If a soldier gets hurt in basic training, they can receive disability, as their injury would be connected to their military service. To qualify for benefits, however, they must have an injury that meets VA’s definition of a disability.
A cut or bruise that heals within a few days or weeks is not enough to collect disability benefits, even on a short-term basis. But a soldier who suffers a severe injury in basic training that affects their functional capacity can apply for and receive a grant of disability benefits, even if they only served for a few days before getting hurt.
Service Requirements for VA Disability
A veteran must meet certain service requirements to qualify for VA disability. The first two of these requirements are:
- Service on active duty, active duty training, or inactive duty training;
- A service-connected injury or illness eligible for a VA impairment rating.
A soldier also must meet at least one of the following three requirements:
- An injury or illness that occurred while serving and was connected to a specific event during their service, or
- An injury or illness that developed before serving and was worsened by a specific event during their service, or
- An injury or illness that did not appear until after serving but that was connected to a specific event during their service (called a post-service disability claim).
Generally, VA does not grant benefits to soldiers with dishonorable, bad conduct, or other than honorable discharges. If you received any of these discharges, you have two ways to qualify for benefits potentially. One, you can apply to have your discharge upgraded. Two, you can apply for a VA Character of Discharge review. A lawyer can help you with the process.
Length of Service Requirements to Receive VA Disability
VA has no length of service requirements for disability benefits. If you were serving on active duty, active duty training, or inactive duty training, you can apply for and receive a grant of disability benefits no matter how short your tenure of service.
When it comes to short service lengths, the biggest challenge is proving your disabling condition was indeed connected to your service. A lawyer can help you make that connection clear. If you suffered a clearly and thoroughly documented injury during boot camp, your attorney can gather evidence and file a claim leaving little doubt as to the origin of your current medical condition.
Medical Requirements to Receive VA Disability for a Basic Training Injury
Having satisfied the service requirements for VA disability, you must meet the medical criteria. Fulfilling these criteria requires you to prove three things:
- Your injury meets VA’s definition of a disability;
- You suffered a specific event during your military service;
- There is a nexus between the event and your disability.
Your Injury Meet’s VA’s Definition of a Disability
You first must prove that your injury meets VA’s definition of a disability. As mentioned, a cut, bruise, or twisted ankle probably does not qualify. VA maintains a handbook of conditions eligible for benefits. If your injury appears in the handbook, you still must meet the requirements under the listing, which usually involve diagnostic criteria and lab values that must be present in your medical records.
You Suffered a Specific Event During Your Military Service
You also must identify a specific event during your military service in which you suffered an injury or exposure to trauma. If your injury occurred in basic training, then, ideally, documentation for that injury will exist.
There Is a Nexus Between the Event and Your Injury
Finally, you must establish your injury in basic training caused your current disabling medical condition. A lawyer can review your military and medical records, reconcile them, and make sure the cause-and-effect link between your military injury and current condition is clear and compelling.
If you meet both the service and medical criteria for VA disability, you can receive benefits for a basic training injury, even if it occurred during the first weeks or even first days of your military service.
Call +1-865-566-0800 Today for a Free Case Evaluation With Disability Advantage Group
The VA disability lawyers at Disability Advantage Group, can help you apply for and receive VA disability benefits for a basic training injury. Our passion is connecting veterans with the benefits they deserve. For a free case evaluation with a member of our team, call us today at +1-865-566-0800.