Disabled Veteran: Legal Definition

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the term “disabled veteran” can refer to two things. One, a U.S. military veteran who is entitled to VA disability benefits or would be entitled to them were they not already receiving military retirement pay. Two, a U.S. military veteran discharged because of a service-connected disability.

If either of the above describes you, then you meet the eligibility requirements for VA disability compensation. A lawyer can help you gather documentation and apply for benefits, which could include monthly compensation, free VA healthcare and more.

For a free disability case evaluation, call the Disability Advantage Group, at 865-566-0800.

How VA Determines If You Are a Disabled Veteran

To meet the definition of a disabled veteran, you do not have to be fully disabled. There are many disabled veterans working, even full-time. These veterans qualify as disabled because they receive disability benefits, but if they are working, particularly full-time, they probably do not receive the same level of benefits as a veteran who cannot sustain gainful employment.

The United States Department of Veterans Affairs reviews your medical records and decides if you meet the qualifying criteria to receive disability for your condition. If you qualify, the VA moves to the next phase of the approval process, which is rating the severity of your condition.

The more disabling your condition, the higher your VA impairment rating will be. Higher VA impairment ratings correspond to higher monthly compensation amounts. Therefore, a disabled veteran capable of maintaining a job receives less compensation than one who cannot work.

How Much Compensation You Can Receive as a Disabled Veteran

Your VA impairment rating, which can be anywhere from 0% to 100%, determines your monthly compensation. As of 2018, the VA disability compensation scale for a veteran with no dependents is:

  • 0% rating: $0 per month (but eligible for free VA healthcare)
  • 10% rating: $140.05 per month    
  • 20% rating: $276.84 per month    
  • 30% rating: $428.83 per month    
  • 40% rating: $617.73 per month    
  • 50% rating: $879.36 per month    
  • 60% rating: $1,113.86 per month    
  • 70% rating: $1,403.71 per month    
  • 80% rating: $1,631.69 per month     
  • 90% rating: $1,833.62 per month    
  • 100% rating: $3,057.13 per month

The Importance of a Service-Connection

There is a difference between being a veteran who has a disability and being a “disabled veteran” in the legal sense. The difference? For you to be a disabled veteran, your condition must be service-connected. That is, there must be a nexus (or direct link) between a specific event during your military service and your current condition. At a minimum, you must show that it is likely the event caused the condition.

A VA disability lawyer can help you prove a service-connection and receive a grant of benefits.

Call 865-566-0800 Today for a Free VA Disability Case Evaluation

The VA disability lawyers at the Disability Advantage Group can help you put together a compelling case to prove that you meet the legal definition of a disabled veteran. This allows you to apply for and receive a grant of VA disability benefits. We fight for veterans’ rights and are proud of it. To speak with a member of our team today, call us at 865-566-0800.