Are you a veteran and were disabled during your service? In this article, we will explain the benefits for veterans with service-connected disabilities.
Many veterans become wounded or entirely or partially disabled during their military service, due to which they cannot continue their job. Common injuries by these veterans include loss of limb, spinal cord injury, hearing loss, post-traumatic stress disorder, burns, and others.
The Department of Veteran Affairs provides benefits and services to these veterans, spouses, and their dependent children to get proper education, health care and if needed, necessary modifications to their homes.
The Veteran Affairs (VA) uses disability ratings to measure the severity of disabilities. These ratings are on a scale of 0 to 100. A 100 percent disability rating means you are fully disabled, and you will get the maximum amount of disability compensation each month by the VA.
This article will explain the benefits for veterans with service-connected disabilities. Read on and learn more about your benefits.
You might also like to read: Quick Guide to CHAMPVA for Caregivers
What Are Benefits For Veterans WithService-Connected Disabilities?
I am listing below a few benefits which VA provides to Veterans who have become unfortunately disabled during their military service period.
#1. Priority Group For Health Care
You will be assigned 1-8 priority groups while applying for VA health care. This system helps to make sure that Veterans who need the right care can get signed up quickly. There are various factors that VA uses in assigning priority groups. I am listing some of the factors below.
- Your military services
- Your disability rating
- Your income levels
- Are you qualified for Medicaid or not
- Are you receiving other benefits like VA Pension benefits or not
You will get the highest priority if you are a veteran with a service-connected disability. The Veteran administration usually assigns the lowest priority groups to veterans with high income and who do not have any service-connected disability.
The VA health care will assign you Priority Group 1 if you have been rated with a 50 percent or higher disability or have a service-connected disability that makes you unemployable.
The VA health care includes the following benefits.
- Preventive care
- Inpatient care
- Mental health care
- Nursing home placement
- Hospitalization services
- Ancillary services
- Dental care
- Hearing aid
- Medical travel benefits
#2. VA Health Care Copay Rates
You don’t have to pay an outpatient care copay amount if you have a service-connected disability of 10 percent and above.
#3. Dental Care Benefits
You will get VA dental care benefits if you have a 100 percent disability rating or receive TDIU(Total disability based on individual unemployability) because of service-connected disabilities.
The Veterans Affairs categorized the dental benefits into different tiers or classes. You will be categorized in class IV if you have a 100 percent disability rating.
You are eligible for any needed dental care like X-rays, cleaning, and necessary procedures like crowns, bridges, and fillings. The benefits also cover any oral surgeries you require, like tooth extraction or root canals because of severe illness or trauma.
#4. VA Funding Fee
If you use a VA home loan to repair, improve or modify your home, you need to pay a VA funding fee. But if you are receiving VA compensation because of a service-connected disability, you don’t have to pay the VA funding fee.
#5. Civilian Health And Medical Programs Of The Department Of Veteran Affairs(CHAMPVA)
CHAMPVA is a medical benefits program in which the VA shares the cost of covered health care services with eligible beneficiaries.
It provides health coverage for your spouse and children if you are rated permanently or disabled because of a service-connected disability. I am listing some of the examples of CHAMPVA health care services. Here’s a guide to CHAMPVA for caregivers.
- Ambulatory services
- Hospice treatment
- Medical services
- Medical equipment costs
- Inpatient and outpatient treatment and hospitalization
#6. Specially Adapted Housing Program
VA offers housing grants for veterans with service-connected disabilities.The Specially Adapted Housing Program helps you buy a home or modify your home according to your disability. The current maximum grant is $101,754
You can take advantage of the Specially Adapted Housing Program if you meet the below criteria:
- You own a home or will own a home
- You should qualify for service-connected disability
The service-connected disability includes the following.
- Loss or loss of use of more than one limb
- Both the eyes are blind(20/200 visual acuity or less)
- Severe burns
- The loss of lower extremity(foot or leg) after 11th September 2011 makes you unable to balance or walk with the help of crutches, braces, canes, or wheelchairs.
- Loss of the lower leg along with lasting effects of a disease or injury.
#7. Special Home Adaptation Grant
You can get a Special Home Adaptation grant (SHA) if you plan to buy, build or change your permanent home. The current SHA grant is $20,387. However, you can get SHA grant only if you meet the below criteria
- You or your family member own or will own the home
- You should qualify for a service-connected disability.
The service-connected disability includes the following
- Have severe burns
- Have respiratory or breathing problems.
- Loss or loss of use of both hands.
#8. Dependents Education Assistance Program
The VA offers a Dependent Education Assistance Program to your spouses and children if you are permanently or totally disabled because of service-connected conditions and currently receiving TDIU benefits. You can use DEA benefits for job training degrees and certificate programs.
#9. Concurrent Retired And Disability Pay
Earlier, the Veterans who received retired pay and VA compensation simultaneously were subjected to double-dipping laws. So to comply with this law, the Veteran had to give up a part of the service retired pay.
The amount a veteran receives as VA compensation is now subtracted from the amount you receive in retired pay to avoid double-dipping laws. This subtraction is known as VA waiver.
This process continued for a long time, but now some veterans qualify for concurrent receipt. Whatever was deducted as a VA waiver can now be restored as part of the concurrent receipt. Below are the types:
Concurrent retired and disability pay (CRDP)
This restores your service pay by eliminating VA waiver. You will not receive a separate check for CRDP. Below are the eligibility criteria Of CRDP
- Receiving both retired pay as well as VA compensation
- Should be 20 years or more retiree
- Have a service-connected disability with a rating of 50 percent and more
Combat-related Special Compensation(CRSC)
The CRSC does not eliminate your VA waiver. The VA waiver, equivalent to your total VA compensation, will be deducted continually from your service retired pay. But CRSC reimburses some or all of your VA waiver in a separate check.
The Veteran receiving CRSC will get three checks every month, i.e., a check for total VA compensation, a second check for service retired pay from which VA waiver is subtracted and the third check for CRSC reimbursement. But you will get two checks in a month if your VA compensation is larger than the total retired pay.
#10. Veteran Readiness And Employment(VR&E)
You may get benefits of Veteran Readiness And Employment(also known as Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment) services if you are 10 percent or more disabled during your service.
The Department of Veteran Affairs will evaluate your interest, aptitude, and abilities and assess how your disability will affect your ability to work. The Veteran Readiness And Employment provide numerous career services, which includes the following
- Career Counseling
- Rehabilitation planning
- Non paid work experience
- Resume development
- Job seeking skills
It may provide other services to assist you in starting your own business or independent living services if you are severely disabled and unable to continue in traditional employment.
#11. VA Disability Compensation
VA disability compensation offers you tax-free monthly benefits whose amount depends on the degree of your disability.
To benefit from this program, you must have a service-connected disability resulting from an injury or illness incurred or aggravated during your military service.
#12. VA Clothing Allowance Benefits
VA clothing allowance provides a stipend annually for having unique clothing needs because of service-connected disability or injury. The Department of Veteran Affairs provides you one or more clothing allowance payments if:
- You use a prosthetic or orthopedic device because of a service-connected disability.
- You have a service-connected skin condition and use medicine that causes damage to your outer garments, which cannot be repaired.
Every VA Medical center has a separate department for prosthetics. You can contact a representative in the prosthetic department at your nearest VA medical center to apply.
Disability makes you physically or mentally dependent on others, and you are unable to perform your work, including daily activities like bathing, dressing, feeding, and others.
Thankfully, the Department of Veteran Affairs provides many benefits to meet the needs and wants of service-connected disability Veterans. I hope this article has given you helpful information about the benefits you deserve as a veteran.
If you liked the content, please don’t forget to share this article with other veterans and their families. You can ask us any queries related to the benefits provided by VA to Veterans who are disabled during their military service. We will be glad to answer all your queries.