To dispel misunderstandings, we want to discuss five of the most common VA disability myths and misconceptions. Because most Veterans are unaware of the various benefits they can receive from the VA, we are here to help.
MYTH: I do not deserve disability pay. Other Veterans need compensation because they are worse off.
Filing a VA disability claim lets the VA know you have a health condition resulting from your service in the military. The Department of Veterans Affairs gives you a rating decision on one or more conditions, depending on the evidence's strength.
By achieving a VA rating of ten percent or more, you receive monthly disability compensation and access to VA Medical Care. Generally, the earlier you file your claim, the easier and the sooner you get coverage for your condition(s). Usually, conditions will worsen over time. Your disability claim exists to help you cover the costs of your healthcare needs.
Filing a VA disability claim does not mean you are taking away from Veterans with more severe conditions. It also does not mean you are taking unfair advantage of the system. Instead, you are simply seeking a benefit that you are potentially eligible for after your time in the military.
MYTH: Getting VA Disability benefits can take benefits from someone who deserves them.
The VA exists to serve ALL Veterans. You owe it to yourself to seek the benefits you have earned and are entitled to through your service. Do not be deceived by disability myths. Get the knowledge you need to ensure the maximum benefit from the VA today!
MYTH: I left active-duty years ago, and now it's too late to file a claim.
You can file your disability claim at any time after your service. People wait to file their claims for various reasons, but there is no deadline for submitting a claim. Typically, it is easier to file a claim shortly after your time in the military has ended. However, certain conditions may not occur until years after leaving military service. Therefore, it is never too late to file a claim or seek an increase in your rating.
MYTH: VA Disability compensation will reduce my retirement pay.
This is true for a retiree with a VA disability rating of forty percent or lower. The VA will reduce a military retiree's retirement dollar-by-dollar based on the disability compensation they receive from the VA. Wonder why? Veterans "waive" their retirement pay to receive VA compensation.
Retirees with a fifty percent or higher rating are entitled to receive Concurrent Retirement and Disability Payments (CRDP). CRDP provides Veterans their full military retirement pay and full VA Disability compensation.
MYTH: If I receive a ZERO percent disability rating for a condition, I will not receive payment.
There are specific conditions where a Veteran may receive special compensation with a zero percent rating. For example, erectile dysfunction. When a zero percent disability rating occurs, the VA recognizes that the condition was connected to your military service. However, you will not always receive a payment for a zero percent condition. Certain conditions, such as erectile dysfunction, sometimes max out at zero percent. It is important to realize if the condition worsens and you have new medical evidence to prove it; you can file a new claim to potentially get an increase.
Where can help be found?
Submitting a claim with the VA can be very confusing and overwhelming. A good Veteran Service Officer (VSO) can support you in filing a VA claim. They will help you with the paperwork and prepare you to form a meeting with the VA, so there are no surprises when the time comes.
Veterans Claim Consulting (December 2022). Dispelling the VA Disability Myths. Veterans Guardian.