retirement when i turn 60 and my VA disability?

  125. VT says

    I was curious if you had any advice or guidance for my particular situation- I was active duty and then decided to go Gaurd due to my family situation at the time. When I was accomplishing my out processing, they asked me during my medical examine if I was claiming disability and what not, and I answered no. At the time I didn’t know if I would eventually go back to active or remain in the Gaurd, so I didn’t want a claim to ruin the chance for me to do either. I have been in he Gaurd for 2 years now since I left active duty and want to know if I can claim anything from active duty even though I originally said no and it’s been 2 years since I was active. For example, I was seen for lower back pain while I was active. It hurt and I was uncomfortable enough to be seen and do physical therapy, but it never truly affected my job and it still doesn’t; it is however still present. If I am able to still claim anything, do I go to my local VA office for info? Also, would I need to let the Gaurd know I’m trying to make a claim prior to the process, or do I wait until I’ve been approved for my claims to let them know? Any feedback would be helpful. Thanks!

  126. Tony says

    I just retired from the military and received an overall or combined rating of 100%. When I went to one of the areas that states my explanation, the very bottom says that:

    Basic eligibility to dependents education assistance is granted as evidence shows the veteran currently has a total service connected disability, permanent in nature.

    My questions are: Did I get 100% disability and can I still work full time?


    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Tony,

      Thank you for contacting me. There are two types of 100% disability ratings. The first is schedular, which means your actual disability rating is 100%. You can continue to work if you actual rating is 100%. The other type of 100% rating is when the disability rating is less than 100%, but the member is unable to work and the VA awards disability compensation at the 100% rating, even though the actual rating is not 100%. There are more limitations for the amount and type of work for veterans in the latter situation. I recommend speaking with the VA or your VSO to help you better understand your options.

      Best of luck, and thank you for your service!

  127. Bill says

    Hi, I have been 70% for about 4 years for a diagnosis of PTSD…served as a medic in Vietnam ’68-’69 with the usual possible Agent Orange exposure. Currently receive $1471.00/mo @ 70%. I went through a P & C interview about 7-8 weeks ago and was told that since I presently have Ishemic Cardiac Disease (heart attack and stints in Oct. 2014), Neuropathy in feet and hands and had my right lung (upper lobe) surgically removed and receiving Chemotherapy for that. I was told that I would automatically, by the examiner in my P & C interview, be classified 100% by virtue of these current conditions for a least 12 months, at which time after 12 months, may be re-evaluated again to determine a lowering or remaining 100% rating. Since it has been about 2 months since my P & C evaluation, do you have any sense of how long it takes for the compensation to start being paid? I don’t want to appear to be mercenary about this, but I was just wanting to know if you have had any similar questions or inquiries along this line.

    You must be commended for the extremely helpful and informative forum which you conduct and all veterans should thank you for your service

    Thanks and best Regards,


    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Bill, Thank you for contacting me, and I’m sorry to hear about your health issues. I wish you the best and hope you will receive the treatment you deserve.

      Thank you also for your kind words. This website is a labor of love. It’s a pleasure to continue serving the military community!

      Regarding your question – The VA usually sends back pay within a couple months of determining the rating. But I don’t have any special insight into the process. The best I can say is to call the VA and ask them to look into your case. Another option is speaking with your VA rep or a veterans benefits counselor at an organization such as the DAV, AMVETS, VVA, VFW, etc. I hope this points you in the right direction, and again, I wish you the best. Thank you for your service!

  128. Sharon says

    Hi Ryan: My husband is a 100% disabled veteran. I am not a veteran; but I am disabled. Can he file for additional monies for our added expenses because of my terminal illness from lung fibrosis. He can’t drive and has to have assistance for walking. Most of the time, I get out of breath whenever I try doing anything–even vacuuming. I know there is A/A; but, that piddly amount doesn’t go very far when we have to hire help.
    I know my mother had received $300.00+ for her disability. Why doesn’t the chart show that amount anywhere? There use to be a choice between the A/A and this money.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Sharon, Thank you for contacting me.

      Your husband should already be receiving VA disability compensation at the married rate. Beyond that, I’m not certain there is additional income based on spouses. That said, it may be possible he is eligible for additional care based on his situation. This would be on a case by case basis. I recommend speaking with a Veterans Service Organization, such as the DAV, VFW, American Legion, AMVETS, etc. They have trained individuals that can offer free benefits claims assistance.

      It may also be possible to receive additional assistance through the Social Security Administration, but I am not an expert on that process. I recommend contacting someone who is familiar with that process. I hope this is helpful.

  129. Liliana Santiago says

    Good Morning/Afternoon,

    As of 2012, I am 70% disabled veteran. While I was in, I always had hypertension and was surprised to receive 0%. Now every time since 2012-present that I go see my VA doctors my blood pressure is always high (185/120). Also, back in 2011, the Navy removed a few ovarian cysts and the VA determined that “The evidence does not show a current diagnosed disability). In 2015, after having some pains I went to see a regular doctor outside the VA because of course the VA didn’t have any appointments and the closest appointment was 6 months away, anyhow, my regular civilian doctor determined that I had 3 tumors on my ovaries. I had to undergo an emergency hysterectomy in 2015 for these 3 tumors and I am suffering from all the effects from medications. The question is, can I get the VA to reevaluate my claim? If so, how do I start the process?


    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Liliana, Thank you for contacting me. Yes, you can go for a reevalutation at any time. I recommend speaking with a veterans benefits counselor at a Veterans Service Organization, such as the DAV, AMVETS, etc. They have trained benefits counselors who can assist you with your claim. I hope this points you in the right direction, and I wish you the best of health.

  130. David says

    I just got 10% from the military after 6 months. I ets out in 2000 with a honorable discharge. I was also on a medical profile when I got out. I listed my back and my shin splints also when I filed. I was only awarded my knee. My question is can I go back to the time that I ets out and get back pay since I was a medical profile and had not done PT in over 2 years

    • Ryan Guina says

      David, back pay can only go back to the day you filed your claim. If you filed your claim when you separated in 2000, then you should receive the full amount, provided you had all the info when you filed your claim. But if you wanted a few years, your claim will only be retroactive to the day you filed the claim.

  131. Squirrel says

    Good Afternoon
    I am 100% DAV. I am thinking about claiming my mother (82 yo) as a dependent. In 2016 I have paid a great deal of money to improve her life to include home improvements. She does not live with me, but I do go home to take her to Doctors appointments, etc. Beside the VA form 21P, what other requirements or documents do I need to get this approved. I have receipts for over $20,000 that I have spent in 2016 to help her, which I can attach. Thanks

  132. Peyton Moore says

    My husband started the process of filing for his Disability Benefits in 03/16. The process started out ok, got most of his basic required tests completed. VA scheduled him an appt. for an MRI to be done last July so we can see can see the extent of his head injuries. He has not met w/ a doctor (or had a pre-schedule appt not CXL’d) since last August. As a combat veteran, he has had some trouble reintegrating back into the real world and has been unemployed for over a year now so I am the sole bread winner of our family. It does not seem to matter how many times he has an appt scheduled, he can’t get in. I am running out of options to get him the help he needs and I don’t know what more I can do. I know it’s a game of ‘hurry up and wait’ but there has got to be a way to at least get him the mental help he needs, even if we still have to wait for the financial benefits to come through. Any advice anyone would have is greatly appreciated!!

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Peyton, Thank you for sharing your experiences. I hope your husband will get the treatment he needs. I don’t have a lot of personal experience handling these types of issues with the VA. I recommend contacting the VA directly, contacting a VA Ombudsman (an advocate who works for the VA on your behalf), or working with a veterans advocate or veterans benefits counselor at a Veterans Service Organization such as the DAV, VFW, American Legion, etc. All of these options should be free, and they can help you navigate the system, and hopefully get some assistance in getting your husband in for treatment. I hope this is helpful and I wish you and your husband the best!

      • Margaret says

        We contacted our Senator’s office and the process was tremendously sped up. They were able to get my husband in within 2 weeks, we tried all the options that Ryan suggested to no avail. My suggestion is find a military senator within your state and call them. It worked for us.

  133. Brian says

    I have been out of the military since 2009. I was receiving a check of $133 monthly, which Is 10% disability for a service connected injury of ligaments torn in my ankle. I now have to work 2 jobs at a combined 13 hrs a day 5 days a week and both jobs require me to be on my feet. And now my foot is Really starting to hurt more than it ever has. Should I file a claim to get more aid so perhaps I can scale back my work hours?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Brian, Thank you for contacting me. You can file for an increased claim. But it would be a good idea to have medical records backing up your claim. These records should show the condition, the treatment you have received, and how it is not responding. Not having updated medical records may make it more difficult to get a claim approved. I suggest speaking with a veterans benefits counselor for more information on making a claim. Best of luck, and thank you for your service!

  134. Eric K. Meredith says


    I am a Fifty Nine year old veteran with an One Hundred Twenty (120%) percent disability that has a combined rating of Eighty (80%) & Unemployable Status. This means I receive a One Hundred (100%) percent Service Connected Disability payment. My question is, 2015 & 2016 I received Three Thousand Sixty Eight & 90/100 ($3,068.90) U.S. Dollars every month. This year we received a Three (3%) percent Cost Of Living Increase. How come on my January, 2017 payment I only received Nine & 21/100 ($9.21) U.S. Dollar increase???? Please can anyone explain the difference???

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Eric, Thank you for your comment. There was a 0.3% COLA, not 3%. So that comes out to a raise of $9.21 per month. This is the same COLA used by the Social Security Administration for Social Security cost of living increases. I hope this is helpful.

  135. M. Thurman says

    I am a 90% disabled veteran. I filed for an increase to me lower back, which was originally rated at 10% and categorized as Degenerative Disc Disease Lumbarsacral Spine. For years the VA told me that it was normal wear and tear, not to be worried about. All the while, I can’t sit or stand for extended periods of time. I couldn’t bend over to put on socks, shoes, any clothing. My wife had to help me wash my lower extremities, because the pain from bending over was unbearable. My daily life was seriously impacted because of this, and my marriage was deteriorating. After two years of complaining, the VA finally authorized a MRI, which discovered a calcified herniated disc, with a cyst growing on it in my L4/L5, with radioculopathy. During the surgery, the surgeon hit my nerve and had to repair it. After everything was said and done, I have very intense muscle spasms in my back, my right leg is very weak and loses all strength while walking sometimes. I can’t sit or stand for an extended period of time, my right leg is completely numb from the knee to my foot. I eat pain medication (tremadol & Percocet) like they’re skittles. I haven’t been to work in almost two months and the VA scheduled my physical therapy for Feb, which is two months after the surgery. Is all of this sufficient evidence to increase my back to 50%? Should the radioculopathy be secondary to my DDD? Thought?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello M. Thurman, Thank you for contacting me, and I’m sorry to hear about your medical issues. I do not work for the VA and I am not medically trained, so I can’t comment on the likelihood of your claim increase being approved.

      I recommend speaking with a veterans benefits counselor at the VA or with a Veterans Service Organization. They have counselors who offer free claims assistance. Some recommended organizations include the DAV, VFW, American Legion, and similar organizations.

      I hope this points you in the right direction. I wish you the best of health, and a speedy resolution to this situation!

  136. lee Rink says

    i served 2 tours in Vietnam 68 and 71 i requested to be tested for agent orange side affects 4 years ago which was done in 20 minutes with the tester sitting at a computer however i am now being treated for agent orange related lung cancer with chemo and radiation, why am i not getting 100% disability i have applied but have not heard from the VA about my claim.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Lee, Thank you for contacting me, and I’m sorry to hear about your health conditions. The VA can often take a long time to approve a service-connected disability claim. I recommend working with a veterans benefits counselor to help you navigate the disability claims process. There are many organizations that offer free benefits claims assistance, including the DAV, VFW, American Legion, and similar organizations. I wish you a full recovery, and thank you for your service!

  137. R LPayne says

    I have a question, I juse retired 7 months ago, I just now got my VA appt..well a month after retirement I had surgery to repair my neck and have been told not to work or be active due to the seriousness. I tried to apply for disability but was told I don’t qualify because I have only been a soldier for 26 years and never paid into the California system. So I contacted the VA to see if the hey could help and was the hey old without a rating they couldn’t do anything. I don’t expect to receive a rating for another 2 to 3 months but I was wondering who do I speak about back dating of 100 percent disabled for the time I am injuried ..my surgeon said I may need a entire year to recover. No source of income I had to get loans and am now behind in every bill while waiting for the system to give me a rating. I was told I could get a temp rating of 100 percent during this period but again waiting on appts and the VA I have nothing. Please point me in the right direction because I have no help from the VA in getting back pay or adjustment for the surgery

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello R LPayne, Thank you for contacting me. I’m sorry to hear about your injury and I hope you will fully recover quickly. Your situation needs individualized counseling, which is something I’m not qualified to do. I recommend speaking with a veterans benefits counselor at the VA or with a Veterans Service Organization. They have counselors who offer free claims assistance. I wish you the best and a speedy recovery. Thank you for your service!

  138. J Cage says

    I was wondering if you had any idea what happens to a veteran with 90% disability rating who starts to work whether it be part time or full time. I have a case that gets worse with stress and causes a lot of pain in my abdominal area and I do not know what will happen because my VA rep is not responding to my emails and I have to respond to this offer within the week. I do not know if I am ready to work and if I should try to apply for IU instead. If you cannot help me no worries I just thought I would try.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello J Cage, Thank you for contacting me. I don’t believe there is any change to your benefit if you work while receiving a 90% disability rating. The only consideration is if you have a 90% rating, but receive 100% IU. In that case, I do not believe you can work beyond a certain income level without it affecting your compensation.

      That said, each case is unique, so I recommend speaking with a veterans benefits counselor at the VA or with a Veterans Service Organization. They have counselors who offer free claims assistance. I wish you the best. Thank you for your service!

  139. Kelly DeVore says

    I woukd love to know when these p/t 100% wounded warrior’s get protected by the government they fought so selflessly for. My husband was medboarded. It is 1 yr -1/2 and he is STILL A GETTING basic evaluation because we were homeless 2 times (Landlords had house foreclosed). He cannot work, I am disabled, any my son has not been able to do school for over a yr with everything. His EX is inssiting he pay child support for daughter over 18, he paid for his son until age 20 and NO credit. Court put fraudulent figures in (increased by addING taxes he DOESN’T PAY because it is straight disability. They issued income withholding-VA WILL NOT/CAN NOT BY FED LAW (disabilitY NOT in lieu of retirement-13 yrs only-disability ftom medboard) now they are threatening to put him in jail when SHE owes him 13,000. This is great for v his 9 TBIs, SEVERE PTSD, copd, bilateral ankle paralysis, reactive airway disorder, sleep apnea, rhinoplasty required, cellulitis, plaque psoriasis, permanent shoulder damage, ..
    There’s alot more. This is wrong. AND they added 5% more because he “didn’t see them the 42 days a year required (he was in Korea!) Heres the kicker- we had an attorney. I wasn’t allower in mediation (although we both were clients and I have full power of attorney. ) this guy threatened my husband thst it would be too much money to go to court! Please tell me there is justice for these soldiers! This support aMt he paid faithfully from EVERY CHECK was almost 1500.00 a mo because they included his BAH, BAS (which was 2ND highest BAH in conus) and didn’t not change when we moved. There has to be justice for these brave soldiers. THEY ALL SACRIFICE SOOO many things to go serve! Help!

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Kelly, Thank you for contacting me. Your situation is complicated and one I am not equipped to handle. I recommend speaking with a veterans benefits counselor at a Veterans Service Organization regarding military and veterans benefits. Many organizations, such as the DAV, AMVETS, American Legion, and others, offer free counseling services and the benefits counselor can help you put together and file any benefits claims.

      Regarding the legal issues – the best recommendation I have is to speak with a lawyer who specializes in military law. They can help you review the previous court decisions and file an appeal if necessary. They should also be able to review any fraudulent figures used in the court decisions, or submit a new proposal based on current income figures. I wish you and your family the best.

    • Mark Thomas says

      As a former military physician we see so many multiple claims being made as part of a MEB/PEB process. If your husband is not an actual wounded service member – I.E. a Purple Heart recipient, obvious low hanging fruit diagnoses such as PTSD and OSA (is he overweight) or a smoker (COPD) these diagnoses will draw lower initial percentages – and should. How much more do you want from all of us as taxpayers? Sounds like it is his personal choices causing stress in his life. Severe PTSD is rated at 70% and TBI residuals would provide at least 50%, and still rate the PTSD separately. Only his referred conditions are rated prior to discharge. The lawyer can explain it but is straight-forward.
      I am a PH recipient – numerous combat tours and have an actual wound (chest wound and loss of lower leg). The VA AND DOD has taken great care of me without any drama whatsoever. I elected a med-board too. I had over 20 years (9 combat tours). 75% DOD AND 100% VA.

      • Marci says

        Military physicians are the reason so many Veterans have problems getting the treatment and compensation they need and deserve. The suck it up and don’t be a complainer mentality is why so many active duty members don’t go to medical when they are in pain in the first place. If they do go to medical they are often treated with ibuprofen and told to come back in four to six weeks. When they go back they are told the same thing or under treated and left with the impression the military physician thinks they are faking or trying to get out of something. It’s usually not until years later after retirement or separation do a lot of veterans seek treatment and than get denied benefits because it wasn’t service connected and documented while on active duty.

        How much more do want from us taxpayers? You got to be kidding.
        Taxpayers can pay for politicians lavash vacations, fancy expensive dining room tables, expensive art for their offices but when it comes to medical care for veterans that’s when it crosses the line?

        Of course you received great care from the DOD and VA you are an officer and a physician. You can’t possibly believe that most enlisted military veterans or active duty members get the same quality healthcare that you received. You must of had some bedside manner.

  140. Leonard Kern says

    I was diagnosed with hepatitis c 12 years ago and couldn’t figure out how I got it. I went through 2 courses of interferon chemotherapy trying to cure it but failed. Listening to an interview with the head of VA, he mentioned the high cost of treating vets from the 70’s for Hep c, reminded me I had bad blood tests while I was in service. I requested my records and took them to my GI Dr and he confirmed I had it back then. There was a diagnosis of hepatitis in my records but I was not informed at the time and have suffered from it for almost 40 years. I had an VA evaluation last week and that Dr believes I contracted it in service. Realistically what can I expect from VA? Is that eligible for disability rating? I have a good chance of dying from this disease and it’s made daily life difficult. I soldier on, but it gets harder as I grow older.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Leonard, Thank you for contacting me. I suggest speaking with a veterans benefits counselor at the VA or a Veterans Service Organization such as the DAV, VFW, American Legion, Vietnam Veterans of America, or similar veterans organizations. They should be able to help you understand whether or not you have a good case for a claim and help you go through the process of making the claim.

      I hope this points you in the right direction. I wish you the best of health, and thank you for your service!

    • Mark Thomas says

      Hi. Hep C can be cured without Interferon use, or even a lifestyle change during treatment (alcohol restricted during INH treatment for instance).
      Hep C is painless and has zero impact on your ability to work or look for work.
      You can and should expect treatment, not money in the form of disability.
      Good luck.

  141. CkRed says

    I think it’s wrong that a veteran with 30% disability gets penalized for retiring vs. getting out!

    Example: Two veterans suffer the disability resulting in 30%. Veteran A gets out after 4 years and receives $407.75 / month for life. Veteran B retires and gets a tax discount of $407.75.

    Essentially the tax discount is negligible in comparison.

    I understand the feds need to save money. However, earning a pension by serving 20+ years should have nothing to do with disability pay!

  142. Gay Gentry says

    My husband is a 100% s/c veteran and resides in a State Landboard Veterans home. Within the last two years he has lost the use of his legs and right arm. His disability is for seizures for which he takes 5 seizure meds along with other for a total of 31 pills per day. I recently filed for loss of use and I have mixed feelings. I am not money hungry but it would be nice to not worry about bills. The VA has been very good to John but I see him declining every day. He is bedridden and they use a lift to get him in the shower chair. Do you think he will be awarded loss of use compensation.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Gay Gentry, Thank you for contacting me. I don’t see a problem with filing an additional claim if the medical condition is related to military service. That is the purpose of VA disability compensation claims. If approved, this will help with his care, and ultimately, that is what matters.

      Regarding approval, I can’t comment. I am not medically trained, and I am not associated with the VA, so I can’t speak on their behalf (I don’t even want to make a guess; I don’t have the experience to do so).

      My recommendation is to speak with a veterans benefits counselor at a Veterans Service Organization such as the DAV, VFW, American Legion, etc. I hope this is helpful, and I wish you both the best.

  143. Victor says


    A short answer to your question, yes.

    Mental health disorders can be a challenge in finding employment due to the fact that being around a room full of people can added unwanted stress. Physical conditions like knees, back, etc, can be a challenge because if the only type of employment in your community is janitorial work, it can put extra strain due to the demands of hard labor. Since you were terminated, it definitely helps your case.

    However, always remember this; have you been getting treatment for your service-connected conditions? If yes, then you have an even better chance of getting an increase. If you have not, there is still a chance for an increase however you MUST make sure you tell the examiner at your Compensation and Pension exam the physical or mental demands of the job you were terminated from.


  144. thomas D trottman says

    I have 2 service connected disabilities. I haven’t worked since 2008. That’s when I got approved for SSDI. In 2016 I. Was hired by the va. I started working in March 2016 and was terminated in july for absences due to my service connected disabilities. I put in for a increase due to me not being able to work. Should that make my.claim easier to approve?

  145. Beau21 says

    I called the va in December of 2015 to try and get an reevaluation for my Benifits that I started receiving on January of 2011. I got off of active duty December 2010 and started my claim during my out processing .My first rating was at 40%. So to fast forward I finally got an c&p exam on September 9 2016 and now my rate is 80%. The va said my effective date started on September 9. So I said all that two ask these two questions? My first question is does the va have to pay me from the time I put in my intent to file claim in December or because all of my disabilities, sense they are service connected, does it go back to my original effective date back in 2011? And two if they have not been paying me for my child sense the start of my disability am I owed back pay on that as well if I added her on my original claim?

    • Victor says


      The VA would have to pay you from the date of your Intent to File. Did you receive correspondence form the VA explaining that you submitted your intent back to December 2015? If you did, then yes. If not, then no.

      If you never received your correspondence, you have 2 ways of checking;

      1. Review your Ebenefits account. You would have received a message. If you don’t have access to Ebenefits, create your account ASAP!


      2. Contact your County Veteran Service Officer or a representative from the VFW, American Legion, or any accredited VA Representative. They can research the information for you.

      While submitting your original disability claim in 2011, did you submit the information for your child on VA form 21-686c? If not, submitting VA form 21-686c to the VA usually retro-pays dependent allowance within 1 year of the effective date of the claim. After that year expires, the allowance is the date of submission.

      So in answer to your question about dependent allowance retroactively paid from 2011, if you didn’t submit VA form 686c then no. However, you still have until September 2017 to submit the information for your child to the VA for dependent allowance.



  146. Reece Anderson says

    Hi Ryan. I was recently reevaluated and awaiting notification. I have a combined rating of 80% (50% = depression/ptsd, 20% for back, 40% for hands and feet) and I understand the VA math for the most part. My question is, if my back and or ptsd ratings are increased, even 10% each for example, would that put me at the 100% threshold because they already exist, or would those new ratings become victims of the VA math as if they were new and separate claims? I have other issues, but I don’t like to keep running back to the VA as if I were trying to nickel and dime my way to 100%, but my unemployability has become an issue. Thank you in advance for your answer and whatever advice you can provide.

    Best Regards,

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Reece, Thank you for contacting me. The VA will do the math with your new ratings. So if you currently have 50% + 40% + 20%, and your 50% rating increases to 60%, the VA would do the math with these numbers: 60% + 40% + 20%.

      Each time a rating changes, the VA uses the new numbers to determine your new ranking. I hope this answers your question. I wish you the best of health, and thank you for your service!

  147. Gael says

    why is the amount of the disability benefit not 40% of the retirement pay? EX: $3700 retirement payment /40% disability/ VA entitlement:$651.36

    • Victor says


      The VA disability is not 40% of military retirement pay. Your military retirement pay for TAXES is offset by $651.36.

      What this means is that less taxes are taken out of your military retirement pay.

  148. Barney Roberts says

    Ryan, I recently was approved for 30% on several issue’s that I had while severing 20 years in the Marines. VA had denied a claim for injured kneed as they said it was not in medical records. So I produced copy of Medical record showing injury & treatment. Well, the knee was re-evaluated & was give a a rating of 10% but VA did not increase my overall rating as they said “VA use’s a “combined rating table that considers the effect from most serious to least serious condition”. Is this something I should appeal. I have other issues that are service connected but happened pursued “yet”.

    • James says

      Ryan, usually 10% using the combined rating table only moves the ratings 2 or 3 points! you probably know unless you receive 5 points, you will not advance on to next 10 level rating.

  149. Jesse says

    Hi Ryan, you mentioned on another post that you would explain why the VA rating schedule is non linear. For instance, why is there such a large gap between 90 and 100%. It doesn’t make a lot of sense. Do you have any insight into why it was set up this way?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Jesse, this article explains the VA Math and how multiple VA disability ratings are calculated.

      Basically, the VA considers someone with a 10% disability rating to be 90% efficient (100% – 10% = 90%). If you stack another 10% disability rating on that, it is calculated from the 90% rate, leaving the veteran at 81% efficient (90% * 10% = 9%. Subtract 9% from 90% = 81%). Another 10% rating, reduces the rating by 8.1%, which is 72.9%, etc. Each successive rating results in diminished returns, especially when the veteran has multiple small ratings. The link referenced above includes a detailed explanation, a podcast that explains it verbally, and a chart to make looking up combined disability ratings easy. I hope this is helpful, and thank you for your service!

  150. Daniel says

    Good evening I was administratively discharged for sleepwalking and was only in for 20 months making me eligible for only 70% of schooling benefits. If I submit a disability claim for other issues stated in my medical record and say they give me a 0% rating for service-connected disability would I now be eligible for 100% Post 9/11 benefits?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Daniel, Thank you for contacting me. Eligibility rules award up to 100% as long as the member served at least 30 consecutive days and had a disability related discharge. Your situation most likely qualifies, but you would need to go through the VA disability claim process (unless you have a military disability rating; that may qualify you). I don’t know if there is a minimum percentage rating required. The VA should help you understand the fine print. Right now the best thing you can do is complete a VA disability claim. Then you should be able to contact the VA for a determination on the percentage payout you will receive for the Post-9/11 GI Bill.

  151. Becky Mercaldi says

    I am currently going through the MEB/PEB process. A proposed rating came back with 50% DOD and 90% VA. I have a diagnosis for a condition that was claimed but not diagnosed. Sleep apnea. Should I fight for the remaining 10%?

    • Nicholas Yandoli says

      Personally I would recommend trying to get that last 10 percent. However, wait until you’re discharged with 90 percent VA rating. The VA outside of active duty military is a lot easier to use and they have tons of people and staff willing to tell you some tricks to get your increase. When I was being evaluated, I was given 70 percent VA but they failed to acknowledge 3 different other claims. I was told to refile after I was discharged. I did those and I ended up getting two of the claims approved and I was given 100 percent. They keep refusing to rate my chronic migraines after a head injury, but I guess it all worked out anyway. Good luck with your last 10 percent.

      • YG says

        Make sure you get the Sleep Apnea documented/diagnosed prior to separation. That is not one of the disabilities you can still claim up to a year after discharge. (According to my Texas Veteran’s Commission representative).

  152. Scott Horne says

    The VA does not list what type of a payment you can receive or even how to change the status. If you have a permanently disabled adult child, or if that child receives that Social Security and manages to get on your VA disability then Social Security will drop deduct that amount. Also a permanently disabled adult child does not get the same rate, as a Vets Parent that is the Vets dependent. This is a sham to those of us VETS who will be taking care of our disabled adult children until our death. Then have no idea if the VA will truly give them Survivor benefits.

  153. Scott Krefft says

    Hello, I retired USN in 1998 after 22 years service. I have recently been diagnosed with COPD. I am wondering if this could have been caused or exacerbated while I was on active duty. Although I retired a Senior Chief Boatswain Mate, in 1976/77 as a young seaman while our ship pulled into Subic Bay for some minor maintenance the ship sent me to a Marine ripout and lagging school in Subic Bay. I was then part of a team that began ripping out the asbestos lagging throughout various areas of the USS Kawishiwi AO 146. I was put on an asbestos screening I believe every other year and I do know that that “screening program” is documented in my medical record. Is this something I can request a disability rating for? I don’t believe my condition is too bad at this point, but I understand the disease is progressive in nature. If disability is possible what would the rating be?
    I did smoke during my military career, but had quit before retiring.
    Thanks for any feedback you can offer.

  154. kenneth tyson says

    i was diagnosed with moderate intensitiy PTSD i had my c&p exam what kind of rating can i exspect? i had all the criteria A,B,C,D,E more than 3 for each?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Kenneth, Thank you for contacting me. Unfortunately, I am not with the VA and I don’t have the knowledge or ability to estimate disability ratings. I would contact your representative at the VA and ask if they can give you an estimate based on your medical exams. Another option would be contacting a veterans benefits counselor at a Veterans Service Organization such as the DAV, VFW, AMVETS, etc. I hope this points you in the right direction. I wish you the best, and thank you for your service!

  155. Anter Dionel says

    I have been Diagnosed to have Severe Obstructive Sleep Apnea and been issued C-PAP Machine,how ever when i filled for compensation Va told me that it wasnt service connected,i have several shipmates and supervisor witnessed my loud snoring and gasping for air some nights in our sleeping berthing most nights and i included their written statement with the paper works to VA,now we filled a NOD and also i seek medical professional Doctor who specializes on Sleep Pulmonary anf wrote a letter to make analysis that my Sleep Apnea is service connected,my question is does it help my case to reverse the decision and what is my chance of getting it reverse and how long it will take to for VA to make decisions. Thanks Anter

    • JB says

      Any update on your decision from the VA? My mom has the same situation and is trying to find the best route to take when doing her claim. Thanks

      • YG says

        What I was told by a Texas Veteran’s Commission agent was Sleep Apnea has to be documented prior to separation from the service in order to be claimed as service related. If you are diagnosed the day after you leave the service it no longer counts, unlike many other disabilities that you can claim up to a year after separation and still have considered as service connected.

      • Mike says

        I contracted Sleep Apnea while in the service during the mid 60’s. This disability was “discovered” about that time. The VA did not recognize it as a disability until many years after. How is one to make a claim if no one knows of it or it’s affects and/or existence?

  156. Jeffrey Belcher says

    Hello, I am retired military. I retired with 40% disability (20% each ankle). I retired in 1990. Two years after retirement my disability was downgraded to 10% in each ankle. Three months ago I filed claims for my ankles to be re-evaluated, along with knee problems and a wrist problem (all broken in line of duty). When I went to my evaluation, my ankle problems were not addressed, only talked about and no range of motion, no xrays, etc. My evaluation came back with 10% for each knee and 10% for my wrist. However, my ankles, which are in horrible shape, lots worse than when I received 40% for them 26 years ago, were left at 10% each. I was not happy with both the evaluation or the results. What can I do do ask for a re-evaluation as they were not reviewed and I want this readdressed. Thanks.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Jeffrey, Thank you for contacting me, and I’m sorry to hear about your issues with the VA. Here is an article that may help you understand your options if you decide to appeal your VA decision. You can get help with this through the VA, or through a Veterans Service Organization such as the DAV, AMVETS, VFW, etc.

      • Timothy Boren says

        The DAV is somewhat of a joke here in St. Louis area. I went to them 6 years ago with my medical files from the military. I had all my original files. They submitted my claim and then told me I didn’t submit enough paperwork. I went back in through them and submitted the entire medical files I had, everything in the files. They then called me back and told me I had submitted too much and needed to earmark the pages I wanted them to look at. This was over a 4 month time, so it already put me that late in the game. I finally had to go out and get a lawyer and finally getting somewhere.

      • Michael McKeown says

        I am an 82 year old .100% service connected retired Marine. I’ve been confined to my house since 2013. In 2014 I applied for Aid and Attendance but my application was denied I was told because I already was receiving this benefit. I appealed and was told again that my application was denied for the same reason. I am puzzled. I’m currently a Home Based Patient Care and one of their team named the DAV in San Diego to represent me. I am an a/k amputee (left leg) leg . I’ve lost the use of my right leg, have fused right ankle and knee with lower right leg infected with osteo myelitis right wrist and shoulder fused and left arm ridden with arthritis. There is no question that I qualify for ai & attendance. I never wanted the DAV involved. I don’t understand. How do I contact MrKazmierzack?

    • Christian Robles says

      Hello I was recently placed on permanent retirement status from TDRL however my DOD rating went from 100% to 50%
      How will this affect my CRSC or other benifits

      • Ryan Guina says

        Hello Christian, Thank you for contacting me. CRSC can be complicated and it’s not easy to answer these questions via email. I recommend speaking with a veterans benefits counselor who can examine the specifics of your situation and give you an individualized response. I’m not qualified to do that, but there are many veterans service organizations that offer free benefits claims assistance. Some of them include the DAV, VFW, AMVETS, etc. I wish you the best and thank you for your service!

    • Matt says

      You need to be your own doctor and lawyer in a sense. Go to a civilian doctor and get full evaluation. Get copies of everything. It is in your interest to also be receiving treatment for your conditions and also show any meds and time away from work for your condition.
      Civilian attorney may be an option if you are in the one year appeal window. Research the requirements for rate increase fir your condition and ensure your doctor can document your determination if conditions. Good luck and thank you for your service!

    • mike cody says

      Do you have anxiety from your soreness in your ankles or anxiety and possible depression because you cant work like you use to? These are possibilities. They go along with a lot of disabilities that you should really think about and ask your doctor about. Most ailments or disabilities tend to have a secondary condition. Sometimes were just not aware of it because we are not doctors.

  157. Nicole Smith says

    I only get 10% disability. I am qualified for more but they want approve it. I go numb on my whole right side, I can’t keep a job, I have no desire to have sex with my husband, I have bells palsey as a level 5 which is the worst one I can’t talk at times and my eyesight is blurry from it. I have had two knee surgeries on the same knee. I have had a partial hysterectomy, I have a spouse and two kids and one parent, I can’t hear out of my right ear but i only got approved for 10% disability by the VA. Bull hockey is what I say to them. I been at this since 2010 and still nothing. A representative tried and still nothing. VA need to get it together before I sue. Help me please

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Nicole, I’m sorry to hear about your medical conditions. I hope you will receive the treatment and medical care you need. In regards to the VA disability claim, I can’t offer individual assistance .I am not trained in this area and I don’t have the ability to manage individual medical case files. The best I can recommend is to work with a VA benefits claims advisor. Many Veterans Service Organizations offer free benefits claims assistance, such as the DAV, AMVETS, etc. They should be able to help you fill out and submit your claim and offer advise during the entire application process. If this doesn’t work, you may wish to consider hiring a lawyer who specializes in VA claims cases. Most of them will offer a free consultation. Again, I wish you the best, and thank you for your service.

  158. Terry says

    Hi, I am sure this question has been asked many times…..I am currently 20% disabled for both knees since 1998, they have steadily gotten worse, I recently put in a VA disability increase in 2015 and am awaiting the decision……if I am awarded more, would I get back paid from 1998 or 2015…..the disability is service connected.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hi Terry, if awarded a higher rating, you would receive back pay to the date you filed your new claim (2015). The compensation is not paid back to your original claim from 1998, because that was already decided at the rate of 20%. When awarding back pay, the VA can only go back to the claim that resulted in the increased rating.

  159. Pete says

    I presently receive a combined 70% rating with the VA. I had my left knee replaced last year due to a broken leg while working on active duty back in my twenties. My right ankle was dislocated on active and just this past February I had knee surgery on my right knee. The right knee was rated secondary to the left.
    No where on the list of disabilities do I see any indication of a Bilateral rating. Would the bilateral be specifically called out in the list of disabilities?
    Is a bilateral rating something I have to apply for?

  160. robert sedor says

    I have a question on if I will receive a disability rating. I spent 15 years in the military and got out under higher tenure (honorable discharge) while in the military I requested a sleep study multiple time but was turned down by military doctors. four months after getting out the va hospital gave me a sleep study and it should I had moderate sleep apnea. I didn’t receive the results for almost a year. a year later I had my part 1 and 2 sleep study done and it said that I have now moderate to severe sleep apnea. because I put this down on my original paperwork will I still be able to get a disability rating and if so will I get back paid?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Robert, Thank you for contacting me. I wish I had an answer, but only the VA can tell you if you will receive a disability rating. If you do receive a disability rating, the VA will determine the effective date for the rating, and will provide back pay if applicable. But until the VA completes their review of your claim, no one can give a definitive answer. In the mean time, it would be a good idea to meet with a Veterans Benefits Claims Officer to help you make sure your claim is the best it can be. You can try the DAV, VFW, American Legion, etc. I hope this is helpful. Best of luck, and thank you for your service!

  161. Jessica says

    I was told, when i came back from Iraq, that if my disability rating ended up being 30% or more that my children would get free college. Is this true? Can you share a link or info with me?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Jessica, Thank you for contacting me. I’m not sure which specific program you are referring to. Most federal programs I am aware of require the veteran to have a 100% disability rating. But it’s possible there are programs I’m not aware of. It’s also possible there is a state plan where you live that may offer college benefits to veterans with a disability rating. I would speak with a benefits counselor at your base, your local VA center, or a Veterans Service Organization. Best of luck, and thank you for your service!

  162. ted says

    hello, I am currently receiving disability at 100% with wife and one child. my child is now 18 and in college. Am I still able to receive my benefit for her while attending college? if so, do I need to do anything special to inform the VA she is attending college? thanks Ted

  163. Mike says

    My rating was increased from 40% to 50% (effective 2010). This month (April 2016) I started receiving full retirement + disability. I’m trying to do a rough guesstimate on my back payment – I have a couple of claims pending, so I guess they only want to send one back payment?
    I was thinking 50% ($917.13) – 40% ($651.36) x number of months. But I’m getting the feeling that since my retirement was also affected there’s another amount I should be considering. Can you help?
    Hope this is clear enough – thanks for all you do for veterans!

  164. Zulu November says

    Good Afternoon Mr. Guina:

    I truly hope, that you can steer me in the right direction on this one.

    I am currently receiving Vocational, Rehabilitation, and Educational (VRE) benefits for school. The VA pays for my education, books, supplies, etc. Additionally, I am supposed to be receiving a monthly stipend.

    This was going along fine, up until a few months ago, and now it is a total “Cluster Foxtrot!”

    I have been in touch with my local, and regional VRE counselors, and have included documentation “Out the Ying Yang,” to try to get this squared away, but to no avail.

    Do you have any contacts at the VA who may be able to get this taken care of, or perhaps guide me in the right direction?

    It’s very frustrating, as I’m sure other veterans can attest to, when dealing with the VA.

    Your immediate attention and consideration in this matter is truly appreciated.

    Semper Fi,
    Zulu November

  165. Allen says

    I already receive a combined 30% VA disability rating but I’m in the process of submitting a new claim for a separate (new) disibiliy. My question is, will my new rating get added to my current 30% rating or will VA recalculate based on severity of disability? Example: If my OLD rating is %50 for back and 10% for ear and my OLD rating is 20% for knee and 10% for leg how will this calculation look?

  166. JENNIFER YOUNG says

    Hi Ryan,
    Back in 1992 I was injured in the army. Now 24 years later I still have the same leg issue and have been trying to get it service connection since 2000. In 2000 the VA tried to get an MRI however I was pregnant so they said they would reschedule it. 16 years later they never have and never have found it service related. I went to a civilian ortho dr recently as even though I have a black market on my leg my VA Dr didn’t feel necessary to send me to ortho. I am being told it’s now dead tissue and I’m waiting for tests etc. Should I contact a lawyer ?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Jennifer, Thank you for contacting me. I would start by contacting a veterans benefits counselor at a Veterans Service Organization, such as the DAV, VFW, American Legion, etc. They can help you with the claims process and whether or not they believe a lawyer would be able to help you with your case. I wish you the best, and thank you for your service.

  167. Kristy pelkey says


    I just started receiving 50% disibility and I called my local VA whom I filed with, I told her I’m married. It lists me as single. Does it make a difference that I’m a woman? I’ve been married a few times when I was young and she said I need ALL my marriage dates and divorce dates. That was years ago and I don’t have record nor remember. Is this true? Just info now seems good enough.
    Thank you

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Kristy, Thank you for contacting me. I don’t know why the VA needs copies of all your marriage and divorce dates. You can ask them why they need that information, or just provide it as best you can. They will certainly need a copy of your current wedding certificate to get your spouse added as a dependent on your disability compensation claim. You will want to get this to them ASAP.

  168. Sam Simpson says

    Hi Ryan,

    How accurate is the Estimated Completion dates of your claim/s on the Ebenefits website? I’m currently rated at 20%. I have an Increase and a Secondary claim pending with an estimated completion date of 5/1/16. Thank you.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Sam, I wish I could tell you. I don’t have personal experience filing a VA disability claim with the Ebenefits website. I filed mine the before the site was launched.

      There is no standard timeline for VA disability claims because each case is unique and varies based on the complexity of the claim, whether or not the VA needs additional documents or exams, and many other factors. So for now, I would be cautiously optimistic about the date, with the understanding that there may be factors outside of your control. I wish you the best, and thank you for your service!

  169. Mike Smith says

    Thank you for the help.

    I have a situation that I am currently in.
    I was a Ssgt in the Air Force for 15 years. I was honorably discharged from service because of high year tenure; married with 3 kids.

    Two months ago, a reserve recruiter contacted me and asked if I would like to join. I had told them that I didn’t think I qualified because a few of the disabilities that I have. I can’t do the run or walk test for the military PT test, sleep apnea and back spasms every now and then. The recruiter still entered me to get enlisted, but was denied, which I had a feeling that I would.

    Two months later, I received a call from the reserves, they pushed my application through and they thought they should look further into my case because I only have 5 more years to complete, I was still able to do my job, just reached high year tenure for my rank and was not put up for the medical board. So they want me to do a MEPS physical and waive me for the walk and run because of my feet so I could join and complete the remaining 5 years.

    Also at the same time, I was about to start applying for claiming VA disability.
    When the VA rep looked over my records, they told me I could get 70% for my conditions.

    I needed some advice on which would be more beneficial: to join the reserves or claim disability?

    Here is a portion of what is listed in my medical records as chronic conditions.
    Sleep apnea
    Back muscle spasm
    Lower back pain
    Midback pain
    Tendonitis posterior tibial (both feet)
    Pes planus deformity (both feet)

    Thank you very much for the help!

  170. Diana says

    First, thank you for this website. Secondly, could you advise me on what to do? I have a 100% disability for mental since 2005. The army has also retroactively retired me for ptsd at 100% in 2012. I was told that the va could never decrease what the army gave you? I also read if you amber wring for at least 5 years it could not change? I received a letter today, after having 100% for over 10 years they propose to cut me from 100% to 50% and that I have to submit my appeal and get a hearing. That my condition has improved, which in actuality, ice been telling them the last 3 years it’s getting worst. What steps must I take? I was going to contact my congressman, but I don’t know which one is best. And go into the va and get one of their representatives to help me. Do I need to contact American legion or dav or hire a real lawyer? Please help. Thank you.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Diana, Thank you for contacting me. I recommend speaking with a Veterans Service Organization for assistance (DAV, VFW< American Legion, etc.). Many VSOs offer free veterans benefits claims assistance and can help you through this issue. Best of luck, and thank you for your service!

  171. Jamel says

    I was discharged from the army in 2003 with a honorable discharge and a chapter 18 (overweight) I gain weight fast and started started snoring excessively. I was never checked for sleep apnea for the last two years I’ve been fighting to get service connected. I am currently 70% disabled high blood pressure 60% and migraines 30% I’m still fighting to prove my sleep apnea and a few other disabilities . My question is I was given 60% post 9/11 GI bill without being service connected so now with me being service connected does that Change my post 9/11 percentage and if so will the army pay for the remaining 40% in student loans I owe.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Jamel, Thank you for contacting me. I don’t know about the percentages for the GI Bill – you will need to contact the VA. As for the Army paying for student loans, I’m not aware of any programs like this. The best thing to do is contact your school’s student aid department to see if you are eligible for any loans, grants, scholarships, work study programs, or other ways to help pay for or reduce the cost of your education. Best of luck, and thank you for your service!

  172. Morgan says

    Hello, Below are my current ratings which put me at 90%, I am requesting an increase for disabilities that were service connected but rated 0%, how much would I need to get to 100%. Also, I noticed two of the 10%s are for limbs, but not using the bilateral factor, would the bilateral factor increase the overall disability, or should I leave that alone.
    10% Service Connected
    10% Service Connected
    10% Service Connected
    50% Service Connected
    50% Service Connected bilateral

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Morgan, Thank you for contacting me. Here is an article that shows you how to calculate multiple disability ratings.

      The bilateral factor only applies if the disability rating is for the same limbs, but on opposing sides of the body. For example, a bilateral factor would apply for a 10% disability on your right leg and left leg. But it would not apply if there is a 10% disability on your right leg and left arm.

      Would adding a bilateral factor affect your ratings? It might. But getting to 100% becomes very difficult unless you have multiple high ratings. Adding several small ratings, such as 10% or 20% doesn’t move the needle very much once you get into the 80%-90% range.

      In your example, two 50% ratings with the bilateral factor come out to 83% (50% + 50% = 75%, plus the bilateral factor of 7.5% = 82.5%, which rounds up to 83%). Add in a bilateral factor of of two 10% ratings (which comes out to 21%) only brings the rating up to 86%. Add another 10% rating that you already have, and you’re up to 87%. The final number rounds up to 90%. You would need to add multiple smaller ratings, or a much larger rating to get the total disability rating up to the rating of 95%, which would then round up to 100%.

      The best thing to do is look at the chart on that above link and run the numbers on different scenarios. That will give you the best idea of which ratings are needed to reach a certain disability percentage.

      You can also speak with a veterans benefits counselor at a Veterans Service Organization to give you a better idea of how to proceed. I hope this is helpful. Best of luck, and thank you for your service!

  173. William B Hough says

    I retired from my civilian job a 59 1/2 and took my SSA reduced benefits at 62, 3 yr 7 mos before fully benefit eligibility. I was recently awarded 100% total & permanent disability from VA. I was told that I could apply for full SSA benefits now given my new status. I am now 69 yrs old. Any thoughts?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello William, I don’t have any experience claiming SSA benefits. I would contact the Social Security Administration and ask them if you are qualified, and what the process would be. They can walk you through the application process and get you squared away.

    • Blake says

      No, unemployablity or IU, is paid to veterans who do not have a 100% service connected rating, but have at least a 60% rating and are deemed to be unemployable, so are paid the 100% rate. Realistically a straight 100% rating is the best you can get from the va in terms of compensation. If you have a 70% rating and are deemed to be unemployable, they can pay you at the 100% rate even though you are only 70% disabled but unemployable. this is different from a straight 100% rating, which is considered permanant and total. An IU rating can be reduced back to your original rating if it is deemed you are no longer unemployable

  174. MARIO says


    I got separated from the Force last year. today I was notified with a disability rating of 90 percent. what is next? I recently pick up a Federal Job overseas (spain) am I going to get something on the mail. when does the compensation actually begins

    • Ryan Guina says

      Mario, Thank you for contacting me. The compensation should start shortly after you receive your Award letter in the mail. The Award letter should state the effective month that you will receive your pay, but you can always contact the VA and ask when the exact date compensation will begin. Make sure to keep a copy of your award letter when you receive it. It is an important document.

  175. Marvin says

    Ryan, I filed for disability in Jun 2015. I just received a 30 percent VA disability rating in January 2016. Will I received back pay for this or just for tax purposely only?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Marvin, Thank you for contacting me. You should receive back pay from your effective date. This will be explained in your Award letter, which you should receive when the VA informs you of your rating. Disability compensation is a tax free benefit, so you will not have to pay taxes on the compensation you receive.

  176. Milton says

    Hello Ryan:

    I just received a new compensation rating and at the same time increased from 60% to 80%. Also some of the new ratings back-tracked to November 2014 and others to May 2015. My question will be, will VA pay for the entire new 80% rating or just for the increase from 60% to 80%??

    Also, I had involuntary separation pay given to me after I got out of the Army of 32,283.09. That’s before taxes and last time I called to check on the remaining balance of it, they told me it was 17,967.00. That was back in December 2015 so right now should be in the 16,000’s. My question then would be, could that recoupment be done and over with this new amount I’m supposed to get because of the increased in the ratings and also because of the back-track to November 2014 and May 2015??

    Finally, I had a dependent on my file but she turned 18 back in August 2015, and VA took her out of the system, but at the same time, is VA suppose to add those payments for the dependent until August as part of the back track??? Hope I can get some answers about this situation that is actually hurting my pockets since I’m still unemployed, hard to believe, but true.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Milton,

      Thank you for your questions. This response is based on my understanding, so you will need to verify everything with the VA to be certain.

      Regarding increased ratings: The VA will usually provide back pay from the effective date of the rating increase (or decrease). So if you effective disability rating was initially 60%, then increased to 70% in November 2014, then to 80% in May 2015, then you would receive the following compensation rates: 60% until November 2014, then 70% starting in December 2014, then 80% starting in June 2015 (disability compensation is normally paid one month afterward, just like military pay).

      Since you would have already been paid that disability compensation, or had it applied to your Separation Pay recoupment, you would only receive the difference in the increase. So you should receive the difference in the increase, which from 60% to 70% which is $275.62 ($1,334.71 – $1,059.09 = $275.62). Then you would do the same for the increase from 70% to 80%. Because you still have a debt for the Separation Pay recoupment, the back pay would likely be applied to the outstanding amount owed. Note: the VA may approve hardship waivers to reduce the amount they withhold. You would need to contact them to see if this is a possibility.

      Regarding your dependent: The VA should apply the back pay to your benefits as they were at the time. So if you had dependents at the time of the effect date your compensation rate increased, then you should receive the higher rate for back pay. The VA will send you a letter explaining your benefits, including the effective dates your rating changed, and how much back pay you will receive. Be sure to double check the math when you receive this letter so you understand your benefits.

      I hope this is helpful. Best of luck, and thank you for your service!

      • Milton says

        Hello Ryan:

        Thank you very much for your reply to my questions. Only thing with the first part of those questions is that I just now (January 2016) is when I got that increase on my ratings from 60% to 80%. This is how it actually happened, I got out of the Army after 11 years of service in November 2014, then submitted a claim to VA for which they gave the initial 60% rating in March 2015. Then in May 2015, I submitted a second claim for health issues VA had overlooked , as well as increase in rating for others, so now in January 2016 is when I saw on the e-benefits website that they had increased my rating from 60% to 80% (I haven’t received their official letter yet). But , the issue with all of this is that some of the new health conditions ratings “effective date” go back to May 2015 and others “effective date” go back to November 2014. So that’s where I have my doubts, will VA pay me for that whole new entire 80% rating for both effective dates or just one?? or, will VA pay me based on just the 20% increase from 60% to 80% ??

  177. joe says

    I was separated from air force in 2005
    with 10 percent service connected disability. i applied for va they rated me 40 percent but i had to pay back my severance pay 59000 before
    i got anything, now i just received notice that a new MEB board said they were in error rating me 10 percent and changed it to 30 percent, so
    i get full retire benefits, so do i get any back pay dating back to 2005 ? do i have to pay anything back to VA? will i still get va money and
    a portion of air force pension?

  178. joe says

    Rank in 2005 was O2E, so i would get 30percent of that base pay, would i still get some from VA and a portion through the air force?

  179. joe says

    I was originally separated with 10 percent service connected disability. Ive been rated 40 percent through VA and already paid back the severance pay. I was successful with a new 30 percent rating through MEB board and they said i qualified for retirement benefits. Does that mean i can get back pay dating to 2005 and do i have to pay back anything im still getting through VA?

  180. Don Colyer says

    My disability was recently increased to 100%. I received compensation notice that that monthly payment is $3,058.00. I also received military retirement amount of $1,602. I looked at my retiree LES and noticed that CRDP is the same amount as my retirement. I thought the pots of money were different and I should be receiving both payments in full. A friend told me CRDP cannot exceed your military retirement no matter the percentage award. Is this true?

  181. emily says

    I retired 1 Dec 2014 and just received a 40% rating. Will I received back pay from 1 dec 2014? If so, how will it be calculated?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Emily, Thank you for contacting me. As a general rule of thumb, you should receive back pay to the date you filed your claim. So if you filed immediately after separating from military service, you should receive back pay from that point going forward (provided your award was based on the original claim and nothing changed from the time you filed and the VA granted the 40% rating). The back pay should be calculated based on the first eligible date (I believe this would be the month after you retired, but I am not 100% certain). The rate will be calculated based on the rates in effect at the time of the award and will reflect current rates throughout the period being paid. If the rates change, so would your back pay.

      Please keep in mind these are general assumptions, and each case may have slight differences. The best way to know for certain is to contact the VA. Best of luck, and thank you for your service!

  182. EUGENE says

    I am going through a divorce and the court is wanting to consider my Service Connected Disability payments as income. Is this incorrect and if so where can I find the regulations stating this?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Eugene, Thank you for contacting me, and I’m sorry to hear about your divorce. This is a topic of contention in the courts and something I don’t have a firm answer for. Some lawyers state it is not legal to use disability pay as income, while other judges have allowed it. I am not a lawyer, so I can’t give you a firm answer on this topic. I recommend securing a lawyer and having him/her dig through the books to determine if this is allowable or not.

      I wish you the best, and thank you for your service.

  183. Michael Benge says

    Hello Ryan,

    I stumbled across this post today and I have a question I have yet to get a clear answer to and was hoping you might be able to point me in the correct direction.

    I separated in 2003 and was given a service connected disability with a rating of 0%. I have recently been looking into applying for a position with the VA and was trying to get my civil service preference letter but my letter states that there is no service connected disability. But when I went into the VA hospital a couple of years ago the service connected disability showed up in their system and they were able to issue me a VA card that even shows on the card that I have a service connected disability. I am confused as to why the hospital’s system shows the disability but my ebenefits account does not show it. I have tried calling ebenefits, my local VA regional office, local Veteran’s service center and no one seems to be able to explain why this is or if it can be fixed. I would really like to have the preference in applying for this position but, obviously, if the letter does not show a service connected disability then there is no preference.

    Any help you may be able to give me would be greatly appreciated.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Michael, Thank you for contacting me. Here is an article that covers Veteran Preference Points.

      Here is the applicable section:

      10-Point Preference Qualifications – Eligible veterans include veterans who served: A veteran who served at any time and (1) has a present service-connected disability or (2) is receiving compensation, disability retirement benefits, or pension from the military or the Department of Veterans Affairs; or (3) a veteran who received a Purple Heart.

      Based on this, I don’t believe the0% disability rating will qualify for the Veterans Preference. However, I’m not 100% certain. You would need to verify this with the Civil Service HR department.

      I hope this points you in the right direction. Best of luck with your application, and thank you for your service!

  184. RobertJ. Wynkoop says

    I am expecting adjusted disability ratings of 60, 40, 40, 40, 30, 30, 10, 10, and 10. Using VA’s Combined Ratings Table I calculated the disability compensation rate to be 95% but the chart does not allow any increase for my last tw0 10% ratings. Does the calculated 95% round up to 100% payment or will I be paid at the 90% compensation rate.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Robert, Thank you for contacting me. Ratings of 5% or higher round up to the nearest 10%. So a 95% should round up to 100%. I hope this is how the numbers will work out in your case.

    • Blake says

      Sorry, but I am pretty sure it doesnt add up like that, like if you have 5 things rated 20%, you are not 100% In your case I believe you would be 60 or 70%. Apply for IU if you want anything higher, but I think you can only get IU if you are 70% or above, not positive though. Talk to a VSO

  185. tasha says

    I got married and had a child 2 years ago. Shortly after getting married I had our child and shortly after that I was told to send in copies of my marriage certificate and my daughters birth certificate and new social security card or id with my new last name to this guy who would process the paperwork at the va. It never got processed so I faxed it, no one at the buffalo regional center answered the phone or the fax. I moved to PA last year and just moved back to the western ny area a few months ago. While in PA I got in contact with someone at the VA who said to go in person to the buffalo regional center with the papers. So I’m going to try that Monday, but they for sure don’t go back more than 1 year? Even if I’ve tried giving them the papers for 2? I’m still confused how some parts of the va have my married name processed and some still don’t. Like I’ve been requesting my dd-215 for over 3 years and I have to use my maiden name to follow the request but I’ve since given up because apparently they can’t find my dd-215 anywhere. I think it’s gotten lost due to my other name changes because I married while I was enlisted. Still want my dd-215 though, and my name change and dependent status… and I wish it didn’t take years to get these things.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Tasha, some veterans report it taking over two years for the VA to process adding or removing a dependent. Believe it or not, it’s actually possible that your claim is still in the backlog of papers waiting to be processed. That said, I would certainly do whatever you can to push the process along. It shouldn’t take that long to process some simple forms.

  186. Dwayne Shrader says

    I see a lot of people on here that believe they should be receiving more money than they should. I am retired and receive disability also for the past 6 years. I have used the DAV from the beginning and they have helped me a ton. My recommendation is to use one of the organizations when you deal with the VA. When I have questions or make changes to my disability, I soley go through the DAV. They submit my paperwork for me. Dont waste your time calling the VA.

  187. Jackie smith says

    My husband gets 100% VA benefits and my 26 year old daughter is going back to school to get her Masters will she get a stipen. I was told that under chapter 35 she could. His service connected permanent disability is this true and how much will she receive. We paid for her college didn’t use VA.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Jackie,

      Thank you for contacting me. I’m not well-versed on this topic. I recommend contacting the VA for more information. Sorry I don’t have a better answer.

    • Brian Grady says

      Jackie, I hope you have contacted the VA for information. I may be wrong but I believe that she either has to start the semester at the age of 25 or 26. For some reason I thought the rule was that you have to be 25 on the day you start the semester to receive money. If you meet the requirements, I believe that she can receive a sundry of $1200 per month during the months that she is in school. Don’t waste time…call today! Good Luck!

    • Christopher McAleavey says

      Your daughter may be elegiable for va dependent education assistance…. It works like the old Montgomery GI bill, pays benefits to dependants of 100% total and perminate veterans even thoughs rated by IU, benefits commence at 18 yrs old for 10 years upto $48k. At $1,000 a month full time enrolled.
      My wife just started using hers… For nursing school.

      100% total &

  188. Eli says


    I have recently been granted a 30% disability rating. Coincidentally, I’m also getting married in a few weeks and my soon to be spouse works and lives with me. Am I eligible to claim her as my dependent despite her currently being employed?

    I have looked all over the va website for spousal dependent eligibility criteria and cannot find anything.

    Any information is greatly appreciated.

    Best Regards,

  189. Patrick J. Campbell says

    Dear Mr. Guina,
    I was involved In a very serious car accident just shortly after I was discharged from the Army. I filed for Non-Service connected disability. I have had 2 strokes and 3 heart attacks(minor). I was turned down because I did not serve during a war time era. I have written a 4 page letter about how unfair this is to us veterans that went after vietnam. I served in Germany and use to patrol the border. I have filed for SSI and that is dragging out for the past 3 years now. I would like to send you a copy of the letter I have written to Congressman Mica about this. I feel that this is discremative to us veterans that served during the Cold War. All my medical records are with the VA and have many doctors tell me that I am not able to work now. If you could email me an address to where I can send this letter to you I would be grateful. I am not fighting for a change for just myself but for the many other veterans that served during the same time era.
    Patrick Campbell

    • Ryan Guina says

      Patrick, Thank you for contacting me, and I’m sorry to hear about your injuries and illnesses. I am not aware of non-service connected disability through the VA. Are you referring to VA medical care for a non-service connected injury? If so, the VA has written procedures for which veterans are eligible to receive medical care, and those vary based on many factors, including when and where the veteran served, whether they have a service-connected injury, and many, many other factors. I have no insight into how or why they make their rules, and no method for affecting change for said rules. I’m sorry to say that I won’t be able to do anything with your letter other than read it. Sorry.

      I do hope all turns out well with your SSI claim and that it will be resolved soon. Best of luck, and thanks for your service!

  190. Faye says

    Hello my husband has 80% and I have a child in college. Should Va pay the college tuition in full and when do the college student get a monthly stipend?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Faye, Thank you for contacting me. There are some college education benefits for children of veterans with a service-connected disability, but I am not an expert on these benefits. You will need to contact the VA and work with them to determine eligibility, and if eligible, to file a claim. They can brief you on the available benefits at that time. I wish you the best!

  191. John Clark says

    My 100% disabled father receives extra VA pay for my brother who is an adult “helpless child” even though they don’t live together. Dad is single and has lived alone for many years now. My brother lives in poverty and is unable to completely support himself. Are there rules governing that this money should be used to help him? Also, can you tell me how much it is?

    • Ryan Guina says

      John, Thank you for contacting me. The additional pay is only supposed to be given when the adult dependent is receiving care from the veteran. In this case that doesn’t sound like it is happening. I’m not sure how to go about making sure this happens, short of turning in your father to the VA.

  192. Des Meredith says

    Hi, my service connected disability rating is at 20% for my knee that i tore up in 1989 while in the Army, and I have a rep with Veterans Affairs working with me to get a higher rating seeing as the VA has determined that I should get a knee replacement that ill be getting in January. How much higher would you guess that my rating would go if I have to go through this?

  193. Jim robinson says

    My va benefits were raised from 30 percent to 70 percent several months ago. How long should I have to wait to see it on my pay and also my backpay.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Jim, Thank you for contacting me. You should typically see the increased pay in your check within 1-3 months. The back pay is usually made in a separate payment, but it is often paid within the same time frame. You should contact the VA for further details.

  194. Edward Johnson says

    Are you aware of any formal changes by the VA to change future ratings for sleep apnea?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Edward, I have read about how the VA is looking into sleep apnea claims, but I don’t have any specific information about any formal changes.

  195. Cornelius D. Ruth says

    Hello. I was separated from the Navy back on March 7th 2015 after serving over 14 years of active duty service. I was involuntarily separated and started .y disability claims due to many well documented issues. Today i was awarded 20% disability but i have to be honest, i am NOT in agreement with this small rate. Should I appeal through my VA Representative a.s.a.p? Or go about this myself and endure the pain both physically and mentally that i have sustained while on active duty…and now due to this disrespectful rate, now im suffering while NOT on active duty! Thanks.

    Very Respectfully
    C.D. Ruth

    • Ryan Guina says

      C.D., Thank you for contacting me. The best course of action is to appeal this rating. But I recommend getting assistance when you do so. Try contacting a Veterans Service Organization such as the DAV, VFW, etc. They have trained benefits counselors who offer free benefits claims assistance. Best of luck, and thanks for your service!

  196. PAS says

    I recently received my retirement rating. There should be pay back to my retirement date. Is there any estimate of how long it will take to receive the back pay?

    • Ryan Guina says

      PAS, Thanks for your question. Back pay is usually paid out within 1-3 months. Make sure the ratings are all backdated to your retirement date, as sometimes ratings may have a different effective date, depending on whether or not the condition was in the initial claim. You will need to contact the VA for more specific information, but they often won’t be able to tell you an exact date for back pay, as it is usually case by case.

  197. Jake says

    I was recently granted a 30% disability rating and today I submitted for an increase in percentages for my service connected disabilities. Was wanting to know if I will still receive my monthly benefits while the request for increase is being worked. Also, if anyone else has requested an increase any insight would be much appreciated. Thanks.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Jake, Thank you for contacting me. You should continue to receive your compensation payment while you have a pending request for an increase If you are awarded an increased rating, you may receive back pay to the effective date the VA awards the increased rating. I can’t give you a timeline for any of this, because it is handled on a case by case basis, and depends on many factors including whether or not additional tests or appointments are needed, which VA center is processing the request and their backlog, and other factors. I hope this helps.

  198. B. says

    So my bank is reporting a pending payment from VA for $219.08 by the 1st of Oct. My VA rating is 90%, I just recently added a new dependent, my daughter was born a couple months ago. I have listed my wife an son from the beginning. Why is it only showing $219.08 when I’m rated to receive $1995.48 plus additional dependent?

    • Ryan Guina says

      B, Thank you for contacting me. The best advice I can give is to contact the VA to understand what is going on. It’s possible they had to withhold a portion of the payment for some reason, or there was an error on their end. The only way to know for sure is to contact the VA and get an answer from them. Best of luck, and thanks for your service!

  199. jojo says

    I am have an 90% disability rating receiving $2,098.00 per month. Household consists of myself + spouse + two daughters ages 18 & 13. All of them were my dependents before retiring in 2011. My 18 year old daughter is currently in college under the Post 9/11 MGIB. If my computation is correct, I should receive $1,995 (Veteran with Spouse & Child) + $234 (Schoolchild over age 18+) = $2,229, right? Thanks!

    • Ryan Guina says

      JoJo, Thank you for contacting me. I read the chart the same as you. It’s very possible that the VA dropped your college age child if they did not receive a form from you stating that she is attending college. You can do this with VA Form 21-674, Request for Approval of School Attendance. Here is more information about adding and removing dependents from your claim. I would contact the VA to verify they have this information, then ask if it has been processed. If not, then you may need to submit this form again. I hope this helps. Best of luck, and thanks for your service!

  200. Andi says

    We have three grandchildren who live with us thru Child Protective Services. There parent is 100% VA disabled. She pays no support and collects the funds each month. What can we do

    • Ryan Guina says

      Andi, Thank you for contacting me. I don’t have a specific answer here. My recommendation is to contact your court representative or lawyer if you have one, and report the situation. I am unsure if there are benefits programs for assistance for taking care of a veteran’s children. You may consider speaking with a VA representative or a representative from a Veterans Service Organization (many VSO’s offer veterans benefits claims assistance; they may be able to give you more information).

      I’m sorry I don’t have a more specific answer here, but I don’t have this specific experience. I wish you the best, and commend you for taking care of your grandchildren.

    • Jeff says

      I am telling you that you can take her for child support. If she tells you other wise she is in the wrong because that is earned income.

      • Greg Burghardt says

        Jeff you are mistaken VA money is not disposable income and cannot be taken from the veteran. Only disposable income can be used in a judgement for child support. My ex wife tried and the courts said that she couldn’t touch my veterans pay due to it was for disability and not earned income. Earned income is backed by a W-2 and is earned from working employment; where disability VA compensation is a fixed amount given to the veteran via the VA for injuries incurred during their time in service.

    • Brian Grady says

      Andi, When I went to court during my divorce, I had to give up 20% of my disability compensation including the dependents pmt, over and above my child support. I live in Texas, but, I assume that you can get the money awarded through petition to the presiding Judge. Good Luck!

    • Tomica Rankins says

      Andi, I actually work in the disability compensation field and I’m sorry to say it’s not a fair or perfect system and the fact is regardless if the children are with you a Veteran’s disability claim is based on dependent count and not the fact if the dependent is living with them or not. There was one situation a mother gave up custody of her children and still was receiving benefits and there is nothing VA can do because regardless dependence is a substance of numbers not parenting. Best example I can give is a deadbeat father can still carry their child on their tax return and been living with their grandparents for years unless court papers are provided tax law favors the parents and it’s no different when receiving disability.

      • William says

        They can’t claim the child as a dependent on their tax form if the child doesn’t spend more than 50% of their time living with the father, and receive 50% of their support from the father.

        VA has a similar requirement that the defendant must live with the person claiming them.

        I have a lot of experience in the disability field and the VA system.

        For someone to claim dependence who is not providing financial support and does not provide them with a place to stay, is FRAUD. Report to the VA and then report to the proper federal agency. Google report VA fraud or government fraud and go from there. It IS out and out fraud.

        The VA pays heradditional money if she’s claiming she supports her parents and provides them room and board. She may actually be claiming YOU also.

    • B.Bevitt says

      File for an apportionment thru your Regional Office. They will allocate or apportion a part of the veterans check directly to you on behalf of the children. This is from personal experience. Google the form, print it and mail it to the neartest VARO.

    • William says

      I you can’t both claim your children. And since she has a separate VA claim, you shouldn’t be getting paid for her (certain with spouse) and vice versa… She shouldn’t be getting paid for you. That’s known as double dipping in the disability realm. double check with number someone in VA. If you have an attorney, they can find out.

  201. Jason says

    I am currently receiving VA disability benefits at a 50% rating. I have two step-daughters under the age of 18. One lives with us, and the other lives with her father. I contacted the VA via the Ebenefits website and informed them. They sent me a letter stating that I will be paid for three dependents. (My wife and two stepdaughters) I even appealed the decision, and sent them a statement stating that one child does not live with us. Why would they continue to pay for a dependent that does not reside with us full time?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Jason, Thank you for contacting me. Unfortunately, I don’t have a good answer for you. I would try to get someone on the phone and ask them to make this change, or I would send in a new dependent claim form without the information for the other dependent. This is something you want to get resolved ASAP because the VA may discover their error at some point and request back pay or withhold payments for the amount they overpaid you. If those tips don’t work, try contacting a Veterans Service Organization such as the DAV to see if they can help you resolve this situation.

      • Jackie W. Wade says

        My husband applied for his VA disability in Dec. 08 & our son was a full time college student. It took until July 2017 for my husband to get 60% disability approval. By then our son graduated in 2012 from college. Will it go back & pay for our son’s college???

      • Ryan Guina says

        Hello Jackie, Thank you for your comment. The VA should determine back pay based on eligible dependents at the time your husband should have received his benefits. You would likely need to prove your son was attending college during those dates for the VA to consider him a dependent for disability compensation rates. You will need to work with the VA to determine which forms you will need to provide. Best wishes.

  202. steve says

    Hi Ryan,

    Both my wife and I have a disability rating, can both my spouse and I claim our children as dependents or will one of us only receive compensation for our dependents.


  203. Craig says

    I am so confused when it comes to how they evaluate your rating when it comes to a hearing test. I went and got my results from the VA and it says right ear 1,000..45….2000..30…3000…30….4000…40 Right Ear Pure Tone Averages 2FA:38 3FA :43 4FA: 36 Left ear 1,000…40…2,000…30…3,000…30….4,000…30 Air Conduction: Left Ear Pure Tone Averages 2FA:32 3FA:35 FA: 32
    On the next chart it intersects on the 30 line with VA chart has 0-11 I am on the 4th line from the top

    • Ryan Guina says

      Craig, Thank you for contacting me. I don’t have any insight here. I recommend scheduling an appointment with your doctor so you can sit down and get a full explanation of the readings. You may find it helpful to bring along a digital or tape recorder to the meeting so you can record what the doctor says for future reference.

  204. Steven says


    I am have an 80% disability rating and am being paid $1680.00 monthly for Me + my spouse. However, I have my daughter who is over the age of 18 but has been in college as a full-time student and still lives in the house and I claim her as a dependent. I saw for each child over the age of 18 an extra payment of $234 for that rating. I cannot see the footnote on your website. Have they been underpaying me for my rating? I’ve had my DEERS updated and TRI-CARE several times to keep care going for that, so it was clearly documented.

    • Billy Link says


      You have to go online and apply for the extra money(search under dependents, fill out all school info and submit, pretty easy), I was in the same situation and was told to apply online, now I get the extra money. Keep in mind they can only go back one year.

      Hope this helps.

    • USMC_VET says

      Billy below is correct. the VA doesnt magically know your daughter is in school you need to go onto ebenefits and apply for them to be added as “in school” or else the VA drops them once they hit 18. if you go paper use Form 21-674 to CONFIRM school attendance and keep them as compensable dependents

    • Brian Grady says

      My Rating increased effective December of 2013. I applied for the dependents increase in April of 2014. My submission is still in “verification.” Don’t expect it any time soon if you have already submitted. It will happen, but, “dependents increases” are not considered a priority. You will have to be patient! Good Luck!

    • Greg Burghardt says

      Hi Ryan, I went to my Veteran counselor and he put in a dependency claim in for me and said I should be getting a substantial amount of back pay for both my wife and daughter. Talk with your counselor about it and put in a dependency claim.

  205. Terry Scott says

    I was just increased from 40% to 90% and I just saw that I received a partial deposit in my checking account, my retro should be 15 months worth of back pay why is the only seems like 2 months in the checking that was deposited. Thank You

  206. Mr. G says


    While in the military I was rushed to the hospital due to a umbilical hernia after a field exercise. During the surgery my appendix burst along with a few others complications. Although I have a very long scare in my middle section, the surgeon actually removed my navel. Would I be able to file a claim ?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Mr. G., Thank you for contacting me. I cannot comment on the exact items the VA will give a disability rating for, since I cannot speak for them. If you believe you should be eligible for a disability rating, then you should apply. you can get free benefits claims assistance through certain Veterans Service Organizations, such as the DAV, VFW, etc.

  207. Jesse says


    I retired from the Marine Corps after 22 years of service and received a 90% disability rating. I had my right hip replaced two years before retirement and my left hip 4 months before retirement. I was told when I filed my original claim in February that I would receive 100% for a period of eight months due to my EAS being 4 months after the procedure. The effective date on my documentation from the VA is April 1, 2015 and I received my 90% compensation on June 1st 2015. Should my back pay be dated to the date I filed my claim (February 2015) or April 1st which is the effective date on my documentation? Thank you in advance for your time and support and have a great day.


    • Ryan Guina says

      Jesse, Thank you for contacting me. To be honest, I don’t know. It likely depends on your retirement date and the effective date of your first disability payment. If you retired in January, and your first disability compensation payment was in February, then I would think it should be backdated to February. But if your first disability payment should have been in April, then that would be the likely date. I recommend speaking with the VA, or a veterans benefits organization to help them clear this up for you.

  208. Constance says

    Ryan, i have a question for you. Im about to RCP out of the army in a few months . When would i get paid my severance pay?
    Also later on down the road if i wanted to file a claim with the VA would i have to pay that back since i got severance pay?

  209. marco cooper says

    I left the military with 17 years and received a 10% disability for my back with absolutely No Compensation. I never received compensation since 1993. I have never heard of anyone being awarded a 10% disability but with NO Compensation. Can the military do that or dis someone screw up. Why be entitled and awarded a disability but not receive and monetary funds? Does not make sense. Can you please try to help me with this question

    Marco Cooper
    Retired US Air Force Reserves

    • Ryan Guina says

      Marco, I haven’t seen this situation before. The only situation I can think of that may apply here is if you received separation pay when you left active duty. If you received separation pay, the VA is required by law to recoup your disability payments until they have recouped an amount equal to your separation pay. The same situation applies to those who receive separation pay and later retire from the Guard or Reserves (though DFAS or the VA will only recoup the money one time). If this is the case, then you will begin receiving payments once the money has been recouped by the VA.

      I’m not sure what the reason might be if you did not receive separation pay when you left the military. Your best course of action is to contact the VA for an answer. Hopefully it is just a clerical mistake and you will receive payment for your compensation rating.

      • Jason Darbone says

        Hello Ryan. I was honorably discharged in 2007 and filed a few claims back then. It came back as a 0 % rating. I never fought it and let it go. Well people kept telling me to keep fighting it. So in 2013 I submitted the exact same claims and the exact same medical records I did in 2007. I had no new medical evidence for my claims. Well this time they gave me 10% on one of my claims, but only back payed me one year. My question is, how come I did not get my back pay from 2007 when I first filed for this claim. I submitted the exact same claims and records as I did back then. What made 2013 so different from 2007 if everything was the same. Is this worth fighting for?

      • Ryan Guina says

        Jason, Thank you for contacting me. I wish I had a good answer for you, but I don’t. The VA disability claims process can vary depending on who performs the review, when it happens, and where it happens. Policy can also change through the years – something that was not eligible for a claim one year may be eligible at a later date, and vice versa. I can’t speak for your specific claim, but if it were me, I would at least look into it. The best way is to contact a Veterans Service Organization, such as the DAV, VFW, etc. They have trained counselors who can advise you on your claim, and offer additional knowledge about the process. In this situation, they can at least let you know if this is common, and if it is something you should pursue with the VA, or if you should accept the current ruling and go from there. I wish you the best!

  210. christopher jolly says

    I’m a SFC in the of Army with 17 years active now. I’m looking at my choices for the future, as running a platoon or company again might not be in the best case for me or them. I’ve got almost four years deployed between Iraq and Afghanistan, and I’m wondering if the injuries (wear and tear) on my back and knees are going to be tied to the deployments or service stateside. I carried around 100-120 lbs almost everyday of my first three deployments and on my fourth deployment I fell out of a helicopter during a night operation (not far 7-12 ft with a 30-50 foot roll down a mountain). I’ve been exposed to burning Bradleys, Abrahams, and partnering services armoured vehicles. I’ve burned poo with kerosine and lived as an advisor to both Afghans and Iraqis (in their quarters) and not a lot of documentation besides the SRP sites check in and out, there was never good opportunities to do “sick call” . I’m a medic by trade but lived out more then 3/4 of my career so far with the light infantry. I guess what I’m doing here is searching for advice in and a “how to guide” if I decide it’s time to cut sling. Any lessons learned would be great, as I’ve read a lot of the reading material here but still confused on somethings.
    I just know I’m sore, hurting, and wake up every morning stiff from my spinal T6 and down.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Christopher, Thank you for contacting me. The best thing I can tell you to do is get everything noted in your medical records now, along with a history of when the conditions first occurred and how they affect you now. Getting these conditions into your medical records will be essential when it comes to creating a nexus, or link, to your military service. Whether the condition occurred Stateside or overseas doesn’t matter in regard to being eligible for a service-connected disability rating. If the condition occurred or was made worse while you were in the military, it may qualify. Where it occurred may matter when it comes to claiming other benefits, such as Combat Related Special Compensation (CRSC) Benefits. But that only matters once you retire.

      My standing advice is to get every condition noted in your medical file, and keep copies of everything. Touch base with the DAV or another Veterans Service Agency (VFW, American Legion, IAVA, etc.) before you separate for further guidance and assistance with your claim.

      I hope this points you in the right direction. Best of luck, and thanks for your service!

  211. Kathleen carraway says

    We just received 90 percent in 2010 but the appeals board just granted him TDIU. Will that change his va pay

  212. Jerrell says


    I was recently retired via Med Boards from the Marine Corps on June 29th and awarded 60% by the VA. When does the VA actually pay you? I was told it could take months. Is this the case?



    • Ryan Guina says

      Jerrell, Thank you for contacting me. If the VA has already sent you an award letter, then you should receive your VA disability compensation relatively soon. Usually not more than a month or two after you receive the official award letter. It can take months for an official award letter to be sent, but if you have already received it, then you should be good to go.

  213. Elizabeth says

    Hi! My husband who is 42, USMC dishonorable discharge in 1995. Was sadly just diagnosed with ALS. I’m in the process of completing his disability forms. I read that they make the ALS claims a priority…. Do you know how long it generally takes for a claim? And if ALS is considered 100% disability, or they have to be evaluated every few months, etc.. As they decline do they up the disability amount (which is sad, since this disease is terminal…)

    I was wondering what other people’s experience in this was.
    Thanks so much for your time, I have learned a lot from reading your prior messages, very informative.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Elizabeth, Thank you for contacting me. I’m sorry to hear about your husband’s health issues. I will keep him and your family in my prayers. Unfortunately, I don’t have any experience with ALS claims and I can’t give you any kind of information regarding processing times, whether those cases get pushed to the front of the line, or anything else specific. You may find it helpful to speak with a veterans benefits counselor at a service organization such as the DAV, VFW, etc. Many organizations provide free benefits claims assistance.

  214. Christina says

    My Husband draws 30% disability and has since 1994, he fell off of a smoke stack. Over time he has developed issues with his neck and back, which we believe was caused by the fall. We have also recently been reading about gulf war syndrome and he actually has a few of those symptoms. We really don’t know what steps to take and cant locate any vso’s locally where we are. My fear though is somehow they would find a way to lower his amount rather than raise, but after all of these years of receiving, surely not. Do people have much luck claiming for a raise in benefits after years of seeing what their injuries really have done to their bodies? Also, he has a 12yr old daughter that we just found out wasn’t listed on DEERS, if we update that and get her registered, will he receive back pay for her? He also didn’t know that he would get more for his son while he was in college, is that something he could file for now?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Christina,

      Thank you for contacting me. There are a lot of questions in here, so I’ll do my best to cover what I can. First, yes, it is possible to have the VA reassess a claim that has progressively worsened through the years. And you can certainly file a claim for medical conditions that may be connected to service, such as the Gulf War Syndrome. The best thing to do is gather medical records showing the medical problems and try to show a clear link to military service or the injury that occurred while in the military.

      Regarding decreasing a disability rating – it is possible, however, there are certain time limits involved. After 10 years, the VA shouldn’t be able to decrease the compensation amount unless they can show there was fraud involved. Here is more info.

      Regarding qualified dependents – you need to get them into the VA system ASAP. The VA will often pay back pay, but usually only to the date you tried to add them to the system. It isn’t likely that adding the 12 year old would result in back pay for the entire 12 years he has received disability compensation unless he had proof he tried to register her at birth and the VA made a clerical error. Otherwise, he would likely only receive back pay to the day he adds her to his claim. So if it takes 6 months to add her, then he should receive back pay for the 6 months he waited to have her added to the claim. The same process would apply for his son – he should add his son to his claim if his son still qualifies based on his age. Otherwise it is likely too late. I hope this helps.

  215. Tom says

    Hi Ryan. I was recently ( and finally ) diagnosed by the VA as having Bipolar Syndrome . I fought with the VA for over 40 years before they gave me this diagnosis. I was discharged from the Marine Corp in 1972 on some program to get me out of their hair. I was sent to Brentwood VA hospital in California where I was discharged from active duty. My life has not been the greatest since 1972. I feel my discharge was the Corps way of getting me out as I was repeatedly told there was no medical discharge for mental illness . Do I have a chance to have my service records to reflect medical discharge honorably. Any help would be appreciated. I have been told I should have been medically retired in 1972 but we all know the Corp wasn’t giving medical retirement for mental illness. Thanks again.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Tom, Thank you for contacting me. It may be possible, but it will take some work on your part. You would need to file for a correction military records through the Board of Correction of Naval Records (BCNR).

      I don’t have any experience here, but the page has some good information. You may find it helpful to contact a legal professional or someone with experience to help you with this process if you feel it isn’t something you can do on your own. Best of luck, and thanks for your service!

  216. Denell Kallemeyn says

    My spouse and I both served in the Navy. In 1992 he received 10% for Hypothyroidism as a result of radiation therapy from on set of Hodgekins. He had a full laparotomy which the entire spleen was removed. In 2014 he went to the VA for a review of his medical conditions as he was having throat problems, where his dr. said it was from radiation. They gave him 10% more for his painful scare and denied for the spleen as the VA said he still had a spleen and nothing for heart burn that he has had since his operation. He ordered his medical records and the operation notes said several time that he had a complete spleenectomy which is automatic 20% thru the VA. The VA medical board in 1992 said they reviewed his entire medical record, we have the letter and they noted other things that he did not get benefits for and in 2014 they again said the reviewed his entire medical record. Witch they did not as we clearly ordered his records and it said that they removed the entire spleen. He has appealed the claim which is still less than the year. He currently get 20% service connected. My question is how far can we go back for compensation? Only the year?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Denell, Thank you for contacting me. I believe back pay is given to the original claim is an appeal is approved or if the VA makes a mistake with a diagnosis or fails to include information from the medical records. But I’m not 100% certain.

      I would try contacting a claims officer at a Veterans Service Organization such as the DAV. They will be able to walk you through the entire claim and help with the appeals process. They may also find other issues with the claim or appeals process. It’s always a good idea to get a trained set of eyes to review the claim. I hope this helps. Best of luck, and thanks for your service!

  217. WAYNE says

    Does 30% get any VRE benefits? I notice 10 % and 20% — can you be automatically entitled for different %?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hi Wayne, The Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment program is open to veterans with a 10% disability rating or higher. There is a period of eligibility, listed on the above link, and other details worth noting. My recommendation is to contact the VA so you can get a better understanding of these benefits, including how to apply, and how you can use them. Best of luck, and thanks for your service!

  218. Jake says

    Hey Ryan,
    I am separating from the Navy in about a year after 8 years of AD. I have a few important medical issues I think warrant a claim. I probably shouldn’t be asking questions until after I go to TAPS course but I’m curious to know what you think of the Benifits Delivery at Discharge program: Is it effective in getting a more timely claims response?
    I was looking at the VA’s medical conditions list and it’s so comprehensive that I’m not sure if my conditions meet some all the criteria. Where can I find a trained VA advisory? Is this the same person that should assist me with my claims?
    Many of these questions will probably be answered during TAPS course but I hear so many mixed messages and hearsay that I am confused before I even attempt to understand this process. Any feedback would be great. Thanks for running this site. It’s very concise and helpful.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Jake, I haven’t personally used the BDD program, but I have spoken with someone who went through it. I think it’s a great idea. The disability benefits claims process can get very backlogged, depending on where you apply. In some cases, it can take well over a year or two to complete a claim (again this is variable depending on individual factors and the specific location where the claim is processed). In my opinion, you can only help yourself by getting your claim processed more quickly.

      As far as the medical conditions, claim any medical issue the popped up or was made worse during your military service. Just make sure you have documentation of the condition in your medical records. You may get a service-connected disability rating out of it, or you may not. But at least it will be documented so that you can come back and appeal later on if the condition worsens. It is also possible to get a 0% rating, which occurs when the VA acknowledges there is a medical condition caused by your military service, but it doesn’t warrant compensation at this time. This is important to have in the event your condition worsens – then you can appeal for a higher rating. You can also get health care coverage for covered conditions.

      As far as a rep to help you fill out your application, I recommend visiting the DAV, which has reps at most VA clinics and hospitals. The DAV has trained counselors who will help you go over your claim to make sure you didn’t miss anything. There are other organizations that offer similar services. I hope this is helpful. Best of luck, and thanks for your service!

  219. Andy says

    Hello Ryan,

    Thanks you for your support and great information provided!

    I retired from the AF in July 2013 and was not able to submit my disability claim until December 2014 due to follow up appointments to get my DBQs all completed. The VA received my claim in Dec 2014. I checked e-Benefits last week and I received a decision of 40% disability. I have not received any other notification by mail or e-mail. Is this normal?

    Also, my effective date shows up as December 2013 as opposed to when the claim was received (Dec 2014). Does this seem right? If this is correct then I will receive an extra year of retro pay.

    Thanks again!


    • Ryan Guina says

      Andy, In some cases, VA disability decisions are backdated to retirement if you file within a certain time frame. If that is the case, then it’s possible you will receive back pay to your retirement date.

      Regarding notification – it is normally done via a letter mailed to your home. If the VA has your current address then you should receive a hard copy. Make sure to keep this, and keep a scanned copy or other copy just in case!

  220. Walter says

    After 31 years of fighting the VA, (all the way up to the BVA), my c and p exam found me to be service-connected with four (4) different heart conditions. This case had been remanded back to the RO by the BVA. I have three questions. Since the examiner has made a decision, what is the procedure now to case completion? Will I be rated separately for each condition? Next how long before I see my money since this case was to be expedited due to homelessness and financial hardship?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Walter, Your situation is one I don’t have any experience with, so I’m afraid I can’t give you a good answer. My recommendation would be to contact a Veterans Service Organization to speak with one of their benefits counselors. Many of them offer free veterans benefits claims assistance. Some examples include the DAV, VFW, American Legion, IAVA, and many others. I hope your claim is resolved quickly and you get back on your feet again! Thank you for your service.

  221. Mr I says

    Hello. I recently got out of the AF (2014) under VSP (volunteer separation pay). When I got out I was inform and issue a letter saying that we don’t have to pay back the money that we receive, my self and few people of my unit, now here is the problem once I got my desability rating, the VA is collecting the money that I was given and is happen to me and few others, but for another individual s from my old unit they getting their money with out any problems, and they are not have to pay any money back. We try to,talk to DFAS and the VA and they are not aware who we can talk to fix this problem.. Any help or advice who can help me and few other people in the same situation thanks

  222. Jon C says

    Sir, great information. ..very informative. I was just recently medically retired after 20+ years of active duty. I was rated 100% disabled by the VA. I was shocked when I received my first retirement check to discover there was nearly 25% of my pay taken out for a VA waiver. I was never told by anyone prior to retiring that my wages would be garnished because I was medically retired. When I called DFAS. ..they said there is a status difference according to Congress between someone who retires out normally after 20 and someone who is medically retired after 20. I do get the CRDP. Do you know what bill that Congress is sitting on that will fix this as per what the DFAS rep stated? How can we correct this for all veterans regardless of medical or traditional retirement?

  223. Rocio says

    Hello, I have a question about backpay. I had an appeal for 10% major depressive d filed on 2011 and I opened a new claim for ptsd and they denied it but granted me 100% for the depression, can I get the effective date changed to the original appeal date? Thank you (my lawyers hate me btw)

    • Ryan Guina says

      Rocio, Thank you for contacting me. This is not something I am familiar with. I recommend speaking with a trained benefits counselor at a Veterans Service Organization such as the DAV, VFW, American Legion, etc.

  224. ronald martin says

    Hello, I was discharged from the Air Force in 1992 under that force reduction program. I personally think it was a scam all the way, but that’s just my opinion. I received a 10 percent disability rating. Can you tell me who to contact about how much I have left to repay before its fully repaid ? I couldn’t even get the taxes that I paid to the IRS back because at the time that I inquired about it, the IRS told me the statute of limitations had ran out, so I was just out $ 8000.00. What a shame our goverment treats us vets like this !

    • Dalton says

      What are you talking about when you say “Can you tell me who to contact about how much I have left to repay before its fully repaid ?” Sounds more like you are venting and I understand the process is frustrating, but you need to be more clear when asking questions so we know how to best answer.

  225. Michelle says

    Hello, My husband just received his 70% disability award letter and actually received his retro pay PRIOR to the letter even getting to our home. The issue is, the dependents (myself plus our 4 kids) were not included anywhere. So, we went online and added them 2 days ago through the eBenefits site. It shows that they are active dependents. My question is; does he get retro pay for the dependent portion dating back to application date now and how long does that take? And also, how long will it take for those dependents to kick in on his monthly disability payment?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Michelle, Thank you for contacting me. He should receive back pay for the dependents. He should add them online, because that process is much faster than adding them via a paper form. It could only take a couple weeks to get processed, or it could take months. Unfortunately, I don’t have a good answer for you because it varies for each veteran. I hope your situation is resolved quickly!

  226. Jacob Penzias says

    I was medically retired from the army last month through an MEB. My proposed combined rating was 90% for a multitude of conditions both combat and non-combat related. I checked the ebenefits website today because I hadn’t received my final rating in the mail yet. The website told me I was 80% disabled. So did someone screw the math up before or did they screw up now and where do I go from here? It would seem like a pretty straight forward equation, don’t see how they can come up with two different totals while still using all the same disabilities and individual ratings. What gives?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Jacob, Thank you for contacting me. From what I understand, the military and the VA have different disability rating systems, so it’s not uncommon for the ratings to differ slightly. I don’t have any insight into your particular situation, so I’d recommend contacting a Veterans Service Organization to see if they have an officer who can help you understand your rating and your benefits. I wish you the best, and thank you for your service!

  227. William says

    I was injured on active orders back in July of 2010. Just this past month my commander sent in my LOD. (Company went through many command changes, and paper work of course got lost.) Anyways, It’s now waiting to be approved. If approved and since it’s been back dated to 07/2010, would I receive back pay from all those years, once I turn it into the VA?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Great question, William. It will depend on when you filed your disability compensation claim and possibly some other factors. The most important thing is to document that the injury occurred in the Line of Duty. This will establish the link to your military service. If you filed a disability claim after the injury occurred and your claim either hasn’t been processed yet, or it was denied, then you can file an appeal based on having the LOD statement connecting the injury to your military service. In some cases, this will help you receive back pay based on your initial filing date.

      If you haven’t yet filed your claim, then you wouldn’t receive any back pay. This would be the same as an active duty member getting injured in their 3rd year of service and filing a claim when they retire after 20 years of service. They wouldn’t get 17 years of back pay for their injury – the compensation would begin starting from the time they applied for the disability compensation (if the claim is approved). Best of luck with your claim.

  228. John Regal says

    I retired from the Marine Corps in 1981 with 20 years active duty. I received a hearing aid from the VA but did not apply for disability. I am diagnosed with prostate cancer and will receive radical surgery (removal of prostate) soon. Is this worth applying for disability?
    John Regal

    • Ryan Guina says

      John, You should apply for disability benefits if you believe your physical ailment was caused by your military service. This isn’t something I can provide specific advice for, as I’m not trained on it, and I don’t know the specifics of your case. However, you can get free benefits claims assistance through many Veterans Service Organizations, such as the DAV, VFW, American Legion, and more. They have trained benefits claims officers who can help you go through your case and help you file a claim if needed.

      And this is certainly something to look into if you served in Vietnam, especially if you may have been exposed to Agent Orange. Here is some more information about AO: VA Agent Orange information page, VVA Agent Orange Disability Claims Guide.

      I hope this is helpful, John. I wish you a speedy recovery, and say thank you for your service!

  229. Mr R says


    I retired from the USAF in June 2013, I just rec’d my disability rating of 40% in Feb 2015. I think its kind of dumb that I have to add my dependents even though they are on my DEERS and I’m a DoD civilian now. But my question is will I get back payment to June 2013? I friend told that I had to be rated 50% or higher to get back pay of disability payments. Great blog, thanks!

    • Ryan Guina says

      Mr R, Thank you for contacting me. You should be eligible for backdated disability compensation to the date you filed your original claim. Be sure to add your dependents to your claim. You should receive back pay for that as well, provided they were your qualified dependents at that time. Regarding the 50% number – I have never heard that referenced in regard to back pay. Having a 50% disability rating could be substantial when it comes to receiving disability compensation and retirement pay, due to Concurrent Receipt laws. But it shouldn’t have anything to do with receiving back pay.

  230. The_Black_Knight says

    Thoughts to consider if a service member is awaiting confirmation of disability, or is attempting to receive VA “retro” back pay, and reach this website.
    This information is relevant whether you are retired or no.

    1) Updates to your bank account and dependents CAN be done online in the ebenefits VA website with a premium account. However, it can be confusing, because multiple government systems do not talk to each other well. For example dependents updates are buried, 3 levels deep in ebenefits and are NOT related to DEERS which the information was pull from in the first place and still may require revalidation of data.
    2) Online updates normally are completed, 100X faster than paper requests, because basically, you did the work for the VA in providing the necessary information and documentation
    3) Stay current on the ongoing “rates” debate with our government. Less than 1% of all Americans now have ever served in the military, and most politicians have no idea what the life of instability and survival can be.
    4) Stay current on the disability levels of compensation and rates DIRECT from the VA administration. Cross check your RPC (Retired Pay Center) and LES equivalent to make sure it is correct. Mistakes and WILL happen.
    5) Retro Back Pay can be PAINFUL. The initial audit from DFAS after confirmation of disability rating and compensation is provided by the VA can take anywhere from 30 days to 3 years (normally 30-60 days). It depends on the complexity of the case and the time of execution. The process goes like this:
    a) VA determines compensation rating and actual assignment of the rating date (back dating the claim accordingly)
    b) RPC is notified of information from VA and a determinations is made if the service member is to be provided monthly compensation or offset based on percentage of disability
    c) The backdate date BEFORE the next month of started payments (normally within 30 days of issuance) is AUDITED by DFAS for constitution of retro pay.
    d) The results are sent BACK to VA for notification of what is OWED to the disabled veteran.
    e) The audit itself takes between 30-90 days.
    f) The VA (not DFAS) is RESPONSIBLE for payment, and normally hits your accounts within 30 days of response, but problems do occur.
    g) If you have been audited and confirmed for retro pay and have heard NOTHING within 30 days of completion by DFAS, contact the VA immediately in order to find out what is going on.

    To summarize I will provide my example:
    1) TERA retirement, 19 years (equivalency of regular retirement)
    2) Awarded initial disability rate at 6 months retirement (submitted the day after retirement to VA for expedite)
    3) Payments started 30 days after disability, and I continued to received retirement pay as I am qualified for BOTH
    4) Errors made on disability claim by VA, and resubmitted for appeal and reopening.
    5) New disability rating updated 2+ years LATER.
    6) New data sent to DFAS
    7) Updated payments awarded the next month
    8) Audit process began
    9) 45 days later audit complete
    10) Information was sent back to VA
    11) VA issued final retro back pay roughly 30 days later

    Total time of the nonsense since retirement? 3 1/2 years.
    Total benefits received? Six figure income with tax reduction benefits.
    Take the pain, keep fighting.
    Once this get rolling, DO NOT make changes to your bank information until everything is set up and running, otherwise you will have more problems from DFAS.

  231. shannon Carr says

    My husband was medically retired at 15 years in the ANG for sleep apnea. His issues started after a deployment, to which numerous others in the same unit all developed OSA. He was denied his VA claim for the OSA, but given 10% for tinnitus.
    Can he appeal that?
    We know for a fact, that others that were medically DQ’d received a rating and they were all together.

    • The_Black_Knight says

      You can appeal the decision.
      Be prepared to provide additional UPDATED evidence for reconsideration.
      If the medical information from service are not in your husband’s file it is unlikely the rating will be changed.
      There was talk of REMOVAL of certain conditions from offered VA disability ratings but sleep apnea is NOT on of them.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Shannon, Thank you for contacting me. You can appeal the VA’s decision. When you do so, be prepared to additional updated information as evidence (this can include letters from your husband’s current doctor, on the doctor’s letterhead). Be sure to include the condition, when it first occurred, and possible causes for the condition (if known, or suspected – keep in mind not all doctors will be able to list a cause for every condition. They can, however, list the starting date the symptoms first occurred).

      He should also include any related military medical records that show the condition happened while he was on active duty. Otherwise it will be difficult to prove the condition happened while he was in the military, making it difficult to prove the claim. Best of luck!

  232. Sherry says

    Question..my spouse receives 100% disability and they are working on adding my daughter, who is over 18 but was declared disabled due to being legally blind before age 18. What do these dependents usually receive or is it the same as above chart? Are there other benefits they can receive such as a VA mortgage and such? I read somewhere I can receive education benefits as well and I’d love to complete my degree.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Sherry, Thank you for contacting me. The additional compensation is for the veteran to help support the dependents. The dependents do not receive any cash benefit. The chart shows how much the veteran will receive based on their disability rating and the number of dependents.

      Regarding additional benefits – there may be some available, depending on various circumstances, most of which are on a case by case basis. The best way to get a complete picture of the benefits available to your husband, yourself, or your daughter, is to go through a veterans benefits review meeting where you sit down with a counselor who will review the full circumstances of your husband’s service and available benefits. You can do this by setting up a meeting through the VA, or you may also be able to do this through a veterans service organization such as the DAV, VFW, American Legion, or other similar organizations.


    I am 64 years old and have been disabled since I was 21 years old. Therefore I do not have the 4o units required for Social Security benefits and Medicare. Is there any way to get these?

    • Ryan Guina says

      James, Thank you for contacting me. To be honest, I don’t know much about claiming Social Security or Medicare benefits under these conditions. The best place to contact would be the Social Security Administration. There should be a SS office in most large cities, and in many counties. If there isn’t one close to you, then you could call them and ask about your specific situation. Sorry I don’t have a better answer.

  234. Yolanda Benson says

    Hello, my husband had EXTENSIVE dental work while on Active Duty in the Navy, can he file a claim for dental and if so how can I go about getting his dental records for him. Thanks In Advance

    • Ryan Guina says

      Yolanda, He should be able to file a claim, which the VA will review and determine if there is cause for a service-connected disability rating. You can file a records request to get his medical and/or dental records. If he has only been out of the military a short time, then you will need to request the medical records from the Navy Personnel office (BUPERS). If he has been out for several years, then you will need to contact the National Archives to get his medical records. I hope this helps.

  235. Dave says

    Ryan, your blog is well written and spot on. Thank you! I have an issue that I cannot figure out. I was rated 100% for 4 years. I received a letter from the VA letting me know my rating would be reduced to 80%. In January of 2015, the VA did indeed reduce my rating to 80%, but the payment remained at the 100% rate. The VA letter stated that the money I had been receiving at the 100% rating would continue. Have you ever heard of this? What is the basis for lowering the rating, but continuing the 100% monetary rate?


    • Anonomys says

      The only time I’ve heard of the VA giving you a lower rating, but still paying you at 100% is when you applied for individual unemployability. It’s when you initially got a lower rating, but when you show them that your disability has limited your ability to get a job they pay you at 100%. Your case seems to be backwards.

  236. Eric says

    I filed and received a 0% rating on my left ankle, several years ago. It was combined with another rating of 0% for a total of 10%. I have had several exams, x-rays, mri, etc for the past few years few no improvement. The condition of the ankle has worsened and I currently refiled because it was finally, found that I have old extensive damage per the VA doc! He has now set up a surgery for the ankle that was injured years ago. As for disability, what should I expect for an increase? This was well documented just not followed up on with the other VA sites I have visited. Thanks in advance! Keep up the great work!

    • Ryan Guina says

      Eric, Thank you for contacting me. To be honest, I can’t tell you what disability rating you can expect to receive. There are some situation when you can apply for a temporary rating for your post-surgery period, due to the decreased ability to use your limb. Then the VA will reevaluate your condition after you have gone through rehab and your surgery has healed. Your rating would be finalized at that point. At this point, there are too many unknowns to hazard a guess. My recommendation would be to contact someone from the DAV or another organization to help you with your benefits claim. They will be able to walk you through the process and help you understand what to expect, and what to file, and when. I hope this helps!

  237. Scott says

    Hey Ryan,

    First, this is a very informative site. Here is my question: I left the military back in 1999, but still young and I figured I was healthy, so I never filed a claim for VA disability. Almost 15 plus years later, I am starting to realize that I should have claimed some of my incidents that happened during my military career, as some of them are haunting me today. One thing I did was made copies of my entire medical file which was not much, but have the incidents on file. Would this work to file a VA disability claim?

    Thanks in advance,


    • Ryan Guina says

      Scott, Thank you for contacting me. There is no statute of limitations for making a service-connected disability claim. The most important thing is being able to prove a nexus, or link, from the medical condition to your military service. If you have solid documentation, such as your military medical records, and there is a good chance there is a link to your military service, then you have the basis for a valid claim. I recommend speaking with a trained benefits counselor to help you file your claim. Many organizations such as the DAV, VFW, American Legion, etc. offer free benefits claims assistance. You may also wish to get a medical opinion from your current doctor, stating there is a possible link between your military service and your current ailment.

  238. Rob says

    Hi Ryan, I was checking on some other benefits this morning and read something that said that I might be eligible for extra pay for my Service-Connected Disabilities because my wife is seriously disabled. This was on the VA website.

    Do you know any more than what is on this website on this topic? I’ve already sent a question to the VA, but that may be answered in 5 to 10 days. Could you point me in the direction I need to go in to find more information?

    Retired USAF

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Rob, I don’t have specific information on how the VA calculates disability compensation under those circumstances. The VA will be the best source of information for your specific situation. Best of luck!

  239. Roger Kerr says

    I originally filed in 1977 and since then been appealed over the years and just received the decision of service connected on my claim they granted on my lungs ..my question is since it went back to RO for disability rating and effective date how long will it take to get my compensation? I live in Texas.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Roger, Thank you for contacting me. The payments are normally made within a month or two of the decision. However, there can be situations where it may take longer. I hope you receive your compensation soon.

  240. Jarrod says

    I was Involuntarily Medically Separated from the Navy in January and received military separation pay. How do I go about recouping the tax withholdings without waiting until I file taxes next year?

    BTW this is a great site and thank you for all the information you put out. Really is a great thing you are doing.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Jarrod, Thank you for contacting me. To be honest, I’m not sure if you can recoup the tax withholding early. DFAS withholds a portion of the payment for taxes for everyone – usually at a rate of 20-25%. I’m just not sure if it can be recouped before you file your taxes. Sorry I don’t have a better answer for you.

    • Phil says

      Jarrod, I’ve had this happen a couple times with pay. You need to contact your Military pay department and they can submit a request to recoup the tax money. If you don’t have access to that call DFAS. Hope this helps…

  241. Ash says

    Hi Ryan,

    When I had a disability rating of 40%, my retirement check was taxed at about 60% of what I was receiving. For example, received $100.00′ but only $60.00 was taxable. My disability percentage increased to 60%. Once it reached 60%, is my retirement check now 100% taxable or is only 40% taxable now?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Ash, You should now qualify for Concurrent Receipt. What it sounds like is that your retirement pay was offset by your disability payment. So you received 100% of your disability pay, which was tax-free, but that amount was also deducted from your retirement check. The amount of retirement pay you received was taxable.

      Under concurrent receipt, you should receive 100% of your disability payment, which will be tax-free, and you will now receive 100% of your retirement pay, of which all will be taxable. But your net pay will be higher than it previously was. I hope this is the case.

  242. Jim says

    Hi Ryan,
    I was granted a 10% disability rating for an ankle injury I got while in the military. I have since requested a secondary rating on leg,hip, and back issues related to the ankle issue I have had for many years. I had it checked a few years back and go a 0% and now it has been increased. How does the secondary ratings work?

  243. david says

    I was wanting to know what should I do now that I just got my letter saying I am approved for 30%

    • Ryan Guina says

      David, Thank you for contacting me. There really isn’t anything you need to do to begin receiving your compensation. The VA will start depositing it into your account within a month (maybe two moths, max). You should also receive back pay to the date you filed your claim (or your separation date from the military if you filed close to your separation date). In regard to your compensation, you will also want to ensure you have any dependents listed on your claim because the VA provides additional compensation if you have dependents and a disability rating of 30% or higher. Here is more information.

      In regard to other benefits, you want to ensure you are enrolled in the VA health care system if you plan on using VA health care benefits. Be sure to schedule an appointment to go over your benefits, as they vary depending on specific profile and situation (such as when and where you served, when you separated, your specific disability rating(s), and other factors). The VA will be able to help you understand all the benefits you are eligible to receive. Best of luck, and thanks for your service!

      • Curious says

        I just had a quick question, I have a friend who has been in the military for about 10 years now. I was wondering if there was anyway to figure out what, if any, they would get paid if the military decided to start a MEB. They do not want to get out of the military at all but they fear that at some point a recent medical issue may warrant an MEB. My second question is, if seen by a civilian doctor is there anyway the military can get those docs and start an MEB without them knowing? Also, if they did not want out and the military did start an MEB is there anyway to stay in or fight the MEB? They have only seen people who are trying to get out with free money go through the MEB process so they don’t know if it voluntary or involuntary. Thanks

      • Ryan Guina says

        Curious, So far as I am aware, the military will not perform a Medical Evaluation Board without the knowledge of the individual. The individual is allowed to present information about their case, and they will be examined by a medical doctor. At that time, the doctors create a package which is reviewed, then there is a decision regarding the case. They also make a recommendation regarding whether the individual can remain in the military, or if they should separate or receive a medical retirement. I don’t have much more information than that. I recommend asking this question at the PEB Forums. I hope this points you in the right direction.

  244. Terrence says

    I have a question. I submitted 3 claims back in 2012 and received disability under 1 claim for PTSD. After 2 years I finally got evaluated for the other 2 claims. 1 was an appeal for asthma and they granted me 10% but my compensation amount didn’t change and I’m not receiving anything for that claim even tho I suffered thru it and it’s been evaluated at 10%. Why isn’t there a change?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Terrance, Thank you for contacting me. It really depends on your previous disability rating to know if adding another disability at 10% will affect your overall disability rating. VA Math doesn’t work the same way as simple addition. The formula is discussed on more detail here.

      Without knowing your previous rating, I can’t say whether or not your compensation amount should have changed. But it’s very possible to have another rating added to your claim without it changing your compensation payout.

      There is a silver lining, however. Having the VA recognize the new claim means you are now covered for medical care for this condition going forward. Additionally, if your situation worsens, you may be able to file an appeal to have your condition upgraded to a higher disability level. If approved, it’s possible you might receive additional compensation. Again, it all depends on how the disability ratings work when added using VA math. I hope this is helpful.

  245. Susan Cannon says

    Hi Ryan,
    Is there any other rating scaling regarding compensation for PTSD? I notice in all of the literature that the ratings go from 30% to 50% to 70% and then to 100%. Is there any PTSD ratings in between, i.e. 40% or 60% or
    80% or 90%? If so, where would I find the criteria to meet these ratings?
    Thank you,

  246. Kris says

    Mr. Ryan,

    I was wondering about what you thought about the questions from Mr. Nate. I have heard of another person who was med boarded with 7 years in and she is receiving both her retirement pay and VA pay at the same time with no offset? Is there anything new about this. She is also labeled total and permanent by the VA. Have you heard of this Ryan?

  247. Sean says

    Hi Ryan

    Great Site. I am from Canada and I am doing research on veterans’ benefits around the world. Could you please steer me to an official reference which shows that US VA disability compensation is paid for life (unless reevaluated or case of fraud)?

    thank you


    I thought that I read somewhere that if you have a VA disability rating of less than 100% that age 65 that rating increases to 100%……is there any truth to this? I have a service connected 10% rating right now at age 64…..will that increase to 100% when I turn 65 next year? I already know about the VA pension program for vets over 65 with low income.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Charles, no, service-connected disability ratings do not increase to 100% at age 65. The only way they will increase is if you can show that the service-connected condition has worsened. Yo uwould need to apply to have your benefits increased, and the VA will perform an entirely new exam.

  249. Sophia says

    Hello, My question is about the VA offset. I went thru a Med Board and received 70%military retirement and 100%VA. my military pay is not taxed but over $900 is taken out as VA offset. Is this a mistake or do I need to file for CRSC? My military pay states that it is tax free because of my combat related disabilities.

  250. Nate says

    Hi Ryan, I was just permanently retired from the Army (Dec 2014)at 100%. Here is the twist. I had 6 years active duty stationed at Bragg. I submitted a VA claim upon exiting active duty and then joined the Reserves before my rating came back which was 50%. I then joined the Guard and was about to deploy to Afghan when they would not let me deploy and started a MEB in the National Guard. Prior to starting the MEB I put in for an increase on my issues I was having, since my VA doctor told me too. A rating came back for service connected 100% P&T all directly related to combat operations from a deployment to Iraq in 2006.

    Here is the twist. I went through the IDES program to get medically retired from the Army. I was already 100% P&T from the VA so the Army used their rating to rate me. Hence 100% from the Army. I received a retired certificate from the Guard on 23 Dec then on 24 Dec I received a retirement cert from the Big Army. I only have 10 years in total and was expecting to just get my VA and possibly CRSC since all injuries happened while engaged with the enemy.

    I am now receiving both my full retirement pay and full VA pay. So, I am a chapter 61 retiree with less than 20 years of service and receiving both concurrent pay from DFAS and the VA. I am rated 100% P&T all from combat injures sustained in an engagement. I am worried that all that extra money I am receiving will be taken back. So, I called DFAS 5 times, the VA 5 times and the Army HRC command 2 times. I really couldn’t get a straight answer besides being told I should not be receiving both pay from the VA and DFAS.

    I know a lot of laws regarding concurrent receipt (CRPD)/CRSC have changed recently. Do you think that since I am rated 100% P&T in both the VA and the Army there is some clause where I can collect both with less than 20 years of service.

    The more I read the more I think I may be able to receive both with under 20 years due to the nature of the injuries. I have read DFAS’s website about CRDP and that site says I don’t qualify. (is it not up to date maybe?) But when I go to USC 10 Chapter 61 and read all the updates in the notes I kind of think that I may qualify.

    Have you heard of any changes to CRDP with folks that have less than 20 years that are rated at 100% by the VA and their branch of service?

    Thanks for any input.


  251. Kevin Jones says

    I retired in Aug 2012 and I have 3 dependents, I also have a 40% rating for the VA. I have turned in all the supporting documents for my dependents. 2 are in college, still enrolled in DEERS and the youngest just started high school. I am still not being paid with Dependent pay who should I contact?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Kevin, Thank you for contacting me. The VA is notoriously slow for updating dependents status. I’ve seen some situations where people waited over two years to have a dependent added or removed. The best I can say is to contact the VA help line and ask them if they have received the information and ask for a status update. I am not aware of any method for speeding up the process. Best of luck, and thanks for your service!

  252. Lili says

    I have a question…I was just recently diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis…I was active duty Air Force from 1978-1988 and had a 23 year break in service…I joined the Army Reserve in 2010 (I have 14 years military service). I am currently serving in the Army Reserve and have 1 year left on my enlistment. I reviewed my AD AF medical records and found issues associated with my MS. The Army Reserve of course is starting a Physical Evaluation Board (PEB) since I have an autoimmune disease. My MS Specialist is now writing a letter to substantiate my claim I had MS in the Air Force. I know MS is minimum 30% and service connected. I submitted my paperwork to the VA last November. My first question is: if the VA service connects my MS to my AD AF time, will they back pay me? My dr says I had MS back then and can prove it through my medical records. Also, since I am going through a Line of Duty (LOD) PEB, will they medically retire me or just discharge me? TIA

    • Ryan Guina says

      Lili, I’m sorry to hear about your health condition, and I hope you will be able to manage it through medication and other forms of therapy. Based on my understanding, I believe back pay is only made from the date you initially file a claim. So if you filed a claim in November 2014, the back pay would only go to that date. However, there may be some section of the law that states otherwise. I’m only basing that statement on what I have personally seen.

      Regarding a medical retirement or discharge – that’s a great question, and one I don’t have an answer to. There is a PEB forum with a lot of people who are better able to answer that question. Here is the link: http://www.pebforum.com/site/forums/

      Regarding your VA claim: I strongly recommend getting assistance with your claim. There are many organizations that offer free benefits claims assistance, incuding the DAV, VFW, American Legion, and more. I hope this helps, and again, I wish you the best of health going forward.

    • Rox says

      Lili, I have MS also. I am service connected for my MS also. I was in from 1982 to 1987 then reserves til 2003. I can help you with all of this. You need to contact me before you start this journey. here is my email [email protected] You must educate yourself on how to get service connected for…..

      Yours may be different since you are getting a medical discharge for MS, if you are not getting service connected for MS, you should. Make sure you list all of your secondary conditioning due to MS on things you are filing for, loss of balance, urgency, numbness in feet, speech, shallowing, depression, memory loss, cognitive issues, constipation, back pain, anything you are experiencing you think is MS related, anything.

      Make sure you see your doctors for those secondary conditions and those complaints are in the notes.

      You must be very organized, do all of the leg work, you must read your medical records, take ownership of your claim now, do research for everything on the internet, organize your claim, organize your medical records, ask for help, keep a copy of everything.

  253. mark says

    Patrick, you should contact your local state and federal representative for help and contact the President. Tell him though the white house website about your situation and all you want is to know is “when” your going to get your rightful payment. Others may not agree but I got an increase solely on this. Trust me, my VA rep may want to take the credit but I know it was due to my letter, because my examine was ordered by the White house. Try all of these first.

    • Jean says

      Contact your local Congressman/woman. They have veterans representatives. We contacted ours after trying for 11 months to get a bathroom redone for my 100% service connected wheelchair bound husband.

      We had it approved within two weeks after contacting them.

  254. Patrick says

    I retired October 2012 after 22 years of service. After 10 months of processing my claim, I was given a disability rating of 80%. Payments began Sept 2013. I’ve been waiting for back pay since then. It’s now February of 2015. I’ve sent multiple letters requesting information on why my back pay claim hasn’t progressed passed received and have been told each time by mail that there is a back log and expect longer processing times. What, if anything, can I do?
    Our regional VA office is in Columbia, SC.

  255. Robert says

    I retired at 20 years, regular retirement. I just received my VA rating of 80% on Jan 22. Will I receive both my full retirement and full VA benefit? I received one payment on Feb 2nd for $17.48, does that seem right? Thank you.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Robert, Thank you for contacting me. You should be eligible for Concurrent Receipt, which would allow you to receive both your pension and the VA disability benefits. You can learn more about how a VA disability rating affects your retirement.

      As for your February payment, I can’t really comment on that, because I don’t have access to pay records. But it’s possible it was for only a partial month, or something else. If you think there is an error, then you should contact DFAS.

    • Michael Klotz says

      I’m a retired U.S. Marine, retired in 1998 with 20 years. In 2005 I was rated at 60% by VA for service connected medical issues. Originally my retirement pay was offset by the amount of my VA disability pay. When the law allowed, I later began receiving retirement and VA disability pay with no offset (crdp). My rating was increased to 80% effective July of 2014. My VA pay increases to reflect the 80%. I haven’t received any back pay from the effective date to when the payment changed. My dfas retirement statement reflect my new va payment, still no offset, due to crdp. How long does VA take to pay the back pay, or who can I contact at the VA?

      • Ryan Guina says

        Michael, Thank you for contacting me. Normally, VA disability compensation is automatically back paid to the date the rating increased. I would contact the VA help line and ask to speak to a benefits counselor about your compensation. You could also try going to a VA center in person, or you could try contacting a benefits counselor at a Veterans Service Organization such as the DAV. They may be able to give you a better answer.

      • Anthony Glenn says

        Ryan, I only did 4 years of active service with the Navy. I got out back in 2010 and never kept my medical record because I didn’t think it was important. I was deployed to Iraq with an Army unit and did routine convo missions and some detainee ops. I dislocated my knee while I was out there and had it recorded. I am having more problems now with my knee now that I am out of the service but never claimed it. I guess what I want to know is how can I obtain a copy of my old medical record and can I still put in a disability claim even though I have been out of the military for almost 5 years now?

      • Ryan Guina says

        Anthony, Thank you for contacting me. Yes, you can put in a disability claim if you can prove you have a service-connected medical condition. To get a copy of your medical records you will need to contact your personnel HQ (should be BUPERS for Navy). If they no longer have your medical records, they should have been forwarded to the National Archives. You would need to put in a records request. I hope this is helpful, and thanks for your service!

  256. leigh says

    I recently got out of the Navy February 27, 2014, and I filed about 8 months ago. I received my entitlement letter today and am not really sure how this works. It says I am 40%, and says under monthly entitlements, original award 577.54 ( since it says original does that make it a one time payment?), payment start date is Mar 1, 2014. There is also a 587.36 COLA starting December 2014. Does COLA get backdated, I’m not at all sure how this works as you can see. Do you know how I find out when I will be paid? And last question, if I’m going to school will this COLA affect my BAH from the Post 9/11 GI Bill or will I just receive both. Apologies for the bombardment of questions, but this is the first site that seems to have answers that aren’t riddles. Thank you for your help.

    Very Respectfully,


    • Ryan Guina says

      Leigh, The original award means that should be your monthly payment, starting on that date. You should receive back pay from the date your claim was awarded. The COLA in December 2014 just means the monthly payment increased. You should see that payment each month going forward. Your VA disability compensation should have n impact on your Post-9/11 GI Bill, BAH, or other benefits. I hope this helps! Best of luck, and thanks for your service!

  257. Romeo says

    Hey Ryan,

    I currently out of service in 2010 at 80% from the VA…….I put in a claim in in 2012 and in Jan. 2014 I was rated at 90% but being paid as 100% due to being unemployable…..Question is, from 2012-2014…will i receive back pay ? and if i do will it be at the 90% or the 100% rating?
    Thank you

    • Ryan Guina says

      Romeo, Thanks for contacting me. Typically you will receive back pay to the date you filed your claim, so you will most likely receive an award of the difference from 80% to 90% from the month you filed until the date it was awarded. However, I’m not sure if they will award the difference up to 100% due to unemployability. It depends on how the wording is stated on your letter from the VA. The best way to find out for sure is to contact the VA benefits hotline. They should be able to give you an accurate answer based on your specific case. Best of luck, and thanks for your service!

  258. Lois Hemm says

    VA Vocational Rehab and VA In my city, there is a separate location for education and the GI Bill. There is usually an office for the VFW or AM Vets, American Veterans. They will sit down and help you with the filing for your disability. Often times, without my knowledge, the VA would try to reduce my benefits. The AM Vets would work on my behalf to ensure that the VA doesn’t reduce my benefits, without me asking. It’s an automatic service they do on behalf of veterans.

    Check with the local VA education center to find a location. Then local the AM Vets and they probably will be within a few minutes of each others office.

    You might need to seek a state politician to help you get your benefits if there is no VFW or AM Vets near you. When I was living in Maine, my senator got my benefits because the VA denied me twice.

  259. Jenna says

    I am about to start the process of applying for disability before i separate. I had previously found a site which listed injury and the percent you would get, do you know that site?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Jenna, Sorry, I don’t have a list of disability ratings for each type of disability or injury. I do know that the VA will assign ratings based on whether they deem it to be service-connected, and then the severity of the injury. So a hurt knee could be something like 0%-30%, depending on the severity (just an example). It’s also important to note that you can receive a 0% rating, which means the VA acknowledges there is an injury, but they feel it doesn’t warrant compensation at this time. It’s still good to receive a 0% rating, because if he disability worsens in the future, you may be able to get your rating increased.

      Finally, I recommend learning how multiple VA disability ratings are calculated. It will help you understand your final rating better. Best of luck with your claims, and thank you for your service!

  260. Rodriguez says

    I’ve been fighting for my VA benefits for 3 yrs. Since the 2 Captains did not write LOD’s in none of my military injuries, They are giving me a very hard time to give me any other benefits. I have contacted other soldiers that were present at the time of the accident and they have written statements but they want more. What should I do?? What can I do?? Can I hunt down these Captains and can they do LOD’s dating back those dates???
    I’m so over whelmed. Please help me.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Rodriguez, Thank you for contacting me. This is something I don’t’ have much experience with. I recommend contacting a Veterans Service Organization such as the DAV, American Legion, VFW, etc. They have trained service officers who can help you with your claim free of charge.

  261. Brandi says

    I was medically retired back in 2012. I have been receiving VA Compensation of 90%. Back in May 2013, the VA automatically put in a re-evaluation claim in. I have been award 100% as of January 9, 2015. My question is, will I receive back pay from the date they opened the claim or not?

  262. mike says

    15 year USAF retiree from 1995, with 30%. medically retired as civilian from USCG because of work related injury. VA performed surgery. can i apply to have my rating increased because of VA involvement in the process? my injury is not related to my disability rating. i fell and my wrist had to be fused.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Mike, So far as I know, you can only make a VA disability claim for an illness or injury that has a direct link to your military service. However, I’m not sure what benefits are available for medical procedures performed by the VA. You might want to contact a benefits advisor at a Veterans Service Organization, such as the DAV, VFW, American Legion, etc.

      Also, you may wish to look into Social Security Disability, since you were injured on the job and can no longer work. Here is more information about SSDI. I hope this helps!

  263. john says

    I am a veteran of the gulf war. When i was on active duty i injured my knee and back on different occasions. (They did arthroscopic surgery on my knee in Germany) When i left the service i got a service connected disability with a zero rating. At the time i was fine with that seeing it didnt bother me much. i appealed years later to no avail and with no help from my local VA. What can i do now to appeal?
    Thank you

    • Ryan Guina says

      John, I’m not sure if you are able to appeal the original decision, or if you would have to file a new claim. Since you already have a rating of 0%, the VA has established a nexus to your military service, which is half the battle. Now you just need to show the problem has deteriorated to the point that it affects your daily activities or ability to work.

      The best thing to do is consult with a Veterans Service Officer and ask how to proceed going forward. There are many organizations that offer free veterans benefits claims assistance, such as the DAV, VFW< American Legion, and more. I hope this points you in the right direction. Best of luck, and thanks for your service!

  264. Kristin says

    End of Enlistment separation in January 2015, have had both ankles reconstructed from military related injury, is each ankle a separate claim? Everything is documented in my tricare medical forms. How long of a process after I separate am I looking at? Thank you

    • Ryan Guina says

      Kristin, yes, you will need to file a separate claim for each medical condition. The process varies by individual and depends on how many claims your Regional VA center is processing, how long it takes to schedule your appointments and medical reviews, whether or not they need additional records or tests, and other information. The entire process can take anywhere from a couple months, to a couple years, depending on the complexity of the claim and other factors.

  265. William says

    I just medically retired at 20% from the Army after 22 years. Now, because I am over 20 years, I do receive my full 50% retirement. My concern is this: I just received my VA Award letter and it tells me I have been awarded a 90% disability rating. It goes on to state that the Total Benefit is 2067.00 a month withheld because I can’t receive full military retirement and VA Disability. Is this correct, I was informed something totally different while going through the retirement process.

    • Ryan Guina says

      William, I recommend reading the following articles to give you a better idea of how VA disability compensation works with retirement pay. These two articles should give you a good general overview of how your military retirement pay and VA disability compensation work together: Concurrent Receipt Rules, and Combat Related Special Compensation Benefits.

      Your retirement benefit shouldn’t be withheld, nor should your VA disability compensation. However, if you received some form of separation pay, that would change the situation entirely. Separation pay needs to be paid back if you receive retirement pay, or VA disability compensation. My recommendation is to speak with a Veterans Service Officer to help you understand your situation. They will be able to help you look into your specific situation and work with the VA to correct any possible errors. Best of luck, and thanks for your service!

  266. Rosalind says


    I have a 50% disability for Bilateral pen planus with plantar fasciitis. The disability code is 5276, Flatfoot, acquired. What I would like to know… isn’t that TWO separate injuries? Is there a way to be compensated for both individually??? Also how can I claim comp for my ankles which has extremely worsened. I saw a disability code for ankles , which was 5270. Currently my ankles and heels are just as painful as my feet.

    Thank you in advance for your help.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Rosalind, I am unable to comment on whether that should be one or two disabilities. This is not my area of expertise. If your ankles have pain or injury that is a direct result of your military service, or as a result of injuries you incurred while on military service, then you should file an additional claim with the VA. A Veterans Service Officer can help you with your claim.

    • Ryan Guina says

      James, It can take the VA anywhere from a couple months, on up. This can depend on the complexity of the claim and whether or not additional information or exams are required. Some people have reported it taking the VA a couple years to give a final award letter. Back pay is usually paid to the date of the claim, or to the date the award is deemed effective. I hope this helps. I hope your claim is resolved swiftly, and thanks for your service!

  267. Cory Gordon says

    I’m a veteran of the first gulf war who developed an unknown mass in my hand while serving in Saudi Arabia which caused me to be sent to Germany for treatment. Doctors couldn’t determine the cause of the mass and I was plagued by it on and off until my exit from the service. I now have all the classic symptoms of gulf war syndrome and i am currently in the process of filing a claim. My question is this: if we weren’t aware of what gulf war syndrome was back when I discharged am I still held to the rule of filing a claim 1 yr after you get out? If I would have know how serious the problem was I would have but military doctors told me I had nothing to worry about.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Cory, I’m sorry to hear about your health issues. You should be able to file a claim – there are many Gulf War veterans who did not exhibit symptoms until years after exposure to certain chemicals or other hazards. A similar situation exists for Vietnam veterans who were exposed to Agent Orange. My recommendation is to get a Veterans Service Officer help you with your claim, that way you can get it filed correctly the first time. Best of luck, and thanks for your service!

  268. Kent says

    I have Neurofibromatosis and the disability was aggravated While I was in the service Back in 1979-1980 I have had nothing but the ROYAL RUN AROUND by the V.A. such as losing my Medical Records four times in a row. I finally got fed up with this and Had to call my Senator and Congressman I guess it worked because things are starting to happen. Since filing for my compensation benefits I have seen a V.A. Psychiatrist the Dr. told me that while I was in the service I had a series of Major Depression Disorder (a small series) this is caused by the Neurofibromatosis. Tell me this 1. will the Psychiatrist go to the decision officer in my case and 2. I am being told that because it was aggravated in 1980 it will go back that far OH! by the way the V.A. are looking for my Wilford Hall records they claim they can’t find them Can you shed some light on my question (my first claim was in 2002 and the second was last year in Feb)

    • Ryan Guina says

      Kent, Thank you for contacting me. I’m sorry to hear about your health issues. To be honest, this is above my knowledge level. I understand a lot of the basics, but I’m not able to make specific recommendations for anyone’s claim or health conditions, nor do I have access to any VA or military medical records.

      My recommendation is to meet with a Veterans Service Officer at a Veterans Service Organization. They have trained case officers who offer free benefits claims assistance. They should be able to help you with your claim. Here are some recommendations.

      You can also try contacting the National Archives to see if they have copies of your medical records. Here is the information on requesting your military records. I hope this information points you in the right direction. I wish you the best of luck, and thank you for your service!

  269. VERONICA says

    My son just got his award letter he is @ 100% when will he recieve his back pay ? he will be back pay from 10/2013 and we just entered his direct deposit on e benefits last night anyone know of this.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Veronica, Back pay is generally awarded to the date the benefits claim was filed. It may take a month or two for the funds to begin being transferred if you just now entered the direct deposit information. If you need a specific date, you will need to contact the VA. They will be able to give your son, or his legal guardian or caregiver if that is the case, specific information regarding when the payments will actually begin.

  270. rusty says

    (Smile …by the way, the claims are for separate injuries. You would think that the VA would compensate whatever the/your injuries are in which you had sustained while serving.

    However, (from the experience everyone has been shown by the VA) it’s probably going to take an attorney to pursue & win the earnings.
    Just curious …thanks for a reply.

  271. rusty says

    Hi Ryan,
    I guess a better question for me to ask would be: ” can a veteran be paid (overall) 100% for a disability compensation, but if they have a total two claims being evaluated and/or disputed receive 100% for one claim, & 100% for another?”

    In other words, for my four year pending claim, if I am awarded 100%, would I be able to receive the maximum allowed benefits for that claim, & the maximum allowed benefits for my two year pending claim, but ‘ONLY’ monthly get 100% monetary benefit allowed?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Rusty, The VA awards a disability rating for each medical condition, then uses a complicated formula to come up with a final combined rating. This rating will not exceed 100%, regardless of how many disabilities you have, or when the claims were filed, or the disabilities were awarded. You could even have two disabilities rated at 100% each. The combined disability rating could still not exceed 100%. The combined rating is rating veterans receive compensation for.

      Here is a detailed article and podcast which explains how VA math and combined disabilities are rated.

      I hope this answers your question. Best of luck, and thanks for your service!

  272. Chris B. says

    if i am already at 40% disability ,and i add my wife and child, does the VA take the additional ammount(699) and add it on the the original ammount i am getting? Or is that just a flat rate?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Chris, the VA would pay you the rate for 40%, which is $577.54, plus the additional rates for a spouse and a child. The charts show the rate for a veterans plus a spouse and a child at $687.97 (2014 rates). If you have another child, you would receive an additional $31.67.

  273. rusty says

    If I am seeking 100% for my first claim (of now 4 years pending) due to injuries I had happen to me (physically) while in service, & 100% on my second claim (mentally) which now makes 2 years pending, will the VA compensate me for a 200% back pay once disability is granted?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Rusty, Disability claims are capped at 100% – you cannot receive compensation for anything above the 100% rating. If your claim is approved, you would receive back pay to the date you filed your claim.

    • Ryan Guina says

      digbum, It is possible to join the Guard or Reserves with a disability rating, provided it doesn’t hinder your ability to serve and/or deploy. There is no specific rating cap that would prevent you from serving. However, you would need to go through MEPS and pass the same entrance physical every new member must pass when joining the military. This will likely be difficult with an 80% rating. I encourage you to read the article linked in this response. It explains this in more detail.

  274. digbum says

    Im at 80%, and my service connected injuries from time to time prevent me from working year round, is there any way to get 100% but still be able to work?

    • Ryan Guina says

      digbum, there are certain circumstances in which veterans disabled at 100% can work, but there may be limitations, including income limitations or hours worked. I encourage you to meet with a Veterans Benefits Counselor to look at your specific situation.

  275. Monique Destine says

    After receiving your money, and if there was something on your medical record the Dr failed to notate, if you start having problems,can you go back to up the %?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Monique, you can always file a new compensation claim if the medical condition wasn’t noted in your original claim. If the medical condition was noted in your original claim, then you would need to file an appeal. You can contact a Veterans Service Officer at a Veterans Service Organization or your county for free assistance with your claim or appeal. Best of luck, and thanks for your service!

  276. B Smith says

    I am receiving 10% compensation. I have a spouse and 2 children. Can they receive compensation or does it have to be at 30%.

    • Ryan Guina says

      B, Disability compensation is only for the member. Once a member is rated at 30% or higher, they would begin receiving a larger amount if they have dependents. The additional compensation is all part of the same payment to the disabled member. There are no payments made to the dependents. I hope this answers your question.

  277. Tomeka Light says

    If my VA rating increased from 90% to 100%, do the VA backpay from the day of your of discharge or only pay from the day of the increase?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Tomeka, Backpay is usually to the date you initially filed your claim. If you filed your claim right after you separated, it would be backdated to your separation date. If your claim was approved at 90%, but you filed an appeal, which was later upgraded, it should be backdated to your initial claim date. If you were approved at 90%, then later filed a new claim that brought you up to 100%, then you would receive back pay to the date you filed the new claim.

  278. Edward says

    Hi Ryan,

    I am a Vietnam Vet who has been diagnosed with a number of gastric problems, (Gerd, Gastric Ulcer, Barretts Esophagus, Acid reflux etc.). I filed a claim for them and have been denied, because I never went to sick bay for any gastro issues. I served for 3 years and 1 month in the service, spending 20 months in VN. I am a Agent Orange service member which is documentedin my VA records. I am also recognized by the VA having PTSD. Aren’t one or both of them presumtive causes for my Gastro Claims.

    If anyone out there knows the answer or can points me in the right direction I would appreciate a response.

    Thanks Ed

    • Ryan Guina says

      Edward, Thank you for contacting me. To be honest, I’m not an expert on VA disability ratings. But based on my understanding, the medical condition has to have a direct correlation to your military service. There are certain medical conditions that have been linked to Agent Orange, but I’m not sure if the gastric issues you listed have been officially recognized by the VA as having a direct link. My recommendation is to speak with a Veterans Service Officer who can give you specialized assistance with your claim. You can often find then working for your county Veterans Affairs office, or through an organization such as the DAV, VFW, American Legion, Vietnam Veterans Association, etc. I hope this points you in the right direction.

  279. Pete Pepper says

    Hi Ryan,
    I’m trying to help a vet who is 100% disabled (PTSD,TBI,etc). He thinks if he works and receives more than $700-$1,000 a month, the VA will reduce his disability check. Are there limits on how much a disabled vet can earn in outside income?

  280. Manen Bishop says

    Hello Ryan,

    I originally submitted my claim in Dec 2006. I was awarded 20% but there were some things that was not awarded due to the doctors did not fully read some test that I had while on active duty (sleep apnea). They saw that I had the test but no one ever wrote up the results. So nothing was awarded for it. It has been 8 years now and I finally found a doctor that has read the results that has also been treating me for the past 6 years for sleep apnea. Will I get back paid for the years that VA did not award me for this or will I only get paid from the date I file for it this time? Also if I never appealed my first decision can I go back an refile my case for higher compensation due to medical conditions getting worse?

  281. Ruth says

    I was med boarded through the IDES program., I received 80% Army and 100% VA. I called today just trying to get some clarification on a few things and to ensure I’d done everything on my end that is needed. The first rep I spoke with was very rude, I do understand that the initial VA Award letter you receive is just a proposal, he kept saying well that doesn’t mean that’s what your going to get. I didn’t ask to be med board, it definitely something that I was trying to hang in there and avoid. I was lucky enough to ask to speak with another rep who was extremely helpful. My status in eBenefits shows as gathering evidence. Seeing that I just medically separated/retired two weeks ago I understood that the missing document needed was my DD 214. My question is do I need to hold of on applying for certain benefits that I would be eligible for at the 100% rate until my final approval letter. I’ve been unable to work for almost 2 years from my conditions resulting in me being assigned to a WTU and just trying to figure out what my new normal will be. Anyone familiar with the possibility of my rating changing dramatically from the proposal to the final award letter please chime in. An advice one could offer thank you.

  282. matthew davis says

    I got my rating and amount I would receive. I got about half of my back pay and wondering how long it will be until I get the rest.. thanks

    • Ryan Guina says

      Matthew, I don’t have a firm answer. The VA normally pays the back pay fairly quickly. If they only paid half, the other half should be coming soon. You can contact your regional office to see if they have a specific date they will release the rest of the funds. Best of luck, and thanks for your service!

  283. Doug Merwin says

    Nam Vet at 100% My question is this: I have two teen-aged children both being Autistic and will be with us for life. I have faxed the VA Intake Center twice now with the proof of this for my 18 yr old Daughter, who is a junior in high school. I have talked and sent same information to VA Rep in Winston-Salem, NC. no replies from either. So now she does not have Champ VA and the $$ I get as Disability has dropped.. How can I get this fixed, and can I look to see what they have set for both Ins/Disability?

    Thank you

  284. Chris says

    thx you for your last answer sir!! I have one more question if I’m rated at 70% married with 4 kids how much can I expect every month with cola include

    • Ryan Guina says

      Chris, A veteran with a spouse at 70% rates: $1,505.66/mo. Then you add $55.42 for each child under the age of 18, which equals $221.68. That comes to a total of $1,727.34. These are the current rates. The COLA adjustment should come out in the near future, and it should be about 1% higher, or around $1,740 a month (ballpark estimate).

  285. Chris says

    Is cola automatic added into your va compensation or do you have to request to have it and how much is added to your base va compensation

    • Ryan Guina says

      Chris, COLA is automatically added each year when cost of living adjustments are made. You should see the increase in your January compensation payment. I’m not sure what you mean by “how much is added to your base va compensation?” COLA applies to all rates across the board. There is no location based COLA, it is an annual adjustment based on inflation. I hope this helps.

  286. Richard says

    If VA awards me…say 30% and I appeal the percentage. Will I receive the 30 % while the appeal is being decided or receive nothing until appeal is decided. Thanks in advance for the help.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Richard, You should receive the compensation after your rating is determined. You will receive back pay all the way back to the date you filed. If your appeal is successful, you should also receive additional back pay to the day you originally filed your claim. If your claim is unsuccessful, then you should continue receiving your compensation without any changes.

  287. Corey says

    We finaly called Fox News to get Moms death bennies from 1990, 24yrs and they now hold the money, and pay out a little each month to Mom for us to care for her. What a joke. The VA never paid her since 1990, and now they want and will manage the $? I worry about me passing B4 my wife now……….who will the VA scew next? WWII to Nam to OIF/OEF……

  288. Housebound & Unemployable says

    I was medically discharged at 100% disability, then VA determined 100% T&P disability for a single injury (brain). I was also determined as housebound due to 60% additional in other injuries. My compensation pay has started, then I heard about Special Medical Compensation. Should I be receiving pay for both my “regular” disability compensation and then the SMC as additional? Or is this all factored together? The VA does not itemize my disability pay, so I don’t know if the SMC is included or not. Your wisdom is greatly appreciated.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Housebound, This isn’t something I would be able to tell you, as Special Medical Compensation is determined on a case by case basis. The best thing to do is contact the VA and have them go over your benefits with you. Alternatively, you can speak with a Veterans Benefits Officer who can help explain your benefits and help you apply for anything you should be receiving if you aren’t receiving it. You can contact VSOs such as the DAV, VFW, American Legion, etc. Most of these organizations have qualified case officers who will help you free of charge. Best of luck!

  289. Rodney Pugh says

    This disability compensation has been driving me nuts for over a 1 1/2. I started with the help of a group. After 8 month’s The Reno office sent me a letter to ask a question. Some thing was out of place. Come to find out they did not fill out the right forms or put down all of my ailments. Restart #1

    Now I am thinking after we redo this all over again. Would it be bad to talk to my Sen tor and Congressman about this. After all on TV they all ways says how much they do for us Vets. (1) call back (1) letter and the other got lost some where he said. Never did get back to me. (9) months Keep getting letter’s saying sorry this is taking so long. But we are working on your case. I call Mr. Reid office to see if he can help or tell me what is going on. Restart #2

    Now I am out of money eviction notion. 12 Major thing worn with me from Nerves, Bones , Hart, lost of the use of my legs.

  290. paytek says

    @VeteranSpeak – Yes. There is 100 employable and 100 non. I’ve had two soldiers in my old unit that have had either. The one guy is blind as a bat from shrapnel and just all kinds of janked up–like really bad.. (unemployable), and the one female has some crazy pressure in her eyes from.. something, migraines, etc; etc; and is employable.

  291. veterans speak says

    Is it possible for a veteran to receive 100% disability compensation and still work a full-time job?

  292. Whitney mccoy says

    I was just wondering how I make sure all my information is correct so they know who to contact when I start getting my 10% disability.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Whitney, Try contacting your regional VA office and request to update your information on file, to include your address and phone number. When your claim is complete, you will receive an award letter from the VA indicating your service-connected disability level and which benefits you should be eligible to receive. You will also want to provide the VA with a bank account and routing number so your disability compensation can be automatically deposited into your bank account. Should you receive a service connected disability rating and receive compensation, you will receive back pay back to the effective date of your claim.That could be the date you filed your claim, or back to the date you separated from the military, depending on when your claim was filed and other factors.

  293. Charles Walker says

    It does NOT make sense! Why is 50% $901.83, when 100% is $3,107.00? In all fairiness 50% should be around $1,500 a month. Please explain why?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Charles, The rates are determined by the VA. They are supposed to represent how the disability impacts your ability to work. If someone is 10% disabled, they can, for the most part, continue to perform work duties in some capacity. Each higher rating decreases one’s ability to work to a greater degree (in theory). I’m not going to debate any particular situation – some people have high disability ratings and can continue to perform various jobs, while others with a lower rating may have difficulty performing even small tasks. All I’m doing is explaining how the numbers work.

      If you feel your VA disability rating is in error, then I encourage you to seek an increase. You can file an appeal with the VA. There are even Veterans Service Organizations that will help you appeal your rating free of charge. I hope this is helpful in understanding how it works.

  294. John says

    Can I apply for disability compensation if I did not have a service connected disability? I am having back and shoulder issues due to my service. Can I get a rating depending on the severity of the injuries?

  295. brian says

    You will have to contact the VA office near you, or the one that you will be using. Based on your percentages, you should qualify for monthly compensation. Although you should know that the VA takes forever to file your claim. But on the plus side, everything will be back paid from the date you started the claim. Or the date you are to start collecting benefits.

  296. brian says

    You a should be able to use tricare for you and your family. I’m 70% service conected, and I use the VA for me and tricare for my family. I’m not sure what the stipulations are for it, but contact tricare for your region for more information.

  297. William schmitt says

    I got out of the army in 2007 and have a disability rating of 40%. I just got married and need good insurance for the family and we are expecting to have a child in 7 months. Is there anything the military can do for me now or the va or am I on my own. Would like to find out anything I can. Thanks for reading

  298. Jonesy says

    I’m active duty, and I have been given my ratings. I received a 100% va and 70% Army but due to the fact that I do not have 20 yrs of service I’m only entitled to one check. I thought This was a crock but what do you do?

    I was wondering what paper do I need to submit for the no home tax? Being that my income is about to be really tight I want to prepare for it now. I asked my PEBLO she claims to be unaware of who to go to.

  299. fahn2 says

    Listen up, Sebrina. If you have such a problem divorce him. You have no right to say anything at all. When you decide to go put your life on the line and get shot at and people trying to kill you. Then you can whine and complain about money your husband gets for serving his country. Until you do something, you have no room to talk. If you have that big of an issue and live in a different state, divorce him and let him live his life in peace without you trying to take his money.

  300. sebrina says

    I would like to know how come the disabled retiree veterans can receive funds for a spouse which both individuals live in two separate states for job security and the wife gets no funds from the retiree? Why can’t the spouse have the portion that the retiree would recieve for carrying her as a dependent? I think this is so wrong. If it wasn’t for him being married he wouldn’t be entitled to this benefit. I have been married to my husband for 16 years and 10 of that he was in the military and i do not recieve any monetary benefits for being his dependent and he does? He does not take care of me! I have to work!

    • Ryan Guina says

      Sebrina, The VA does not know your family situation, and even if they were aware, the laws aren’t written in a such a manner that would affect how the payments are made. This is a civil situation between you and your spouse, and something you need to work out on your own, or with the assistance of a lawyer. Please try to work this out with your husband. If that doesn’t work out, then you have the option of considering filing for divorce or legal separation. If you do so, I encourage you to hire a lawyer to represent your needs. Best of luck.

  301. Sereita says

    Hello James Sullivan,
    The caregiver program is a program in which President Obama put in place for our Veterans. To my understanding, the caregiver must be a relative over the age 18. I am currently been cared for by my family. I don’t know if you have a local VA but there are steps and procedures that the caregiver has to take. They have to go through CPR, they are required to have home visits every 90 days for the first year and I’m not sure after that. That’s why I was asking if you have a local VA because this May be a factor in their decision. If not, I am not sure. It seems like you would be a good candidate. Good Luck!

  302. James Sullivan says

    100% disabled by VA since Oct. 2010. I require a wheelchair. Presently living in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam in order to be able to afford a full time caregiver. I have already been turned down by VA for an allowance to pay a caregiver, whom I need for “everything” and by Especially Adapted Housing.
    James L. Sullivan, Maj USA (Ret.)

  303. andrew says

    Just as a little word of advice… If you happen to be a homeless veteran when u put in for your claim, than they HAVE TO give u an answer within 6 months as to if your claim gets approved or not. Make sure they know you’re homeless (if you really are)

  304. Tabetha says

    Sure I can help you with that I know the system and suffered the same injuries but I only have two national defense ribbon and don’t really count ODS. So if you should happen to need some good step by step I can get them to even remodel your house if you need a wheel chair or have physical problems getting around the house. I can do all this and get you into college and show you how you can get other cool stuff…..hey I’m 100% medically retired what else is there to do but read the benefit packet over five times lol. Well this years but I was sitting at 70% until my case was proven I got the money that someone fully retired got plus a degree. Good luck!

  305. Hung Szeto says

    Hello to all and this is just a quickie question. How long does it take for an applicant to get a thumbs up/down after applying for unemployable and what are the criteria, other than already at 70% or up?

    I’m already at 80% when I apply last yr and it’s vital I get a green light from the VA. I live in midtown Manhattan for 40 years this October and the landlord wants to out me so he can triple the rent. I’m not 62 yet so my housing lawyer said my only chance is disability by housing court standard, by which he mean 80% don’t cut it. Can anyone give me some insight on this before I become the next homeless vet and add onto the statistic? Much tkx to all.

    PS, I’m 48 and served 28 years in the USMC/Army with deployments to Desert Storm, OIF, and OEF, and have TBI and spinal injuries, if that info will help…

  306. Charlie says

    I have a couple of questions, but unlike most posters here I am wondering why I get as much as I do. Background: I served in the Army from 64 to 68 including a tour of Vietnam. I am 76 years old, been married 44 years, my children are all adults and on their own, parents are deceased.

    Since 1973 I had been receiving 80% disability for deafness. Nine years ago a nurse at the VA clinic told me that I should apply for 100% disability so I would move to the head of the line for a cochlear implant. I did that and was granted the 100% and received the implant. I am now receiving $3,119.10/mo and wonder why that is. I do not see that amount listed in the tables, it seems that I am getting a bit more than I should.

    As I am six years senior to my wife, I will likely be deceased before her. Will she be entitled to anything? Is it means tested and if so what is the criteria?

  307. Chris LaFluer says

    Helen Merz, It sounds like y’all are having a rough time. Have you sought out an SSD attorney? If not, and your not already collecting SS, you should. Something you can look into…if your husband does not meet criteria for 100% disability (and from what it sounds like, he does) then based on your SSD claim, you can apply for 80% disability/unemployable which would comes pretty close to 100% disabled. I think your best bet is to find a social worker and/or attorney that can help you with your claim. Don’t be afraid of the costs, most attorneys don’t get paid unless you do. Good Luck!!!

  308. Helen Merz says

    My husband D. Merz is 40% service connected disabled vet. He served in the Marines and was in Vietnam. He receives $447.93. Its only him and me no children and according to your chart he should be receiving $641.28 is this true? If so how do we go about recovering the back money owed. Here is another question, we have been trying to get an increase in disability status from 40% to 50% to no avail. The last C&P doctor says Agent Orange was a diplomatic decision and didn’t understand why we were there. So far he is on 2 types of insulin for diabetes plus pills, has cataracts in both eyes (now delayed because they want to gather the best team possible because of his condition), ischemic heart disease, high blood pressure, blockages in the neck and thighs (walks with a cane and can’t walk very far because he turns grey; can’t even cut the grass with a lawn mower and we don’t have that much to cut), a hernia that has been growing (that needs to be addressed, yet when asked about it his PCP says no one will touch it because of his diabetes and the mesh causes more problems), copd, emphysema, running legs, asthma, border line sleep apnea. He meets the criteria! Now his teeth are falling out and due to have 5 teeth pulled! Yet because he is not 100% disabled they will not give him dentures! How is he suppose to eat? We have offered to pay but to no avail. We have contacted the rep at the Lebanon VA Medical Center and it seems all we do is fill out paperwork and left in limbo. Have been involved with Rep for Vets for 2 yrs but we are doing all the leg work! We have sent them countless copies of his medical records. I think he may have talked to his “representative” twice and always the rep is in court, or busy.

  309. Todd Fahn says

    Hay sir with the knee problems please call me or text me or email me. My email is [email protected]. cell phone. (360)771-6104. I look forward to hearing from you.

  310. George Collins says

    Hello everyone, I am an Army Vet. In 1978 I hurt my knee in the motor pool, and needed surgery for a meniscus tear. That was the beginning of 17 operations up to 2014. In 1978, the VA made an error for the tear, and operated on the wrong side. So I needed another surgery. After many repairs from ACL surgeries, I could not walk without falling down.
    In or around 2004 I had my first partial knee replacement. After a few months, my leg was rejecting the surgery, so around 10 months later I need a total knee replacement. After a year or so, I needed a knee revision, so another operation. Around two years later, I had big problems with swelling, and puss oozing out of my knee and leg. The VA said this happens all the time with knees that are sensitive. So a few years later at the end of 2013, the VA said I had an infection in my knee. So the VA put a spacer in my knee for 2 months. If you know anything about knee surgeries, a spacer is the worst. So in Feb of 2014, I had another TKR. This was a total of 17 surgeries, and now my knee is worse than ever. I am swelling up from my knee down to my toes, with a puss still oozing from it. Right now I’m at a loss for words, because I’m still waiting for my temp 100% being May 2014.
    My question is, if someone could help, and is knowledgeable .I have also put in for hardship since my wife passed, and I don’t have her income any longer. To date 5/24/2014, I still have not received any temp 100%.
    The VA told me to stop working over a year now. I am currently receiving 50%, SSD, and long term disability from my job. The American legion put me in for employability, knowing I’m only 50%. Since the VA told me to stop working after 40 years, will I be approved for the 100%. My case has been open since 1/2013. Any help from anyone would deeply be appreciated. thanks

  311. Dalè A Greeñè Sr says

    I can’t believe it takes so long to get answers from the VA on paper work submitted to them! I think they don’t care about us!

  312. Chris says

    I retired almost 2 yrs ago and was just diagnosed w/ severe sleep apnia…I have a rating of 80% already…so what should I do now? I was tested by the VA once before I retired, but that test was inconclusive. Thanks for your help.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Chris, I’m assuming you have already contacted your doctor and are getting taken care of on the health end. This is always priority number 1. After that, you should contact your the VA if your health condition is service-connected. You may have to file for an increased claim. I recommend using the services of a Veteran Services Organization such as the VFW, American Legion, DAV, or similar organization if you need assistance with your claim. Best of luck, and thanks for your service!

  313. William L. Benson, ETCM, RET, U.S.C.G. says

    I have heard that veterans with a low VA compensation rating my have their rating increase to 100% at age 65 if they are unable to work!! How do you apply for this increase if it is true???

    William Benson (BEN)

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello William, I haven’t heard anything about this. My recommendation is to speak with a benefits counselor at a Veterans Service Organization (DAV, VFW, American Legion, etc.) to do a benefits review for you. They offer a free service to help veterans with VA benefits claims.

  314. Jessica says

    I’m been trying to locate my medical files since I was medically discharged without my consent since 2005. All my records that prove it was service connected pretty much disappeared. I’m filled a claim and there is paper work stating I had an injury but no lod. How hard is it to prove service connected without an lod
    but statements from drs. And follow soldiers?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Jessica, Thank you for comment. You have a situation that needs specific help. My recommendation is to contact a local Veterans Service Organization such as the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, VFW, American Legion, or a similar service organization. They all have trained volunteers and staff members who can help you navigate the VA claims process free of charge. I hope this gets you pointed in the right direction. Best of luck, and thanks for your service!

  315. Sereita says

    I am currently at 60% disability. I had filed my claim December 27, 2011 for an increase and new diagnosis. When I check my ebenefits account, it says my claim is in the second phase “under review”. Can that be possible after all this time? I know it says it may skip a couple of phases after June 2014 in that phase. It also say I’m due to receive a decision between July 2014-December 2014. Do anybody know if these dates are accurate? My regional office is in Atlanta and this has been a long road for me as well as everyone else. I can’t work so I’m depending on my disability to come through.
    Also, I started my SSI claim and have appealed my case 2 or 3 times before I sought a lawyer with Binder and Binder. I filed that “initial claim” in January 2013, but my last appeal was November 2013. Do anybody know the time frame or the process after that?

  316. Larry Parker says

    I am retired Army after serving 26 years. I have a VA disability rated at 30%. My question is why are there some service members receiving a compensation in addition to their retirement pay and I don’t. On my monthly LES it shows that my VA pay is $447 however that is just the amount which is not taxable and reduced from my gross pay.

    I thought those with a 30% disability should get the $447. in addition to their retirement pay. Please shead some light on this subject….thanks.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Larry, The reason is because of a law called Concurrent Receipt. You can learn more here: Concurrent Receipt Rules – Concurrent Retirement Disability Pay (CRDP).

      Basically, the old law was that no one received both VA service connected disability pay in addition to retirement pay. There was a VA offset that reduced your retirement pay by the amount of your VA disability pay if you were eligible to receive both payments. The new law came about in 2004 and gives people with a VA Service-connected disability rate of 50% or more both payments. Those with 40% or lower still have the VA offset in which their retirement pay is reduced by the amount of their VA disability pay. The net result is still positive, because VA disability payments are tax free.

  317. Adam says

    First, brother thank you for your service and welcome home!
    I am a 100% P&T SC, I served in OD Shield /OD Storm with the 1st Infantry Division. I have four MOS’s, my primary being a 19D20, I also am a former Drill Sgt., thus you can figure for yourself why i denied and ran from my combat service issues for five years. I finally was so sick I had the choice, give in and go or die before I was 30?
    I would really like to talk with you, educate you about the VA as they are not our friend or our buddies! Do not let anyone convince you otherwise brother, I have been dealing with the VA for over 18 years at one of the top three worst rated VAMC’s in the nation.
    As I said, I am here if you would like some assistance, I served as an officer on Post, District, State, and National levels with the VFW, and have worked very closely with the VFW’s Legislative Office in D.C. and know who can make things happen.
    Trent, I will be praying suspificley for you brother, don’t lose your faith brother as that is one thing no one can take from us, have a blessed day!
    Watch your six 1*,


  318. jean says

    If I have been given a rating of 90% overall (90% medical breakdown per packet sent to me ) and 70% PTSD. Which I have been told they have reviewed it and are now after some time n lots of spots n therapy n mess they are changing it to 100% PTSD….can that ever be lowered or changed? Trying to ease anxiety over whether I can count on that for my future or not?? Please advise. Ty

  319. Ed says

    Hi…everyone. thanks for your service. I have been attempting to prove depression relating to my disability but keep getting denied.

  320. Phillip Garcia says

    I had no problems getting my claim in. It might have been different back then for you service members who got out ten years ago but I was told to submit my claim while I was in because if I waited till I got out it could take up to six years for your claim to come through , so I submitted my claim the day before I got out and six months later it was approved and I got 70%. And the VA has taken good care of me ..

  321. Waiting since 2012 says

    My husband filed 04/2012 and the VA sent a letter asking for information that is in his medical service record…..WHY? To make things worse we took another step and sent them ALL of the copies that we also have from his file. It saddens me that they would continue to look for the evidence that they can pull from his records that are located across the street from their office.

  322. David Smith says

    Service connected monthly va check is being garnished to pay off 25 year old home loan. VA knew my whereabouts this whole time but never said anything until a year and a half ago when I started getting my check. I’m about to retire and I need this money. Is there anything I can do?

    • Ryan Guina says

      David, this is outside the scope of my expertise. I recommend contacting a Veterans Service Organization such as the VFW, American Legion, DAV, or another organization. They have trained personnel who may be able to help you free of charge. Best of luck, and thanks for your service!

  323. Hung Szeto says

    My $.02, after a long and tedious claim process. After over 10 yrs of PTSD claim, denied, refile with more evidence, denied, then refill with more evidence, repeat; I was finally awarded the recognition of a problem I had to dealt with at ongoing basis. In summary:

    1 Be patient, the claim workers are people who handle untold number of cases each day.

    2 The VA, like any large organization, is comprised of smaller organizations. Its medical experts are there to fix you, and the admin folks are there to determine what you are eligible for. Do not make the mistake in assuming these 2 major sub-divisions talk to each other and know your case beyond a file number.

    3 Be courteous, resourceful, but firm; above all, be truthful. If you truly believe you have a case, prove it so the adjudicator won’t lose his/her job and you go to jail by granting you the green light. If I am the claim processor and your claim is full of holes, I’m sure as heck not going to jeopardize my career so you can get the Benjamins.

    4 Lastly, help the adjudicator help you. I go to the VAMC in Manhattan and on the 2nd fl there are different side stories of VA, one of which was a WWII soldier who change dhis mind about his life insurance when he was in combat. He carved his desire on the wall and later that day, he was killed in action. The Gov (mil/VA) actually got someone to take a photo of that “evidence,” and the family was properly compensated as if he was insured. Point is, YOU must provide the government the convincing evidence to make the decision you want. I know it sucks but in legalese, such “burden of proof” is on you. A carving in the mud is a bit extreme, but here is where persistence and indisputable proof hit a home run.

    I hope this help at least 1 soul in the claim process. Thank you for reading

  324. Graham says

    I am concerned ; lets start with 1957 Roswell NM I was at work on the flight line and slipped off a wet metal staging braking my left angle and with pulling many tendons and mussels. They never healed right and have bothered me for years, Now three doctor say, my right has been damaged by over use trying to keep the pain down on my left foot by use my right side more.

    Now they say I may need a right hip replacement shortly. the foot and angle doctor would like me to have this done, before I have my angle cut in to.
    The doctor told me its from a very -very-very old brake so I have four bone fragments moving around and along with my tendons that never healed right.

    I have worked with the VA for my service connected disability connection but they can not find any records because of the fire in 1973, So because of the records fire does this mean it didn’t happen? I filled out a form they set me explaining everything to them where when and how it happened.

    Can someone help me out? I do Have a NH Veterans Service Officer working on this but its not going very fare.

    Please help if you can? Thanks Graham
    P.S. I wear three brace’s angle, knee, and lower back

  325. Richard Bennett says

    if anyone can help me get a medal for my actions on Sept 10,1972 in Bien Hoa, Vietnam – I would appreciate it. other back office people have taken the credit. I need someone with guts to help me. —— Richard Bennett – PO Box 416 Fitzgerald, GA 31750

  326. Ralph Valderrama says

    I must share with all of you who have a legitimate claim. The VA hospital has been a complete Blessing to me. They really and Truely have given me the ultimate care. I really can’t tell you as to who or how I filed a claim because I was heavily medicated but I do recall signing the documents. For SURE there are caring people at the VA hospital that will help you with the necessary paper work! I file a claim in Dec.2011 today I’m receiving Social Security Disablity payments also my claim is in the rating stage and should be hearing from them within 6 weeks. It’s been 20 months so far for me but during that time I’ve had back surgery and recovery time. My injury occurred in 1976 in Japan while night training in the USMC. This was well documented in my medical service file. My only complaint is this that I was never informed by anyone that I had medical benefits and coverage at the VA Hospital. For more than 30 years I suffered with sever lower back pain to the point of not being able to walk or get out of bed for months on in. Perhaps I’ve said to much so I will end this note by saying God Bless the Caring hands of the people at the VA and God Bless the USA and for all the Veteran who put it all on the line, THANK YOU !!!!!!!!!

    Trust the VA system, give them the time they need to process your claim!

  327. Elizabeth says


    For all OEF/OIF veterans that served in a combat zone, there is a 5 year period that starts on the date of discharge or post deployment where you can get medical care from a VA medical facility or CBOC. This was implemented by the VA so that OEF/OIF combat veterans will be able to receive medical care, while waiting for their benefits to process through the system.

    If you are an OEF/OIF veteran that served in a combat zone, you should contact your local VA facility and contact the OEF/OIF Coordinator or OEF/OIF Case Manager and schedule an appointment to attend their post deployment clinic. The clinic will consist of an appointment with a primary care physician and the OEF/OIF Case Manager will review all benefits available at the VA and will make sure that the veteran’s information is updated and in the VA system. This is the start for new claims and this process allows the veteran to receive care while waiting.

    The OEF/OIF Case Manager will also be a good contact person to ensure that you are getting appointments in a timely manner and that you are receiving the care that you need.

    Do not forget to provide your DD214 with documentation of service in a combat zone. Also, any medical records showing injuries while in a combat zone are important to have, as they provide documentation for any injuries claimed. This is important, as you may not currently have symptoms related to war zone injuries, but this must be documented in the VA system for future treatment.

    Hope that this helps.

  328. trucker says

    Hey everyone: love reading all this stuff, I cry at some an laugh at others. Well I spent years helping a lot of Vets in signing up for beni , then omg I needed the Va for my self .
    so I went to see the same people, for years I have been taking others. Yes Please never lie or make it bigger than what it is, just tell the truth but as someone said here K.I.S.S. I have been blessed with all the help I got from the VA, I never thought I was as bad as I was, I was sent from one doctor to another, I ended up right now as 70% I couldnt ask for anything more, everyone treats me as if I was wearing full birds. the last I knew they want to sign me up for unemployable wich will give me 100% its true I can not find a job I can last on I cant walk nor can I set for very long. My Family lives in many states so when I can I travel, so the VA asks me what states I’m going to be in and they list them on my records, so if I need anything I just go to the nearest VA medical center they treat me as good as if I was in my home state. God Bless the VA Medical Centers and the people that work in them. well to some of you all I can say is its what you make of it, and rome wasnt built in a day so set back and let the ball roll where it may. Things will work out if you just let them do there work for you. My daughter signed up it took her 7 years but thanks to the highest court in Washington she ended up 100%. She had every record from day one it helps. so hang in there and good luck. the only thing I miss is I cant join VFW never was in a war, but I even cant join American Ledg, I was never in during a confl . this is the only thing I feel bad for many vets like me, we cant belong? as if we wernt in at all. But listen to me turn up your hearing aids , GOD BLESS THE VA MEDICAL CENTERS FOR WHAT THEY DO FOR US.

  329. Tabitha says

    Good Jeremy that will help prove your case if your filing for any PTSD. Please keep your appointments and don’t be a no show and be honest with what your feeling with the doctor. That’s all you can do but let me assure you the va is monitoring if your being seen and if your a no show. So this is very important and bring what awards you have to the comp physical psychiatrist. Good luck Jeremy

  330. Tabitha says

    Oh and here is something positive to say. Good luck and stop whining unless its to a professional. If you don’t want to take the positive advice I gave in the beginning then don’t and just sit there whining to others about it but it gets old after while and nobody cares at the end of the day but you and maybe one other idiot cause misery loves company and there’s always one idiot who doesn’t get it.

  331. Frank says


  332. Tabitha says

    Is nobody reading the helpful comments I am posting? The minimum wait is six months, period. To try and contact and congressman is not going to get you anywhere. I do know board members and there are over a thousand cases a day they work on and trying to rush them will not give you what you want. I don’t know if you all are listening to old vets cause that’s the old ways of trying to get your claim pulled through but it doesn’t work anymore. Just create a my benefits account and sign on to see the progress and wait for them to instruct you on what they need from you. They will call or send a letter if needed. There is no way of rushing this. I don’t care if you’re superman the VA doesn’t take kindly to threats or bullying your way into making them make a decision. It will only make the process slower. So just wait in line like everyone else and deal with it. They are studying the case in and out because fraud cases were found. Veterans lied and kept calling to bully them so please read the helpful comments I have left for you before you go any further or ask the same darn question that was answered three to four times already by others who aren’t reading all the comments. If you’re having issues then head to a support group at your local vet society and quit trying to rush things like the old beta try to tell you. I am a medic and I have tried to provide ample help to other vets who need it, but if my comments are going to be ignored I have nothing further to discuss with you or anyone else unless its questions about what you can do in the meantime. And no I’m not going to tell you how you can get benefits if your just filing because you want to and don’t really have a real reason. I won’t help anyone by telling them what they need to say to win a rating. That is down right wrong. Either your case is legit or not period and a properly appointed medical professional will determine that.

  333. Jeremy Nolen says

    My OIF Campaign is on my DD-214 by the way. Wasn’t sure if you were talking about me or the other person.

  334. Jeremy Nolen says

    I’m in San Diego. My claim was on its way to being rated but since I got a Congressman involved it has now went back to the gathering of evidence phase. Maybe I should have never got a Congressman involved as it seems to do nothing except delay a claim. The VA doesn’t respond to me but they do respond to the Congressman’s office, here’s the email I got:


    I know this is definitely not what you want to hear, but please know that I will check back with the VA in 30 days to see what progress has been made. I have copied the response I received from the VA liaison. Please let me know if you have any other questions or concerns.

    VA: “His file was sent forward for a decision…the Rating Board deemed that more evidence was needed and kicked the file back to the Development Team. If any evidence is needed from Mr. Nolen he will be told exactly what is needed. If he needs to attend additional exams he will be told once they are scheduled. The Rating Board may have just needed a clarification from a medical doctor on a piece of medical evidence, this happens in 95% of these types of situations, and this will require nothing from Mr. Nolen. We will send the file to the doctor and detail what is needed clarified. Unfortunately, it will be at least another 60 days at this point before he gets a decision because the doctor has 30 days to respond and then it will have to go back to the Rating Board and if nothing else is needed will take 30 days to render the decision and the decision will then need to be authorized. Sorry.”
    Please let me know if I can be of any further assistance.
    Charles “Trey” Thompson III, MBA
    Congressional Liaison San Diego Regional Office

  335. Tabitha says

    Ok, first of all if you were in theater after 2003 you are considered OEF (Operation Enduring Freedom) all missions after 2003 are considered Enduring meaning you were there during the aftermath to help endure freedom. There really weren’t any front lines unless you served in Afghanistan and still you’d be considered OEF. OIF was awarded to soldiers who were in theater during the war from Feb 2003-July or August of 2003. It should say on your dd214 and if you claim the wrong one that could delay your case as well because they will be looking too far back on the dates you served. Again a claim could take a min of 6 months to 2 yrs – my answer has not changed from my previous comments above. You just have to keep making your appointments like you are supposed to and don’t forget your DD214 which shows all expeditionary metals. If your wearing OIF and its not on your DD214 then you’re wrong and the comp physical will see that and think your trying to claim being at the beginning of the war in a ROE red zone, which after OIF few are classified as being in the ROE red zone. So please be careful what you file. You could be misdiagnosed and treated for things you do not need treatment for unless 2011 was your second or third tour. Just do what they say and let them diagnose you. If you out diagnoses instead of symptoms the chances of your claim pulling through and being awarded are slim. Again keep it short and simple. Only tell the symptoms you are having on your claim.

  336. Morgan says

    Hello I am a OEF vet I was there in 2010 and I had went through somewhat What Jermy has gone through, although I just went to get my comp. evaluation, I am waiting on them to get back at me with there percentage rating. My Question is , How long should it normally take to get my full evaluation back. This is in the state of NY. Not the city NY NY !!!!! But in upstate as in Binghamton, NY area.

  337. Tabitha says

    Oh and just another little FYI for ya. If you are permenantly and totally medically retired at a 100% PTSD you can not work at all and if you are caught working you will be jailed for a felony and all privileges and disibility pay will be taken away. The va can’t lower your rating once you are permenantly retired. They also can’t take your disibility away unless you violate the regs but they can lower your rating later and if your case gets worse again you can appeal its all on the appeals process paper you recieve when you get an official letter stating they have received your case for review.

  338. Tabitha says

    They are not going to call you back. There is a new website where you can check the status of your claim just google VA benefits check claim status and register. They will give you a number to call to get your registration complete and then you can check until your hearts content. They were constantly harassed by thousands of soldiers on claim statuses and bullied into making decisions that they need to judge by what the docs say not by you and calling will just tick them off further. The squeaky wheel normally gets the grease but in this case it doesn’t anymore. They have jailed a lot of veterans for fake claims now because they were bullying the staff into decisions. They are going their job and are loaded down with tons of cases that require a lot of investigating by a short staff of doctors on the board and case handlers. Let them be at peace and do their job and register into that link and you’ll see how your doing. Calling and calling isn’t going to make it go faster and could land your case near the bottom of the stack if your not careful. If you don’t like their decision then keep appealing like the rest of us. There are soldiers from Vietnam who have to file new appeals because of agent orange so your not alone in your frustration but its not fair to judge everyone there because they aren’t putting your case first or going as fast as you think they should there is a lot more to making a decision then you think and the va doesn’t need you harassing them and misusing the support line. You can also call the 800 hotline number and ask the status on your case and they will be happy to talk to you and look your case up plus give you the website and tools to do it yourself. You filed in 2011 well line up and wait cause I filed in 2004 and didn’t receive my decision rating until almost 2006 and didn’t start collecting my settlement and monthly severance pay until 2006. Go file for SSI as well that should keep you busy and your hands off your cell phone other than to check the web pages so in case the board denies your claim you still have the ball rolling with SSI and have time to appeal one then the other so you don’t have SSI and va decisions all hit you at once and be flooded with questions and more paperwork. If your case is ligget you will recieve your comp rating soon enough. If you was smart and got a copy of your records before you got out you can go get another official copy of them made so you have two and call the hotline to ask if you need to mail an official copy to help the process along. Do not get an attitude with the va. It just makes things worse. Most of them understand because they are vets as well but half the board is civilian doctors who never served and don’t understand. They do this for a reason so there is no bias opinions and ratings are fair. In the meantime keep making you appointments with not one no show and do what your told and take the meds they give you. That’s all you can do trust me that also wait and read the va records being made on you as well and the wrong attitude will get you nothing. Yes your in pain we all are or have nightmares and flashbacks but this is as fair as they can make it for everyone. Be glad you don’t live in Dallas cause if you did the waiting list on. The district board there is a min of five years. Follow the well given advise and read all the comments in this page they are very informative and will help you in the meantime. There is also a new transition department now that can assist you in the meantime filled with RPNs and councilors for support teams. Please use those that’s what they are there for and if they feel its taking to long let your rep nurse handle it and make the calls she or he needs.

  339. RMCS(SS) says

    I too file my claim in Oct 2011 at the Baltimore, MD office. The entire staff at the Baltimore, MD VA office should be terminated. They refuse to return phone calls and answer emails. If the staff does not want to do their job, then they should quit or be fired. The past few years has been a lot of lip talking and promises, but nothing is changing. What needs to happen is a visit twice a month from our elected leaders and see first hand what the American tax dollars are doing for veterans and really question the staff what is happening… My file/claim has transferred 4 times to other regions. Why?

  340. Michele says

    I filed my claim in oct 2011 and my file is still in the review process.
    This is bad for people who can’t work and have no income.
    Thank God for my family it’s ashame how we veterans are treated.
    Jeremy what state do u live in

  341. Jeremy says

    I filed my OIF claim 23SEP2011. Today is 31MAR2013, and I am finally in the rating process. It takes forever, and some of my symptoms have worsened since I initially filed my claim. I have a Congressman helping me right now, and the American Legion is supposed to be helping me too.
    I hope the VA can start being more appreciative towards all of us Veterans and help us out faster, and with no mistakes.
    -OIF Veteran

  342. David Kurtz says

    I was medically discharged from the AF and had no idea about what to do, or that there even was a disability claim possibility service connection. Nevertheless, I heard about it from fellow vets and I applied. It literally took years for me to start receiving benefits. I spent so much time and effort fighting with the VA over all my well documented obvious on-going chronic medical problems compared to so many people who you know are fraudulantly signing up for Social Security benefits and getting approved and receiving far more compensation money.

    First, I was told that my military medical records were “mysteriously” lost, thankfully I made a complete copy when I outprocessed.

    Second, I received a severance pay upon discharge, and when I finally was awarded 10% which years later became 30%, I had to pay the monies from my service connected disability rating to pay back the severance pay. I did not know about VEAP, the Veterans Education Assistance Program at the time and used my severance money to go to college with my GI Bill.

    If you have multiple injuries, or impairments that you claimed the VA does not add them together normally. Example, three different problems that were finally awarded a 30%, 10% and 10% which is 50%, but somehow the VA says that addition is only 40%.

    My injuries, treatment, care, was all well documented, but to them it did not justify a rating originally, that was considered a 0% rating. Not only do you have to prove that injuries or illnesses happened while on active duty, but the doctor who examines you has to identify and specifically document the certain criteria associated for you to be awarded a specific rating with your impairment(s). Such as, range of motion, limited motion, medications that you are prescribed (antibiotics). The VA don’t care if you are in pain or have persistent discomfort. Rather, it is a really goofey system to determine a rating that doesn’t make any sense.

    It doesn’t have to be this way, and I never thought that it would be so ******* up, but it is. Knowing what I know now, I would have still enlisted and served my country to deal with all the red tape again. It is just sad that all of OUR money is all being ****** away, misappropriated, used to bail-out certain companies / corporations, used as “stimulus money” or given to foreign aid by these “politicans” instead of helping our own people, especially those who served.

    It’s crazy. Keep fighting and don’t give up…

  343. Robert Adams says

    Several Years ago I tried to help disabled veterans navigate thru all the red tape that the V.A. threw at them . I am a 100% disabled veteran of the Viet Nam era and had been put thru years of road blocks until I found the secret to beating the V.A. at their own game . I started a Web-Site telling veterans how to win but was quickly threatened by the V.A. and the D.A.V. to stop or face real trouble . Well the next thing that the V.A. did to me was to kill me in their computers and the Social Security Dept. All of my med’s were stopped along with all my compensation . It took my Congressman to start my benefits again but they have done this 4 times so far . The D.A.V. sanctioned me for 3 years for trying to help our disabled veterans get thru this V.A. = B.S. system ! Most people do not know that the attorneys that work for the V.A. are hired to turn the veterans claim down and these attorneys get a bonus for doing so . Bonus money is passed out to these attorneys bases on a percentage of how much they have saved the government . The V.A. was also caught shredding veterans files in the past and of coarse purposely losing losing veterans files . All of this has been well documented and show on the TV program 20/20 several years ago . As far as a congressman helping you , they can’t and the V.A. just laugh at you when you tell them that you will get your congressman involved . If your file is near the top of the pile , the V.A. will pull it and place it on the bottom and make you wait a lot longer if you complain to them and no one is help accountable !

  344. Trent says

    I was awarded the CAR and was on the front line. My unit will have tons of documentation as far as where we were. Honestly, i really could care less about getting a disability paycheck. I would rather the VA fix the problems i have. I am not a doctor, but i am a paramedic and it wasnt until recently i studied about PSTD and what some of the problems people encounter with it. I would be lying if i said i didnt experience them. If someone could help me get through it, then i would rather feel normal than collect money. I have lived with alot of hurt and guilt since Iraq and i am tired of feeling the way i do. I am sure they would be willing to help with that but would they be willing to fix my ankle and hopefully my back? I mean is there an option to have one or the other?


  345. Tabetha says

    Precisely! That’s exactly what I explained I my early comment post that you don’t diagnose and the likelihood of a civilian doctor saying it was exactly the military that cause the injuring and that it didn’t happen while you was maybe off duty during your down time is hard to do. Civilian doctors don’t want to mess with the VA and if your oif or oef you are untitled to an out processing physical!!! So go to the VA and bring your DD214 and improcess with them and they will schedule you for a complete physical and you can describe your back pain there. Also good luck with them saying it was on duty as well you need witnesses and signed affidavits saying they witnessed the hardships that you endured or the time and place it accurred and not many chain of commands want to mess with that paperwork as well because if they are caught lying at all they can lose complete retirement or disability priviledges later and face jail time. All you can do is the best you can to prove this and this is why medics say if your really having a problem let them know so they can document this. Doctors, especially the board, highly dislike the patient playing doctor and diagnosing themselves all you can do is list your symptoms and then let them take over with asking the questions and examine you. It is a battle and its a long and hard one to get any disability because of regulations passed on the Voc rehab program. A lot of soldiers have been caught lying and used the box rehab program and abused it as well. This is one of many of the reasons the board is long and exhausting. Also they are backed up with too many soldiers who only served six months in training and discharged general honorable that make false claims and ones that may have been to Kuwait and classified as oif but never saw action and are claiming PTSD. It is very hard to prove PTSD. You had to of been awarded certain awards and actually have a copy of you mission orders to go OEF so they can look up you unit, which they will, and see it you actually served ok or near the front lines in the danger red zone. If you was ever red zoned then you have some chance to prove that, but I was red zoned, served on the front line, and my units orders were pulled like as if we was never there. I had to have actual awards will certain bullets and command affidavits saying that I was the active medic on or near the front line and it took me almost eight years to track down my old unit command and get them to write, which they was happy to do because my medical records were stamped as being OIF and I stamped other records within the unit when I pulled any sick call and mass caul duty during my service in Iraq so they knew they could prove it. Good luck and please read all comments before pleading and asking for help you be surprised at how you can get your questions answered without posting. Nothing you can do or say will not make this process speed up as well so buckle up and get ready for the ride if you really do have a validated case because it is a min year to two years before the ball really starts to roll on your case. My first comp physical wasn’t until six months after I filed. They are backed up and with the debt we have the VA will be the last to be cut this time and the military has to take cuts first, but the VA will do everything in their power to make sure they do not process a false claim. It’s unjust for them to do so and unfair to those who really have complaints.

  346. Tom S. says


    I’ve been working with the VA for almost 7 years. It takes time and patience. I’d be careful about getting medical opinions from the DAV as they are there to help with the paperwork and not diagnose. I was told by a VA hearing judge that you need to go to the VA clinic, if available, or your own doctor, if a clinic is not available and start making an issue out of your back and anything else you feel needs to be dealt with. A statement from the doctor along the lines of “the issues with the back is as likely as not caused by service in the military. “As likely as not” is the key statement. It’s all about documentation and keeping your ducks in line. Be sure to document names, dates and items discussed as well as a copy of all documents going to and from the VA. I’ve got one more item (out of 13) to clear up and I’ll be done with them. Don’t give up and document, document, document!

  347. Trent says

    Hi, I am Trent. I served in the operation iraqi freedom. I got out of the Marine Corps in 2003 right after i got back from iraq. During my time in the service i injured my right ankle several times. I have it documented in my medical records. All throughout my time in the Corps i have had lower back pain. I did not complain about it or go to BAS due to everyone else complaining about their back pain. I talked to a corpsman about one time and he said that his back hurt as well and that everyone else’s was. So i never went to have it evaluated because of fear of being called out over it. About five years after i got out i finally got fed up with it and went to the VA hospital and the Doctor confirmed that my pain was from a degenerating disc in my L5. Since serving in the war i have noticed over time that i have had symptoms of PTSD that have lasted a long time. I went and talked to the representive at the DAV today and he told me that my back could very well be degerating due to my right ankle. My ankle is really jacked believe me. I finally made my claim today using the DAV. My questions are: If i have not received any treatment for PSTD but when i take a test for it, it comes back positive, how hard will it be for me to make a claim on it? I mean, what is the process for that? I know i am not 100% disabled from it. I can still function, but i know that i am not like the average person. If i don’t have any documention about my back while i was in the service, how hard will it be for me to prove that it could be related to my ankle injuries?
    I am definitely not trying to get as much as i can from the VA. I will appreciate what ever percentage they give me. Any help from anyone’s experience would be greatly appreciated on my end. Thanks alot for helping?


  348. jose says

    hello im 60% disable and my rep. is trying to increase my PTSD also i was denied for my knee that i can barely lean on. i had various surgery but the main one i was on active duty on leave when i was rush to the ER and they had to do acl and minecus repair . when i got out of service they couldn’t find any records because it was done at a local civilian hospital. i also have sleep disoder and sleep apnea which is not even been claim for.
    I was involved in some missions that some how where not documented and suffer various injuries, they gave me PTSD because of partial documents but haven’t given me anything else including purple heart which my therapist says i deserve. was shot various times, crash in a helo and was also bomb twice in the middle east one time loosing my hearing. can i claim disability for things that magically disapear?
    thank you

  349. T says

    Just a little tip. Try filing for compensation for your symptoms and not illnesses. The VA can’t deny that those symptoms didn’t take place on active duty if they are in your records. Diagnosis are very tought to get compensation for. So instead let them diagnose you at the VA and keep being seen for their diagnoses but only file a claim for the symptoms. Just a little hint.

  350. Julie Martin says

    My husband was recently increased from 60% to 80%. At what point are myself and our children allowed medical benefits? How do I get these? Also our payment doesn’t match up with the above chart. Could they have made a mistake in the amount of dependents? My husband is under the impression that we can’t get family coverage until he is at 100%.

  351. Adam says

    I’ve been 40% service connected for years (20/10/10/10). My condition has worsened and I filed a new claim. Today I received my decision letter from a filing over a year ago.

    While they did concur and add a 20% and a 10% for the new claim, at the same time they took away two of my 10% claims.

    Have you heard of the VA taking away previous ratings? The letter states that 2 of my previous claims are “Reinstated” and then adds the new claim. But the letter does not mention at all the two ratings they took away.

    Have you heard of this before? The two missing ratings are not related to any of the others. Could it be an oversight or is this how it works?


    • Ryan Guina says

      Adam, Yes, I have heard that the VA can reduce or remove disability ratings, but that it is rare. Unfortunately, I don’t have much information about how this works. I recommend contacting a veterans service organization such as the DAV (Disabled American Veterans) to see if they can have one of their experts help you better understand your claim.

  352. dustin says

    question for anyone out there with somewhat similar circumstance. im recently rated at 70% with a child. plan to get married soon, my fiance has a daughter of her own from previous marrage. she has full custody of her daughter with no help from her ex husband. my question is once we get married can i claim her daughter and an additional dependant? question 2 is my mother is on social security income as a widow. what would i have to do to add her as a dependant also? or are these both impossible givin the circumstances? anybody out there know anything about these issues? and imput would be greatly appreciated? thank you brothers!

  353. Tina M. Vigue says

    I separated from the Air Force in 1985. I was given a separation bonus and was awarded disability at 10%. I have not seen one disability check, I have called my local VA for answers. I spoke with several people and got different responses. One of which was that I was double dipping from the military. I was told that I couldn’t receive my disability checks until the separation bonus was paid off. I would really like to get clarification, can you help? I need to know who I need to talk to. I don’t think that I have been contacting the correct people. Thanks for your help.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Tina, My understanding is the same as what they told you – when you receive a separation check for a disability, the disability compensation checks won’t be sent until the initial amount has been paid off. It is possible the information was never sent to the VA or it otherwise got lost in the shuffle. My recommendation is to find all copies of the paperwork you have received and use this to help with your claim. You may find it helpful to contact a veterans service organization for assistance. The Disabled American Veterans (DAV), VFW, and several other organizations offer free support for these kinds of claims.

  354. Jane Anderson says

    It was interesting reading the comments on this sight. My husband was in the the Air Guard for 36 and was an Air technition for the Air National Guard for 34 years at least. He had to work around jet engines with out hearing protection for about ten years. His hearing has been bad for a long time. He finally had his ears checked by an audiologist who said he has severe hearing loss. He needs two stong hearing aids. they cost about 4700 dollars. We don’t have that kind of money. Is there some way he can get help. He had his ears checked regularly while in the guard but not since he has been out which is about 11 years.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Jane, your husband should contact the nearest VA medical center or clinic and inquire about filing a VA claim. It is possible he may be awarded a service-connected disability rating based on his hearing loss. If his claim is approved, the VA would likely assist with the cost of the hearing aids. It can take some time for claims to be approved, so I recommend he file his claim as soon as possible.

  355. Rigoberto Flores says

    I am a disabled veteran: my name is Rigoberto Flores: and I have a question will my bennefits effect me in any way if I get married!

  356. NOe says


    My Father is a Silver Star Vet. and lived most of his life with less than 30% disability. A few years ago he was reevaulated and recieved 90% disablity. My question is since I am in graduate school is there any assistance for me. I cannot tell you if it is service connected or not.

  357. Mark McQuait says

    VA awarded me 20% decision after my claim was initiated on 1 Feb. 12, it took nearly 12 months to process the claim. My question is will I receive any retro backpay for those months I waited?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Mark, You should receive retro back pay from the date you filed your initial VA claim, provided 1) you were already separated from the military at the time and 2) the items you are receiving compensation for were on your initial claim (example: if your medical examinations revealed any new disabilities, then you wouldn’t receive compensation for them until the date you added them to your claim).

  358. Richard D. Perryman says

    I was initially given 20% when I retired on 1 Jul 2007! 4 appeals later on May of 2012 the VA agreed and said they had made a mistake with 2 different areas where the agreed and gave me 10% for each of them! So May 2012 they upped me to 40% which rounds down to 34% which rounds down to 30%! It is now Feb 2013 and they have still not updated me being with dependents! What steps should I take if any with that decision?

    My second question is I was approved but given 0% on many other things, Is there a way to get my entire case reviewed again with someone other than person who has worked my case from the beginning? Really irritated! I feel I’ve been ******* over from the beginning, I recently had an old troop retire last Aug and he told me he’s getting 80% and his entire claim is finished! This guy is in way better shape than I am!!! And I’ve been dealing with this since Jul 2007! If I could please have a reply on what to do/if I can get my entire process reviewed from start to finish, I do feel there has been some major wrong decisions, especially when after the 4th appeal they admitted as such!! Thanks!! Again thanks very much!!!

    • Ryan Guina says

      Richard, I recommend contacting someone from the DAV (Disabled American Veterans), VFW, American Legion, or another service organization. They all have knowledgeable individuals who can help you with your specific requests.

  359. Rally says

    Very good information. I have several questions. This is my husbands case. He was on the temporary list with the 5 years ID card. After that,now he is 90% disabled thru VA. I’m confused about knowing of people medically retired with 30% and have all the benefits but we didn’t get any. All my husband get is VA medical benefits. Why we can’t get an ID to use benefits such as commissary and so forth? Also, I see on this website about claiming children in college. Our daughter is in college and we were told that they don’t count once they reach 18 years, so his check is only based on both of us. Please help me understand this. Right now he lost his job and I’m the only one bringing the bacon home. Just been able to use the commissary would be a great help. Thanks again.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Rally, There is a difference from being medically retired from the military and have a service-connected disability from the VA. Those who are medically retired reached a certain point in their service and were no longer able to continue serving due to a medical issue. Because of this, the military gave them a medical retirement. A service-connected disability is given by the VA, not the military.

      Regarding your college age daughter – children no longer count once they reach age 18 unless they are attending college. You should contact the VA and ask them what you need to do to prove she is still attending college so you can add her back to your claim.

  360. Chris Vogler says

    Is there a site or a place to go to find accurate information on other benefits that come alongside a rating of 30%, 50%, 80%? I have heard all sorts of talk from children will receive free tuition to special DMV rates, even house loans. I recently just got notice my claim was completed and I want to be sure to make the most of what the VA rated me. (Wont know what that is until package arrives) thank you for your time.

    Chris V
    Gainesville, FL

    • Ryan Guina says

      That is a great question, but to be honest, I am not aware of a site that lists benefits in that fashion. In many cases, the benefits depend on the nature of the disability. For example, certain disabled veterans are eligible for home improvements if they are required for wheelchair accessibility or related improvements. Other veterans may be eligible for a clothing allowance if they have disabilities that require prosthesis or skin creams that damage their clothing. So most of these benefits come on a case by case basis. Each state may have unique benefits as well, so it helps to check with your state veterans affairs office (examples include disabled veteran license plates, homestead tax exemptions, and more).

  361. Janet Santibanez says

    I only have two questions, 1st is, I myself am a 70% disabled vet that claims my husband, 2 children under 18 years of age as well as a son that attends college over the age of 18, now my husband whom has served 27 years is now retiring in April, and he will either be 100% or very close to it, so what happens as far as dependents go??? Do I keep them or does he get them? 2nd Question, Can re receive VA disability, SSI, and Retirement at the same time?
    Thank you,

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Janet, it is possible to receive VA-disability and military retirement at the same time. However, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) requires a means test for eligibility. So it depends upon income. It is, however, possible to receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) along with the other mentioned benefits. SSDI pays benefits to you and certain members of your family if you are “insured,” meaning that you worked long enough and paid Social Security taxes. (source: http://www.ssa.gov/disability/)

      My recommendation is to meet with a Social Security agent and work with them to help file the claim. You will want to do this as soon as your husband retires from the military.

      Regarding both of you receiving VA disability benefits with dependents: I was not able to find any information about this situation and whether or not you will both receive the “with dependents” rate. My recommendation is to contact the VA and ask them how the process works.

  362. charlie says

    Hello, I’ve been out of the military since Aug 22nd 2011. Sometime between then and July of 2012 I’ve been receiving my qtc exams in a different state, I got the address changed and finally got an appointment this past December 5th 2012. What time frame should I expect to hear my percentage? Also would I receive back pay from the day I etsd? Because that’s around the time I filed. Thank you, and God bless.

  363. Robert A, Anderson US Army 72-87 says

    To all May God bless us all, Thank you for serving. Bobby& Debra, ( Andy Poo) Ft Campbell 73-74 Germany 74-75 ft lost in the woods 76 2nd eng camp castal, 77-79 ft carson, Germany 79-82 16th eng ft Lee va 82-84, Germany 84-87. Ft jackson SC 1972, Jump school Ft Benning Ga, 72-73.

  364. Monty Mena says

    Prior US Army Infantry SGT. I had recently received 30% for my back and 10% for knee so in total 40%. My question is I had gone and received a Back surgery L5S1 but during my medical operation a screw went through my nerve canal L5 and I have lost feeling to my right side from Knee to foot and was wondering since I went for corrective surgery on my back with proper guidance from 3 different doctors and now I have paralysis on my right side and will be again evaluated by a VA doc would my percentage change since Its now not combat related, and would VA help with proving malpractice or should I do that privately. Thank you for your time

    • Ryan Guina says

      Monty, The injury doesn’t have to be combat related to qualify for VA compensation. The reason you had the injury was because you were injured while in the military, so subsequent injuries related to the initial injury may qualify for additional or upgraded benefits. You will need to contact the VA for more specific information. Best of luck, and thanks for your service.

  365. Gregory a. noval says

    I receive 60% for service connected (29 yrs in the USAF)). The Dayton VA has been very good to me and my family. I appreciate it and want to say thanks!

    Retired Msgt. Gregory A. Noval
    USAF 10.5 Yrs, USAFR 12.5 Yrs and Ohio Air Guard 6 yrs.

  366. JOHN NEUER says

    I am receiving 80% disp. applied for 100% for Vietnam injuries my VA doctor gave me a letter that I am 100% unable to work. What other paper work do I need — PTSD -heart attack – diabetes I filed in Nov.2012 in St, Pete.

    • Ryan Guina says

      John, You will need to work directly with the VA about your rating. You may find it helpful to contact a service organization such as the DAV (Disabled American Veterans), VFW, American Legion, or another veteran’s organization that has trained members who can help you with your disability claim. Best of luck, and thanks for your service!

  367. Windriverjohn says

    I’m tired of all the snifling and whining. I left some dead young friends in Vietnam some forty years ago who will never smell the roses. All of this money has made you all weak from your wounds thinking someone owns you something. Yeah you made a sacrifice but not the altemate one. If you’re still feeling something, even the pain, then relax. No one owes you anything, you own it to yourself to live no matter what.

    • Tom S. says

      I find your comments disrespectful and judgemental. Many of us here lost friends in the service and some of us lost family as well. Some veterans depend on their disability money to care for their family. But wether we do or not is not the point. This is a benefit we earned, for me it was through 23 years of service. Many of us need sites like this one to get information and updates that should be provided by the VA. However, the VA is focused more on getting us to give up on seeking information rather than help us as promised. I’ve been places and done things that would scare the crap out of most people, so please don’t judge me or any other veteran.

  368. Tom S. says

    I have been fighting the VA for almost 7 years. I was finally rated at 50% in March of 2011 with a rating date of July 2010. I appealed and got a rating date of March 2009. I’m appealing again because it should be November 2006.

    My issue is with the deferred payments. Obviously, at least to me, when the rating date changes they owe me money. To my way of thinking they should have given me back everything they had been taking out of my retirement pay and then made up the difference betwwn the 40% and the 50% rating pay. Does anyone know where I can find out how it was and is all calculated?

  369. chuck s. says

    i have a question that nobody (even the va) has been able to help me with. i am service connected for 30%, and my wife is service connected for 100%. her monthly amount reflects the “veteran plus spouse” amount, however mine only shows the “veteran only” amount.

    my question is, can i also qualify for the “veteran plus spouse amount”? i ask this because i clearly indicated i was married when i filed my paperwork.

    my fear is that either or both of our amounts will be changed if i start “rocking the boat” on this, because we have both been wronged by the va on multiple occasions.

    is it worth even fighting yet another battle with them on this?


  370. SFC Hillman says

    If your a Chapter 61, forced medically retired veteran, be aware! The “Disabled Veterans Tax”, also called “Concurrent Receipt” will tax your retirement if you were force-out prior to serving 20 years of active service. The Disabled Veterans Tax -is paid on a $1-for-$1 ratio. For every dollar you receive from Disability Compensation, you must pay a dollar from your medical retirement. I served 19 years, 4 months, and 26 days of active service. Because I did not serve 20 years and am 100% disabled, my retirement pay is automatically forwarded to the Disabled Veteran Tax. I lost all of my retirement because of the “Disabled Veterans Tax”, also called “Concurrent Receipt”. For 11 years, I figured I lost over $200,000 in medical retirement as my punishment for becoming disabled prior to serving 20 years of active service.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Zachary, I haven’t heard of this before and I wasn’t able to find anything about this online. The only dependent health care that I am aware of is for retirees, survivors of deceased military members (the military member generally had to die while on active duty), and other limited circumstances. However, the health care is not usually provided through the VA, which generally only provides health care for the veteran. TRICARE, TRICARE for Life, and CHAMPVA are some of the health care programs dependents may be eligible to use. For more information, I recommend contacting your local VA hospital or clinic, or a veterans service organization.

  371. jandj says

    I would appreciate some advice. I receive 20% disability for my knees. The last year or so my knees have gotten worse. I want to know how to go about getting my knees looked at and receive more disability.

  372. Todd fahn says

    OK question 1. The amount you receive from the VA will never go down because of any other benefit you receive. VA disability is a completely different entity from the government SSD. Now for Nevada you can not collect SS Income due to the amount you make on VA Disability. Even tho your VA disability is NON TAXABLE!!! Just like your paycheck when u were in a combat zone.

    Question 2: if you could not tell from question one. No your VA DISABILITY will never become a pension or ever become a retirement plan. Your disability will always stay your disability. If you want a retirement plan it is on you to save the money or take the money and build one.

    • Ret 13fox says

      Thanks again for the info, I’m A okay with it staying “disability” for the rest of my life. Someone had told me at a specific age it automatically changes over to a pension instead of disability. I will do some investigating to see how CA and SS income is set up for disabled vets too…

      Have a Great New Years all!!

  373. Ret 13fox says

    Thanks for the reply Todd fahn:

    I am permanent and stationary 100% but can still work per the VA…but one of my conditions reeks havoc with my balance and I don’t feel safe working now. The VA Doctors told me they can “probably” repair some of my balance issues with surgery, but I also have a service connected profound bi lateral hearing loss and the surgery to correct the balance issues will, without a doubt cause me to loose the little bit of hearing I do have left so I’m not going to have the surgery.

    1st Q: My real question is this, if you do apply and get social security disability will that lower the amount you receive from the VA?

    2nd Q: If I am receiving only the 100% disability from the VA and nothing from the Army any longer will the VA compensation always be considered disability or at some point or some age does the disability become a pension or retirement payment?

    Thanks again for the assistance!!

  374. frank medel says

    I am getting paid 80%. I was not married when my claim was approved. I was married this year in august. Can I now claim my wife on my disability and if so what steps do I need to take.

  375. Ret 13fox says

    PS – I am still employable but because of my disabilities it’s not a viable thing to do for me

    • Todd fahn says

      Well first thing. Has the VA told u u have to stop working?? Do you enjoy your job?? Then if u said no to likeing ur job quit fill for ssd. Its ur money you earned it. If u are app for ssd u can still work but only part time. Look upvwhat the rules are in your state. But its going to take some time to get threw and approved. I am also 100% i had to get a lawer. I would post the whole story but it would take to long. So my advice file asap. Enjoy your 100%

  376. Ret 13fox says

    i have recently had my rating raised from 70% to 100% perm and stationary. I am wondering if I should now apply for SS since I am no longer able to work. Can anyone tell me the pro’s and con’s of applying/collecting SS in conjunction with 100% VA disability?

  377. Valention Rothschild says

    Yes, he can, as long as he has all the necessary documents, i.e., SSN, birth certificate, etc. of the child.

    • Miah says


      It really depends on the state you live in. But if he doesn’t pay child support to the child and pay for at least half of the child care costs (you both will need proof of support) he cant according to IRS tax law. Look up the IRS website for the specifics.

  378. Daunishia says

    My ex-boyfriend and I recently broke up. He is a veteran and receives non- service connected pension checks. He is trying to claim our unborn baby as a dependent. I’m going to be supporting our baby because he wants nothing to do with us anymore. Question is can he claim the baby as a dependent wothout my permission?

  379. James Sullivan says

    Recently received 100% disibility from VA. Formerly I had a 50% disability from the army. 52-year marriage became intolerable 17-years ago. Because of 20/20/20 ruling, if my legal wife and I divorced she would lose her military benefits, primarily the Tricare benefit which is very important for a 75-year old. Now that I have been given 100% as opposed to 50% previously, is there some kind of exception/waiver for me?

    • Ryan Guina says

      James, I don’t have a god answer for you here. I recommend contacting the VA or a lawyer who specializes with VA disability cases, or with military divorces. I wish you the best of luck with your situation, and thanks for your service.

  380. justin tyo says

    Do you recieve the same amount no matter which state you live in or does it depend on where you are?

  381. Tim says

    I was speaking to a fellow veteran about disability rates and found out his compensation was more than mine… (both 80% with spouse and 3 children).. The paperwork has now been filed and am waiting for the adjustment, I am aware of only being paid 1 year back and so on…
    What I also noticed is that up to the current month (july 2012), I am still being paid at the 2010 compensation rates… Whats going on with that?

  382. Paty says

    I have a question we have just had my parents move in with us due to financial hard ship. They comibne get 800.00 in social security a month my mom is 30% disabled NOT thru the VA but with social security. They are on several medications and has medicare with humana supplement. We want to add them to us so they can recieve medical insurance I know there is a way I have read people have done it but I just dont know how to do this. My husband is 100% disabled and we have ChampVA.

  383. Robin says

    Where do I go for help with my PTSD/MST claim? I filed over 5 yrs. ago & am not getting anywhere! I have gone through hell & back. I’m represented by the DAV, & am now awaiting an in-person/skype review with the VA for 2 yrs. I am told to get a congressional inquiry. My psychiatrist is incredulous & so am I!!! Can you help me with any advice? Thank you so very much.

  384. jerrod thomas says

    my wife and i are both disabled vet. we are having a in Aug. we were told we can use our 5 years of free health care to pay for some of the medical expenses along with my work health care but cannot find out any information on where to apply or if it is a real thing.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Jerrod, I am not sure the details of the benefit you are referring to. I recommend contacting the VA for more specific information and to see if this applies to your situation. Best of luck, and thanks for your service!

    • beatriz says

      are u asking for the women benefits when you are pregnant?
      yes the VA will pay for one pregnancy, I when true it and they were great, I got to pick my own civilian doctor, hospital and the VA gave me all the medication I needed like the vitamins. I just went to women’s clinic in the VA and they did a pregnancy test and then they did the rest. They sent me a letter and I had to show that letter as my insurance card to whatever doctor and hospital I pick. They pay for everything, I did not have to pay anything. Thank you VA

      P.S. make sure you have insurance line up for your baby the VA only for 7 days of benefits for the baby after the seven days your insurance has to kick in or is coming out of your pocket.

  385. Tj says

    Iv been rated 150% disabled but there paying me 90% i was told it would be hard to get my SS because im 28 and also hard to get the last 10% to be able to work .There’s no way i can make it on 2800 with a kid. I was told i could make up to 24k with 4 people in my house hold if i appd for unemployed nowshould i wait for the last 10% or file?


    • Ryan Guina says

      TJ, Thanks for contacting us. To be honest, I don’t have a firm answer for you here. I’m familiar with the basics when it comes to VA Disability claims, but I’m not familiar with all of the strategies when it comes to 100% disability, Social Security Disability payments/qualifications, and how working will affect these benefits.

      As far as unemployment benefits go, you may be eligible for them. However, I don’t know if they affect your ability to claim certain other benefits, such as Social Security disability benefits.

      I recommend meeting with a counselor who specializes in these benefits plans to help you better understand all the options available to you. You may be able to find a qualified counselor at your local VA center, or through a veteran’s organization such as the VFW, American Legion, or similar groups.

      • Leah Mccaul says

        I applied for Social Security. I went through the whole process all the way to the Judge. She told me if I got my VA claim then I would get it but that’s a lie because they do go by your age…And I think what they do is see how much money we get from VA to determine if we are entitled even they use it as income coming in besides how many is in the household.

        It took me one and a half years to be told no…Good Luck

      • Miah says


        You cannot take all of your ratings and combine them. That is not how it works. What you need to do is to look at the rating criteria found within the code of federal regulations. Search for VA Rating Criteria. Problem is that some items actually combined prevent you from getting 100%. Also, there is a lot of misinformation on this page.

        First, being 100% disabled does not mean you are unemployable. You have to get that specific rating. You can be marked and permanantly and totally disabled but still hold a full time job. You have to know which of these you are.

        I am a 100% disabled vet and I have a very good job working within my limited abilities. Get with your local DAV and have them sit down with you and explain these items to you.
        Please understand that you are not automatically granted special permissions as a 100% disabled Vet, you need to do your research, ask educated questions and not assume that anyone “owes you” anything! The VA helps people who understand the processes.

        Look up CFR 38 and search for your rating items. I cannot suggest any more than this, you have to do some work yourself…

        Hope this helps.

    • Benjamin says

      Are you seriously telling me as a soldier you cant find any job at all to help you pay your bills at 2800 dollars a month? That is like collecting interest on a million dollars! get child support from the other parent get a room mate . Just because you are 150 disabled does not mean VA is going to pay you 100% disability they still feel your 7% capable of holding employment in the real world. So get a job. ask your family Veterans like you make the rest of us look bad 9 years army 3 years Iraq PTSD, nerve damage in right hand and lower back injuries for my disability. I still work 40 hours a week…

      • Phil says

        For Benjamin it’s great that you are able to work 40 hrs a week Good for you! I am just confused why you would bash a fellow soldier when you don’t know their situation. Are you a psychologist or do you think that your an expert because of your situation everyone is different. and working 40 hrs a week makes you no better than the rest of us that served and saw real tragedy. My advice don’t give advice if it is condescending.

      • Chucky says

        @Ryan, if you are currently rated 90% and being paid 100% you are considered “Permanently disabled” by the VA. Therefore, you cannot work at all. If you work, you must report it and you should be sent a form yearly indicating if you are working or not(I hope you are not). As for the 2,800 dollars you recieve each month… MY GOD that is a ton of money. You are very very fortunate to have that amount of money coming in each month (gauranteed). Be greatful and try to conserve your money. There are a lot of people that are so much worse off than you and I at the moment. As for @Benjamin, it sounds like you are holding a lot of hostility for others. I am sorry that you are still having to work, having a bad back and nerve damage is terribly painful(I know, I have it as well). Please try to respect others and don’t point so quickly… I believe anyone can make it on that amount of money if they just conserve and live a normal life. Don’t live a Champagne lifestyle with a beer budget. 2,800 is more than I made working in the IT industry in 2000. Trust me that is more than enough to raise a family if you watch how you spend your money… enough said. BTW, happy Veterans Day to all my brothers!

      • Todd Fahn says

        He is probably adding all his disability. I am 285% if i add all my disability ratings. But i also only got 90% after being in the hospital 6 months and fighting with the VA and using the DAV for over 2 years.

      • GunnyGRT says

        Just for info about VA comp math, the formula I have is, for example, if you’re 70%+20%+20%+20%+20%, you might say that you are 150% disabled, but the VA does not do it that way.

        The VA considers you 30%*80%*80%*80%*80% ENABLED and that equates to 12% enabled. Subtract that from 100% and the result will be 88% disabled which rounds up to 90% disabled.

        Now on another note, if you have dependents and provided all the information on your initial claim, it would make sense that they would adjudicate that information with your claim, right?

        The VA knows that if you did not submit a separate dependency claim, that nobody bothered to tell you about, it would prolong and I imagine in some cases, where the person is not paying attention, eliminate the extra payment to your compensation completely.

        If you do not file all forms , ie. dependency, IU, etc. within 1 year of your initial decision, they only have to go back to the date of the late claim, otherwise, they have to go back to the date you initially filed your claim.

        My advice, read all the VA blogs and comments & procedures you can find, because in this instance, what you don’t know could devastate you financially.

        BE AWARE of the facts you need!!

    • Todd Fahn says

      Hay Tj. Give me a call man. I got lots of good info for you. Here’s my number. Feel free to call me any time. I would like to speak with you and get your specificsd so i can give you the best option and answer possible.
      (360) 771-6104. That is my cell call any time.
      Todd Fahn

    • GunnyGRT says

      I have a longer post below that includes other filing information.

      Just for info about VA comp math, the formula I have is, for example, if you’re 70%+20%+20%+20%+20%, you might say that you are 150% disabled, but the VA does not do it that way.

      The VA considers you 30%*80%*80%*80%*80% ENABLED and that equates to 12% enabled. Subtract that from 100% and the result will be 88% disabled which rounds up to 90% disabled.

      Hope that helps.

  386. Gerald Powell says

    I am receiving disability pay and they also forgot (or didn’t) include my wife. I have filled out the necessary paperwork and it now going through the process. Can you tell me approximately how long this will take? I took the VA nearly six years to approve my initial request.

    Thank you,


    • Ryan Guina says

      Gerald, it depends on your disability rating. For example, you typically need to ha ve a 30% of higher disability rating to receive an additional monthly payment foe a dependent. After that, you need to send supporting documentation, then it usually takes a couple months before they make the adjustment. It shouldn’t take more than 2 or 3 months, but each case is unique. If it takes longer than that, call the VA and ask if they have any updates.

  387. Leah McCaul says


    Write a letter to your Senator about your situation in detail..Supply all records of your applications, denial letters and appeals. You also need to retain a Federal Attorney to help you with your case. Alot of us fellow Vets have been having this problem because in all of the wars including those of us who went to Iraq the first time and on TDY orders, these conditions will not be in our medical nor TDY files. I have tried too many times at the Jacksonville and Tampa, Florida offices and turned down because of the same reasons and because I was female.
    I moved to Charleston, SC and the VA center/hospital/ER are awesome. When I was really sick, my Aunt took me down to the VA with my DD-214. I went to the office and was approved for everything but dental..Then went straight to the ER. They told me it would take like 8 weeks to get my VA medical card with picture.
    I set up an appointment after leaving the ER and scheduled an appointment for a regular Dr. They asked if I needed to see a Psychiatrist the same day and I told him yes because I need to get back on my meds. The Psychiatrist asked a bunch of questions and said I had PTSD. She also stated she was in the military as well, she also said the military didn’t have a computer to put our medical information so it would be in our files. She also said now they do so everything can be noted in all military soldiers files. Trust me, I wrote a book when I filed for mine on March 8th, I also stated what the Psychiatrist stated about no computers were there so nothing got put into our files. And also gave me a number to call to get my VA benefits check, she said I was entitled to a check. I then was given a number to call and set an appointment to see a Psychiatrist Supervisor. He gave me a questionnaire, asked more questions as well as my Aunt..He then diagnosed me with severe PTSD. They have scheduled an appointment to have a permanent Case Manager, he is assigning me to a Psychiatrist under him/on his team. He said he will continue to be involved with my case. So never give up like I did for so many years….GET YOUR STATE SENATOR INVOLVED AND HIRE A FEDERAL ATTORNEY, the Federal Attorney isn’t cheap but worth it..GOOD LUCK AND I WILL PRAY FOR YOU ON THE LONG JOURNEY THAT YOU ARE FIXING TO GO THROUGH. At VA and any representative you speak to get their names and which VA they work for and their operator ID#. I hope this helps.

    • Robin says

      Thanks for all the info Leah. I just now saw your msg., so sorry for the delay in my response. I’ve been under psych care at the VA for the past 5 yrs. & have undergone intensive therapy, group & social work guidance. I am represented by the DAV & have been for over 30 yrs. My problem is that my records are not great because I served in the late 70’s. There is no way I can afford a federal attorney! I’m retired, on a fixed income. Again, thank you for the prayers. I will pray for you as well in your long journey to recovery from these issues that plague us.

      I guess the bottom line is that I really do needget my senator involved.

      • Jurene says

        If you haven’t done so, I would get in touch with SWAN – Service Women Action Network http://servicewomen.org/

        They are very active in changing rules and helping women in the military that have experienced MST

  388. Robin says

    Hello, Ryan,

    I am desperate for help. Over 5 yrs. ago, I requested benefits for PTSDMST. I’ve been denied numerous times, although I have that very diagnosis from the VA & have undergone all the therapy I could get, including meds. Mind you, this occurred over 30 yrs. ago.

    I am being told to request a Congressional Inquiry because its been over a yr. since I (with the help of the DAV) requested to have a hearing in St. Petersburg, FL via Skype. My next step for fighting the denials is my last….in Washington, DC. Can you give me any information as to where or who I can turn to? I don’t want to die waiting for an answer & this seems to be dragging on much more so than it should. Thank you for any help you can give me.

    • Leah McCaul says

      But George you will also need a certified copy of the marriage license, copy of her driver’s license and social security card as well as the form of the corrections

  389. Julie @ Freedom 48 says

    It’s good to see those rates rise! Not only because of inflation – but because the veterans deserve it!

  390. BARBARA Driskell says

    I need to get a loan of 20 to 25, ooo dollars for my house. I need it bad, my husband was has been sick many years and I have let the house go, now that he died last sept. I want to fix it up but when I fill a app. out with every they say my credit is bad, of course it is, II didnt pay much WE didnt have it, he spent 20 yrs in the Navy and died of AGENT ORANGE AND HEART PROBLEMS, THE MILITARY OWNS HIM THAT AND ME TO SINCE i took care of him. JUATtell me how to get the money without been turned down.

    • karen says

      As a disabled vet and a one time military spouse, in my observation these “Women” serve our country as much and sometimes more than the soldiers that I worked alongside. Due to necessity, they are often required to work minimum wage jobs to help make ends meet and forgo any type of career planning. They have to pick their families up and move every couple of years and find another job. If you read her post, it is obvious that her husband is a Vietnam Era Veteran which would make her in her 60s at least. So she has spent what should be her golden years taking care of an aging sick Veteran and kept the faith of her marriage and the military code of never leaving a man behind. Why don’t either of you tell me what you have done even once for a veteran since you left the service.

    • karen says


      Contact a Veteran’s Advocate from the American Legion, AMVETS, or Disabled American Veterans. You should be able to find their numbers in your local phone directory. They can advise and assist you with benefits available to you as a spouse of a disabled deceased Veteran. I want to thank you and your husband for your service to our country and extend my condolences to you on his passing.

  391. Tony G says

    I was living out of the USA until Oct 31, 2009, then moved back. I’m a 100% service-connected disabled veteran. Can I still claim the $250 or is it too late?

  392. George W. Stancil says

    I receive my VA compensation check as Veteran alone. I am a Veteran with spouse only. How can I get that changed. We are celebrating our 38th wedding anniversary. I don’t know how this oversite happened, but would you please correct this for me.

    Thank You Wayne.

    • GunnyGRT says

      I have another post below that includes the math for your % rating.

      If you have dependents and provided all the information on your initial claim, it would make sense that they would adjudicate that information with your claim, right?

      The VA knows that if you did not submit a separate dependency claim, that nobody bothered to tell you about, it would prolong and I imagine in some cases, where the person is not paying attention, eliminate the extra payment to your compensation completely.

      If you do not file all forms , ie. dependency, IU, etc. within 1 year of your initial decision, they only have to go back to the date of the late claim, otherwise, they have to go back to the date you initially filed your claim.

      My advice, read all the VA blogs and comments & procedures you can find, because in this instance, what you don’t know could devastate you financially.

      BE AWARE of the facts you need!!

    • John says

      See your Veteran Service Officer. He/she are required to help you and also help fill out all forms you need to get this corrected.

  393. Doug Nordman says

    Good question, Linda, with complicated answers.

    If you have federal student loans and you’re working for a government or not-for-profit organization, then you’re eligible for Public Service Loan Forgiveness. The definition of that type of organization is very broad. Here’s a fact sheet:
    Part of that process might include Income-Based Repayment with forgiveness after 25 years.

    If you’re working in veteran healthcare then there’s a loan repayment program for that education:

    I think the VA also offers its employees a Student Loan Repayment Program. That might require you to actually be employed at the VA.

    Finally I’d encourage you to talk with a Veteran Service Officer (at a VA clinic), a Veterans Affairs rep at your local university, and your state’s Veterans Affairs office.

    VSOs mainly help process disability compensation claims, but they may also have more detailed information on student loans and can refer you to the right people. The veteran’s reps at university campuses are also connected to the right resources to help you review your loans and figure out your options. And finally, your state Veterans Affairs office can help you with individual state, county, city, or other local programs.

  394. Ryan Guina says

    Hello Shannon, veterans with a disability rating of 30% or higher can add dependents to their claim. It is the veteran’s responsibility to contact the VA to inform them of changes to their status, including adding or removing dependents. Your husband should contact the VA to ensure his claim is correct, and add or remove any dependents as necessary. This can be done with VA Form 21-686c. You can learn more here.

    I wish you and your family the best!

  395. Doug Nordman says

    It doesn’t look like it, Amber, but you’d want to verify that with your state Veterans Affairs office or your foster agency. The state may offer additional benefits that the federal VA does not.

    The VA’s website says:
    “You can add a dependent if: You have or adopt a child.”
    Foster children aren’t mentioned on this page.

    You could also consult a VSO in your community from a local chapter of the American Legion, the Disabled American Veterans, the VFW, or even MOAA.

  396. Doug Nordman says

    Matt, the VA only says that the additional disability compensation is “to help support your family”.

    Veterans have earned (and paid for) the compensation. I’m not aware of any legal requirements on how a married veteran is expected to use their compensation. Your parents might be able to gain more insight by consulting a Veteran Service Officer in their community from the American Legion, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Disabled American Veterans, or MOAA.

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