VA Disability Compensation

The Basics

If you are a veteran and have an injury or disease that is service-connected (it happened while you were on active duty or it was made worse by your active service), you may qualify for a tax-free monthly payment through VA Disability Compensation benefits.

Your disability can be a physical condition like a chronic illness or injury, or a mental health condition like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). You can also get Disability Compensation for a disability that began after your active service ended, if your condition is related to a disability that began during your service, or if its cause was related to your military service.

VA Disability Compensation is a program of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), which gives various benefits to veterans. VA services and benefits are available through a nationwide network of hospitals, outpatient clinics, community living centers, residential rehabilitation treatment programs, Vet Centers, benefits regional offices, and national cemeteries. The VA's Phoenix Regional Office coordinates VA benefits in Arizona.

The VA Disability Compensation program is separate from the VA Pension program, which gives monthly payments and other benefits to low-income, wartime veterans who are age 65 or older, or who have a permanent and total disability (which does not have to be connected to their military service). For more details, read DB101’s article on the VA Pension.

You can’t get VA Disability Compensation and a VA Pension at the same time. However, it’s good to apply for both, because if you qualify for both, the VA pays you whichever benefit is higher.

This article looks at the eligibility requirements, benefits, and services of the VA Disability Compensation program, including frequently asked questions, mistakes to avoid, how to apply, and where to learn more.

Related VA Benefits

  • Veteran Readiness and Employment (VR&E) offers personalized counseling and support to help veterans with a service-connected disability prepare for, find, and successfully keep a job. Learn more about VR&E.
  • VA Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (VA DIC) offers a tax-free benefit to the surviving spouse, child, or parent of a service member who died in the line of duty, or the survivor of a veteran who died from a service-related injury or illness. Learn more about VA DIC.

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