Establishing a Disability – Veterans’ Disability Compensation Benefits

In our last blog, we discussed the “in service event” requirement that a veteran must establish in order to qualify for veterans’ disability compensation benefits.  This blog post will discuss another requirement of qualifying for those benefits: establishing a disability or disabilities.

How does VA define “disability”?

A disability is defined in 38 C.F.R. § 4.1 as “the average impairment in earning capacity” from a disease or injury.  Disabilities can be either physical, psychological, or both.

For most veterans, disabilities include both injuries and diseases/conditions.  Some common disabilities that may be associated with military service include back and neck injuries, traumatic brain injuries, post traumatic stress disorder, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.

The different types of disabilities that may qualify a veteran for some percentage of disability compensation benefits are too numerous to list in their entirety, so the list above is certainly not intended to complete.  Any disease, condition, or injury that impairs you in some manner may potentially be a disability.

Establishing a disability

Sometimes, veterans may need medical evidence to establish that their conditions qualify as disabilities.   In certain circumstances, the Department of Veterans Affairs can be required to provide a veteran a medical examination (known as a “C&P exam”) when it is necessary to reach a decision in the claim.

If you have questions about whether an injury or condition that you have may qualify as a current disability or whether the VA might be required to provide you a C & P examination, please feel free to call our office or complete the “Need Help” form on this page for a free consultation with one of our attorneys that handles veterans disability claims.

The “nexus” requirement

Once a veteran has established an in service event and a current disability, the last requirement is to establish a nexus between the in service event and the current disability.  That requirement will be covered in our final blog post in this series.