The VA might compensate you if you developed or aggravated a disability, disease, or injury because of your active-duty service. Or, you may receive the benefit if you are the spouse, dependent, or parent of a qualifying disabled veteran or service member who died while in service or after discharge due to a service-connected disability.
A service-connected disability is a debilitating condition that has occurred from your time in service, such as an injury or sickness. A service-connected disability may be physical or mental.
VA Disability Compensation
You could receive VA disability benefits if your active military service resulted in or worsened a disability. The VA may also compensate you if:
· It considers your primary or secondary disabilities to have been caused by service.
· You have a presumed disability related to your military service, even if it is presented after discharge. A presumed disability is a condition the VA presumes has resulted from service.
VA rates correspond to the degree of your disability. The VA uses a scale from 10 to 100 percent and categorizes conditions in increments of 10 percent.
VA Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC)
You could receive a monthly tax-free payment if your spouse, parent, or child died while serving on active duty, active duty for training, or inactive duty training. The VA may also compensate you if your service member died from their service-connected disability.
The DIC requirements differ if you are a surviving spouse, child, or parent.
· As a spouse, you must have lived with the service member until their death or not at fault if separated. Additionally, one of the following must be true:
o You had at least one child with the service member.
o You were married for at least a year.
o You married within 15 years of the veteran’s discharge.
· As a child, you must be younger than 18, or younger than 23 if attending school. You cannot be married or part of a surviving spouse’s compensation.
· As a parent, you must be a qualified service member’s adoptive, biological, or foster parent. You must have been financially dependent and have an income less than the limit, depending on whether you are the only living parent or if both parents are alive. The VA also adjusts the income limit if you have separated from the other parent or remarried someone else.
Special Monthly Compensation (SMC)
You could receive SMC if you are a disabled veteran, veteran’s spouse, or veteran’s parent. SMC is another tax-free monthly payment that is generally a higher amount than other VA disability benefits. The VA pays more for specific disabilities, like loss of a limb, and special circumstances, such as needing aid and attendance.