Almost 3.5 million veterans are reported to have a disability. In 2019, 1.66 million veterans had a service-related disability having a rate of 70% or higher. These disabilities prevent them from acquiring jobs and diminish their quality of life. Moreover, it highly impacts their mental health.
Many veterans are unaware of all the financial, health, and state benefits they can benefit from because of a lack of information on veterans’ benefits, especially those centered around disability. Veterans Affairs administers these benefits, which provide tax-free monthly payments to veterans who become disabled due to service-related injuries or illnesses.
To be eligible for VA benefits, you must meet the following requirements:
- Your injury must have received a disability rating from Veterans Affairs (VA).
- You must have served on active duty or active or inactive duty training.
Along with meeting the above requirements, it should also match with at least one statement given below:
- You were diagnosed with your disease or injury during your service, and the condition is related to your active-duty service.
- Your pre-service injury or illness worsened after your military service or on duty.
- You became sick during service, which links to your military benefits.
Below are a few illnesses and injuries for which veteran’s disability benefits are provided. The veteran’s conditions must be evaluated by Veterans Affairs medical professionals and then approved for aid by the respective personnel.
The eligibility of various cancers is evaluated based on origin, the extent of involvement, treatment, and post-therapeutic efforts. Eligible forms of cancer include:
- Leukemia – Blood and Bone Marrow Cancer
- Breast cancer – Enlarged and Unregulated Mitotic Growth of Breast Cells
- Brain and spinal cord cancer – Abnormal growth of tissue inside the skull or the spinal cord
- Prostate cancer – Cancer of the Prostrate
- Melanoma – Cancer of Melanocytes
- Lymphoma – Cancer of the Lymphatic System
- Mesothelioma – Cancer of the chest or abdomen
These cancers are incredibly degenerative and can cause the victims to lose their lives if not given proper attention. For example, many veterans suffer from mesothelioma due to asbestos exposure during their service, and this causes difficulties for them when it comes to daily operations. Navy Veterans have the highest risk of developing mesothelioma. Fortunately for them, the Veterans Affairs Department provides benefits to treat the condition. Mesothelioma victims can either go to the Mesothelioma Veterans Center themselves or look up information online on navy veteran mesothelioma.
Veterans are exposed to many environmental hazards which may harm their skin. These skin disorders are evaluated based on the frequency of their occurrence, how it impacts the persons’ day-to-day work, and the availability of treatment specifically. The rules indicate that the disorder must extend for three months at least, despite treatment and medication, to be eligible for aid from the VA.
The skin disorders that veterans are commonly diagnosed with include:
- Dermatitis – common skin irritation
- Genetic Photosynthetic disorders (causes rash, fever, fatigue, joint pain)
- Bullous disease (causes large fluid-filled blisters)
- Ichthyosis (causes dry, scaly, or thick skin)
- Chronic infection of mucous membrane or skin
Cardiovascular (Heart) Conditions:
Cardiovascular conditions that are covered by veteran benefits have an extensive scope. Veterans can be granted service-related disability compensation covering heart function and the blood circulatory system. Some cardiovascular disorders that VA works to cover for veterans include:
- Coronary Artery Disease – plaque build-up in the artery walls
- Heart Transplant
- Myocardial Infarction – Heart Attack
- Chronic Heart Failure – Both Systolic and Diastolic
- Ischemic Heart Disease – Lessened blood flow to the heart
- Arrhythmias – Deviant rhythms of the heartbeat.
The Veterans Affairs have identified many service-related and active-duty connected infections. They recognize the health risks involved when serving in some parts of the world. These include the following:
- Campylobacter jejuni
- Mycobacterium Tuberculosis
- West Nile Virus, etc.
Many gastrointestinal disorders may get veterans service-connected benefits. These disorders include the esophagus, gallbladder, intestines, and stomach disorders.
Disorders included in this category are:
- Esophageal spasm
- Hiatal Hernia
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
- Infectious Intestinal disorder
Veterans Affairs has identified various infectious diseases that may be service-related.
These diseases include:
- West Nile Virus
- Nontyphoid salmonella
- Mycobacterium tuberculosis
Neurological disorders impact your brain and spinal cord; the spinal cord sends and receives messages throughout the body. Structural, biochemical, or electrical abnormalities in the brain, spinal cord, or nerves result in different neurological disorders.
Even after treatment, most neurological disorders result in “disorganized motor function.” They result in a disability to stand, balance or use upper extremities like hands, fingers, or arms.
Disorders that Veterans Affairs looks into are:
- Traumatic Brain injury
- Muscular dystrophy
- Cerebral palsy
- Persistent Vegetative state
- Multiple sclerosis (MS) or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
- Benign Brain tumor
Vision or Hearing Loss:
Vision loss, eye problems, hearing problems, and tinnitus (ringing in ears) are common among veterans. Service-connected disability of eye and ear problems provide them with service-connected funds for treatment.
Disorders included in this category are:
- Loss of speech (due to any cause)
- Hearing Loss
- Hearing Loss
- List of central visual acuity (the remaining in the better eye is 20/200 or less)
Veterans must be aware of all the benefits they are entitled to, especially their health care. Due to ignorance and neglect, most conditions are treatable but escalate to malignant and untreatable heights if left unchecked. If you are a veteran or know someone who is, make sure you contact Veterans Affairs to understand the assistance you can obtain.