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What is a 'service-connected' disability claim?

Many of our brave military men and women come back from serving our country with injuries or illnesses incurred or aggravated during their time in service. These medical conditions are often considered "service-connected." Veterans with service-connected conditions are generally eligible for non-taxable disability compensation through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs unless the veteran was dishonorably discharged.

The amount of compensation a disable veteran will receive depends on a variety of factors, including the severity of his or her disability and the number of eligible dependents. Veterans are given a disability rating from 0 to 100 percent, and the rating would correspond with the veterans benefits received per month. For example, a veteran with a 10 percent disability rating in 2014 would receive just over $130 per month, while a veteran with a 100 percent disability rating in 2014 would receive approximately $2,858 per month. Generally, veterans with a minimum of a 30 percent disability rating were eligible for additional allowances for spouses, minor children, students between the ages of 18 and 23, and other dependents.

Veterans with certain severe disabilities may also qualify for special monthly compensation (SMC), in addition to their monthly allotment of benefits. Veterans with over 20 years of service who are eligible to receive retired pay and have a service-connected rating of 50 percent or higher could qualify for additional benefits under Concurrent Retirement and Disability Pay (CRDP).

Veterans have sacrificed so much and deserve to receive benefits for the injuries and illnesses they acquired while fighting for our country. Disability benefits attorneys understand issues disabled veterans face and may be a useful resource.

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