Disability Compensation

Disability Compensation is a monetary benefit paid to veterans who are disabled by an injury or illness that was incurred or aggravated during active military service. These disabilities are considered to be service-connected.

Disability compensation is paid monthly and varies with the degree of disability, the impairment of a veteran’s earning capacity and the number of dependents. Veterans with certain severe disabilities may be eligible for additional special monthly compensation. The benefits are not subject to federal or state income tax.
Federal Benefit.  Contact ODVA or your local VSO for assistance in filing a claim.

VA Disability Pension Benefit for Wartime Veterans (non-service connected Disability VA Pension) is a benefit paid to wartime veterans who have limited or no income, and who are age 65 or older, or, under 65, and are permanently and totally disabled, or, a patient in a nursing home, or, are receiving Social Security disability payments. The amount that’s payable depends upon the type and amount of income the veteran and family members receive from other sources.  Veterans who are more seriously disabled may qualify for Aid and Attendance or Housebound benefits (listed below). These benefits are paid in addition to the basic pension rate.

Monthly payments are made to qualified veterans to bring their total income to a congressionally established support level (including other retirement and Social Security income).
Federal Benefit.  Contact ODVA or your local VSO for assistance in filing a claim.

Aid and Attendance (A&A) is a benefit paid in addition to monthly pension. It may not be paid without eligibility to a pension. A&A is allowed if the veteran: requires the aid of another person in order to perform his or her daily living activities; is bedridden; is a patient in a nursing home due to mental or physical incapacity; or has corrected visual acuity of 5/200 or less, in both eyes, or concentric contraction of the visual field to 5 degrees or less.
Federal Benefit.  Contact ODVA or your local VSO for assistance in filing a claim.

Housebound Benefits may not be paid without eligibility to pension. Qualifying veterans must have a single permanent disability (rated 100 percent disabled), and need assistance, or have a single permanent disability (100-percent disabled) and another disability, or disabilities, evaluated as 60 percent or more disabling.

A veteran cannot receive both A&A and Housebound Benefits at the same time.
Federal Benefit.  Contact ODVA or your local VSO for assistance in filing a claim.

Check your claim status online!  The VA has made it easy to check the status of your VA disability claim using eBenefits.va.gov.

National Guard/Select Reserve  Reservists who serve on active duty establish veteran status and may be eligible for the full-range of VA benefits, depending on the length of active military service and a discharge or release from active duty under conditions other than dishonorable.  In addition, reservists not activated may qualify for some VA benefits.  National Guard members can establish eligibility for VA benefits if activated for federal service during a period of war or domestic emergency.  Activation for other than federal service does not qualify guard members for all VA benefits.  Claims for VA benefits based on federal service filed by National Guard members should include a copy of their military orders, presidential proclamation or executive order that clearly demonstrates the nature of their federal service.
Federal Benefit.  Contact ODVA or your local VSO for assistance in filing a claim.

Military Retired Pay  Historically, veterans have not been permitted to receive full military pay and VA compensation for benefits at the same time.  Veterans who were entitled to both have had to either waive a portion of their retirement equaling the amount of awarded VA compensation or elect not to receive VA compensation at all.  Receiving both benefits and retirement pay is commonly known as “concurrent receipt.” In 2004 Congress passed the Concurrent Retired and Disability Pay Act, allowing many veterans to receive 100 percent of the military retirement and VA compensation.
Federal Benefit.  Because of the complexity of this issue, visit www.dfas.mil for more information.