Elder law attorney Jim Koewler talked with Suzanne recently about qualifying for the federal program known as VA Disability Compensation.
VA compensation is a monthly tax-free payment to Veterans who got sick or injured while serving in the military. It’s also available to Veterans whose service made an existing condition worse. A disability or death must have been service-connected to qualify for any compensation, but not necessarily during wartime. VA disability benefits are available for physical conditions, like a chronic illness or injury, and mental health conditions, like PTSD, that developed before, during, or after a Veteran’s service.
There is also a compensation program for surviving family members left behind when a Veteran has died during active service or training.
When qualifications are met, the Department of Veterans Affairs rates the level of disability, from 0 to 100 in increments of 10. If the rating is 0, it was still established to be related to a service-related injury, and if the disability worsens later in life, you have to demonstrate that it’s worse, and the level could be raised.
Who is Dependent and Indemnity Compensation for?
Dependent and indemnity compensation is for surviving spouses, children, or parents if:
- The Veteran’s death was connected to service.
- The serviceman or servicewoman died during active duty or training.
Who is Special Monthly Compensation for?
Special monthly compensation is for a Veteran who:
- Needs help from another person with at least two activities of daily living (ADLs). This includes eating, ambulating, bathing, transporting, toileting, grooming, or dressing.
- Has specific disabilities (e.g. loss of limb).
Special monthly compensation is also for surviving spouses, children, or parents who need help from another person with ADLs.
More Help With Qualifying for VA Disability Compensation
Visit https://www.va.gov/disability/ for more help!
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Founder and CEO of Answers for Elders, Inc., Suzanne Newman proclaims often, “Caring for my mom was the hardest thing I ever have done, but it was also my greatest privilege.” Following a career of over 25 years in sales, media, and marketing management, Suzanne Newman found herself on a 6-year journey caring for her mother. Her trials and tribulations as a family caregiver inspired an impassioned life mission outside of the corporate world to revolutionize the journey that so many other American families also find themselves on. In 2009, she became the founder and CEO of Answers for Elders, Inc., subsequently hosting hundreds of radio segments and podcasts, as well as authoring her first book. Suzanne and Answers for Elders, Inc. have spent 14 years, and counting, committed to helping families and seniors along their caregiving journeys by providing education, resources, and support. Each week on the Answers for Elders podcast, Suzanne is joined by vetted professional experts in over 65 categories including Health & Wellness, Life Changes, Living Options, Money, Law, and more. Suzanne lives in Edmonds, Washington with her husband, Keith, and their two doodle dogs, Whidbey and Skagit.
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