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Disability Benefits Eligibility

Find out if you can get disability compensation for an illness or injury that was caused by—or got worse because of—your active military service. Compensation may include financial support and other benefits like health care.

Can I get disability benefits from VA?

You may be able to get disability benefits if you have a current illness or injury (known as a condition) that affects your body or mind and you meet at least one of the requirements listed below.

At least one of these must be true. You:

  • Got sick or injured while serving in the military—and can link this condition to your illness or injury (called an inservice disability claim), or
  • Had an illness or injury before you joined the military—and serving made it worse (called a preservice disability claim), or
  • Have a disability related to your active-duty service that didn’t appear until after you ended your service (called a postservice disability claim)

Presumed disabilities

If you have a disability that’s been diagnosed by a doctor and that we consider to be related to your military service because of a specific aspect of that service, you may be able to get disability benefits based on this presumed disability. This usually applies to:

Who’s covered?

  • Veterans
  • Qualified dependents

What should I do if I received an other than honorable, bad conduct, or dishonorable discharge?

If you’ve received one of these discharge statuses, you may not be eligible for VA benefits.

There are 2 ways you can try to qualify:

Find out how to apply for a discharge upgrade.
Learn about the VA Character of Discharge review process.


What conditions are covered by these benefits?

You may be able to get benefits for conditions such as:

  • Chronic (long-lasting) back pain resulting in a current diagnosed back disability
  • Breathing problems resulting from a current lung condition or lung disease
  • Severe hearing loss
  • Scar tissue
  • Loss of range of motion (problems moving your body)
  • Ulcers
  • Cancers caused by contact with toxic chemicals or other dangers

You may also be able to get benefits for:

  • Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
  • Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Depression
  • Anxiety

Get more information about conditions that may be covered.