Skip to main content


Live life to the fullest after service. VA benefits can enhance your independence and help you care for your family.

Overview of VA disability compensation

How to Apply

  • Apply Online

    The fastest and easiest way to get access to your benefits is to apply using your computer or mobile device.

  • Contact an Accredited VSO

    Contact an accredited Veterans Service Organization representative who can assist you in submitting your claim.

Disability Compensation

Veterans who have disabilities, medical conditions or injuries incurred or aggravated during active military service — no matter when or where they served — may be eligible to receive tax-free monthly benefits.

Service members may also file a claim for disability benefits up to 180 days before leaving the military. Visit the Pre-Discharge Claim webpage for more information.

VA Requirements

To support a claim for service connection, the evidence must show the following:

  • You have a current physical or mental disability.
  • You had an injury or disease in service or experienced an event in service that caused or aggravated an injury or disease.
  • There is a link between your current disability and the event, injury or disease in military service.

If you have any of the following relevant items, you should submit them with your claim:

  • Discharge or separation papers (the DD-214 or equivalent).
  • Service treatment records and supporting statements.
  • Private medical provider records and hospital reports.

VA Application Process

The simplest way to obtain a VA decision on a compensation claim is to submit all supporting documents and evidence together in a Fully Developed Claim (FDC) online at or by mail. Typical steps to apply online include:

If you want to file a Fully Developed Claim but aren’t quite ready, you can sign in and start a Fully Developed Claim, save your incomplete application, gather your documents and submit your claim up to one year later. Your effective date will be preserved if the claim is submitted within one year.


Some benefits may also be used by active service members, reservists, and National Guard members as well as eligible spouses, children, and survivors of Veterans and service members. Consult the VA benefits booklet or visit the nearest VA regional office for character of discharge requirements and more detailed information.

Page last updated on June 13, 2024


An official website of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Looking for U.S. government information and services?