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What disability benefits are veterans entitled to receive?

There are few individuals who have done more to gain the respect of Georgia residents than local veterans. Veterans have put everything on the line for their country, including their lives and personal health. While their sacrifice is appreciated by Georgia residents, veterans' injuries during their service can lead them searching for help in the years and decades to follow.

A significant part of this help may come through the availability of Veterans benefits, given the financial challenges that can be present for those struggling with service-related injuries or diseases. Veterans who are at least 10 percent disabled because of their service-related injuries are eligible for disability compensation.

In order to be eligible, veterans typically must have had service on active duty or been on active duty for training. In addition, individuals must not have been discharged under dishonorable conditions and they must be at least 10 percent disabled by an injury or disease incurred in their service. Typically, this means individuals must present medical evidence of their current disability and some evidence of a relationship between the disability and their service.

Once eligible, individuals can receive a benefit amount that varies depending on the degree of the veteran's disability. The thought is that the more severely injured veterans need more financial compensation to account for the loss of working time from the injury or illness.

Other factors may also apply, such as if a person has other disabilities or if the person has dependents. In addition, the disability benefits can be offset by military retirement pay, disability severance pay or separate incentive payments. Accordingly, each person's situation may be different, and therefore it is essential that veterans understand what benefits they are entitled to under their personal circumstances.

Source: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, "Disability compensation," accessed on Jan. 10, 2015

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