Working as a military service member exposes you to a broad range of dangers and risks. People can suffer physical injuries in a military conflict or while serving in a rescue operation due to a natural disaster. Others could suffer significant emotional trauma because of violence they experienced firsthand or witnessed during their service. It is also possible for people to wind up sickened because of chemical exposure while serving in the military.

Any of these scenarios might lead a current or former military member to a disability designation. Understanding how the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) handles disability claims can make it easier for military members to navigate the sometimes difficult process.

Disability for veterans is not an all-or-nothing situation

When people need the protection of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), they typically must prove that they have suffered an injury or illness so debilitating that they are completely and permanently unable to work or care for themselves. Thankfully, the military is not nearly so strident and its definition of a disability.

Instead, service members who can connect an illness or injury to their service can receive a designation of disability even if they are still able to do some types of work. Each potentially disabling condition a veteran has will receive a percentage that reflects how much this condition affects their life and earning potential. The combination of the separate percentages will then determine the amount of benefits for which a veteran is eligible.

For those with significant disabilities or those with multiple medical conditions, the process of getting the necessary benefits can often be particularly difficult. Getting legal help during this process can make all the difference when you desperately need those disability benefits to provide for yourself and the people who depend on you.