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What are the eligibility requirements for veteran’s benefits?

Our military members dedicate their lives to protecting our country. When military veterans return from service, they deserve to receive medical care and compensation for the injuries they suffered as a result of their service. Veterans who suffer a service related disability may be eligible to receive monthly disability benefits. Up until now, veterans with certain pain issues linked to service were ineligible to receive benefits. Now, a new court ruling could extend these benefits to veterans across the nation.

U.S. Court of Appeals Rules in Favor of Veterans

For the past 19 years, thousands of veterans who applied for benefits due to pain stemming from their military service were denied. VA policy held that when a veteran with no clear medical diagnosis applied for benefits due to pain, the claims would be denied. More than 11,000 veterans lost the benefits they deserved due to this policy.

Now, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has overturned said precedent, opening the claims process for veterans in pain. The case that lead to this change involved a veteran who injured her knees during service. Despite the ongoing pain, her file did not list a specific medical diagnosis. Although the VA acknowledged that her pain came from service, it stated that pain alone is not enough for disability benefits. With a successful challenge, this veteran’s case has changed all of that. Under the new case law, veterans must simply show a clear connection between their pain and military service to be eligible, without the need for a medical diagnosis.

Eligibility for VA Compensation

If you have returned from service and suffer from ongoing pain or injuries, you may be eligible to receive compensation through the VA. To be eligible, you need to have been an active duty member. You must also demonstrate that you have a service related impairment, meaning that your impairment was caused by active duty or worsened during duty. Benefits could be awarded due to a wide range of physical conditions, like hearing loss or chronic knee injuries, as well as mental health conditions, like post-traumatic stress disorder.

Successfully applying for veteran’s disability benefits can be a difficult process. You will need to present medical evidence of your disability and its relationship to your service. Contact a veteran’s benefits attorney for more assistance with your claim.