Generally, in order for veterans to be eligible for VA disability benefits, they must satisfy three elements:
- You must have served in the military and show you are a veteran.
- You must have a current disability.
- You must show your disability must have resulted from your time in the military.
This last one is commonly referred to as a medical nexus or nexus statement because it connects your time in service to your disability.
Can You Apply for VA Benefits years after service?
Absolutely! There is no deadline or “gotcha” moment. Many severe symptoms of certain conditions seen in veterans don’t actually manifest until it’s been some years ranging from organ damage, exposure to toxins, even delayed-onset PTSD and other mental health issues.
Don’t think time is up – file that VA claim now! Below is our video on How To Start a VA Claim!
It’s worth pointing out that VA has admitted that some veterans were most likely exposed to certain toxic chemicals depending when and where they served, so certain conditions are presumptively tied to their military service.
If a veteran has a condition that’s on the presumptive list for an area they served, the veteran would not have to find medical evidence that connects the two; instead VA has already conceded that it’s likely your disability was caused by your service.
Can I File New VA Claim Because of PACT Act?
With the passing of the PACT Act, this would now include millions of Gulf War veterans alongside other folks such as certain Vietnam Veterans who were largely neglected due to serving outside of Vietnam, and more.
However, there are times when a veteran has to be hospitalized or perhaps has an unstable condition meaning it could either worsen or improve. In these cases, we have to discuss prestabilization ratings.
What are VA Prestabilization Ratings?
If you have just left active military service and are disabled as a result of your service (known as a service-connected disability), you may be eligible for temporary disability compensation or VA benefits right away.
If you meet the requirements for these programs, you’ll receive a prestabilization rating. Depending on the severity of your disability, this rating can be 50% or 100%. Your prestabilization rating will last one year after you leave active duty.
Do you run out of VA Disability benefits?
No, they do not. VA service connected disability compensation is intended for veterans who were disabled during their time in service. Unless VA has evidence that your condition has improved enough to justify a lower rating or if you (the veteran claimant) have passed away, they should continue.
Can You file a VA Claim for disability after 10 years or even 20 years?
Yes you can file a VA claim after even 20 years! Like we mentioned earlier, there is no deadline or statute of limitations for a condition that was caused or aggravated by your time in service.
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