Can People From the National Guard Get Disability Benefits?

by Jan 9, 2019Disability Benefits

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If you served in the National Guard or National Guard Reserve and suffered a disabling medical condition in the course of your service, you may be eligible to collect VA disability benefits. Your eligibility depends on your length of service and duty status as well as the nature of your injury or illness. In addition, to qualify for VA disability, you must have secured a release from the National Guard under conditions other than dishonorable.

A VA disability lawyer can help you apply for and receive disability benefits for an injury or illness you suffered during your National Guard service. At Disability Advantage Group, our attorneys fight to connect disabled vets with the benefits they deserve. We offer a free consultation and never collect a fee until you recover benefits. To speak with a member of our team today, call us at 865-566-0800.

Receiving VA Disability Benefits for Your National Guard Service

As a National Guard member who suffered a disabling injury or illness during your service, you may be eligible for the same VA disability benefits enjoyed by veterans who served in the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines. Your duty status and length of service determine the benefits you qualify to receive.

The three main types of National Guard duty are active service, traditional service, and technician service.

Active Service

If you served on active service in the National Guard, you are eligible to collect VA disability benefits if you suffered a qualifying injury or illness and your condition is connected to your service. With 24 consecutive months of active service, you may qualify for VA healthcare benefits even if you do not have a service-connected disability.

Active National Guard service includes:

  • Active duty: Active duty refers to full-time duty in the Armed Forces, such as when your National Guard unit gets deployed in a war or natural disaster. Your travel to and from this duty also counts as active duty service.
  • Full-time National Guard duty: Full-time National Guard duty includes any other Guard service for which you receive payment from the federal government. If you are deployed by your state’s governor, in response to a flood or riot, for example, it does not count as active service, as your pay for this duty would come from the state and not the federal government.

A VA disability lawyer can review your military records and determine if you qualify for benefits based on active service in the National Guard.

Traditional Service

Traditional service refers to standard National Guard service. Most members of the National Guard serve one weekend each month and two full weeks at some point during each year.

If you fulfill a service commitment in the National Guard via traditional service, you may be eligible for some VA benefits. But to receive VA disability, you generally must show that you suffered a medical condition in the course of active duty or active duty training.

Guard weekends and training sessions are typically classified as inactive duty training unless the federal government has specifically mobilized a unit in response to a crisis (e.g., war or natural disaster). You are eligible for VA disability benefits for many medical conditions suffered during inactive duty training, including heart attacks, strokes, and certain injuries.

A VA disability lawyer from Disability Advantage Group can evaluate your National Guard record and determine the benefits for which you are eligible based on your service and your condition.

Technician Service

If you served in certain civilian roles as an employee of the Army or Air Force, you may have been required to maintain National Guard membership as a condition of your employment. This type of Guard duty is known as “technician service.”

A National Guard technician is similar to a traditional service member. They train one weekend per month and two weeks per year. As a technician, your eligibility requirements are also the same as that of a traditional Guard member. You can receive benefits for a number of medical conditions provided that your ailment arose as a result of your service.

A lawyer can help you determine your eligibility and apply for benefits.

Call 865-566-0800 Today for a Free VA Disability Consultation With Disability Advantage Group

The VA disability attorneys at Disability Advantage Group are passionate about working with disabled veterans and helping connect them to the benefits they deserve. If you served in the National Guard, you could be eligible for the same VA disability benefits as any other service member. Our team can help you collect those benefits. For a free, no-risk case evaluation, call us today at 865-566-0800.