Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How do I apply for service-connected disability benefits?
  2. How long will the Veterans Administration take to decide my claim?
  3. Can I receive service-connected disability benefits and continue to work?
  4. Can I receive service-connected disability and Social Security disability benefits at the same time?
  5. I was injured during an authorized leave from service. Am I still eligible for service-connected disability benefits?
  6. I am receiving benefits for my service-connected left knee injury. This injury caused me to favor my right knee and now I am having problems with my right knee. Am I eligible for service-connected disability for my right knee?
  7. If I am already receiving service-connected benefits and my disability has worsened, can I apply for an increased rating?
  8. What is “Total Disability based on Individual Unemployability”?
  9. Do I need representation?

1. How do I apply for service-connected disability benefits?

You can apply by filing VA Form 21-526, Veterans Application for Compensation and/or Pension, with your VA Regional Office. If you have any of the following documents, attach it to your application:

– Discharge papers (DD 214)
– Dependency records (marriage and children’s birth certificates)
– Medical evidence (doctor and hospital reports)
– You can also apply on the internet at the VA Online Application (VONAPP) website


2. How long will the Veterans Administration take to decide my claim?

It may take many months to over a year to receive a decision. Due to the extensive backlog of cases, some claims are stuck in the Veterans Administration appeals process for years. Our objective is to successfully resolve your claim as soon as possible by providing the necessary evidence and documentation required to win your claim early in the appeals process.


3. Can I receive service-connected disability benefits and continue to work?

Yes, you can continue to work and receive your full service-connected disability benefits.


4. Can I receive service-connected disability and Social Security disability benefits at the same time?

Yes, you can receive your full service-connected disability and Social Security disability benefits at the same time.


5. I was injured during an authorized leave from service. Am I still eligible for service-connected disability benefits?

Yes, you can file a claim for service connection if you were injured during an authorized leave. For example, if you injured your back while playing baseball during an authorized weekend leave, you can file a claim for service connection for your back injury.


6. I am receiving benefits for my service-connected left knee injury. This injury caused me to favor my right knee and now I am having problems with my right knee. Am I eligible for service-connected disability for my right knee?

Yes, if an existing service-connected disability causes another disabling condition, then you can file for service connection for the new condition.


7. If I am already receiving service-connected benefits and my disability has worsened, can I apply for an increased rating?

Yes, you can file a claim for an increased rating at any time if you feel you are entitled to a higher rating because your service-connected disability has worsened.


8. What is “Total Disability based on Individual Unemployability”?

You should apply for this benefit if you are unable to work as a result of your service-connected disability. This benefit provides for the payment of total disability at the 100 percent rate even though your combined rating may be less than 100 percent


9. Do I need representation?

The Veterans Administration’s claims process is very complicated and difficult to navigate on your own. The Veterans Administration is a huge government bureaucracy with complex rules and regulations. Unfortunately, the Veterans Administration may not give your case the attention it deserves. Thus, you will likely need representation.