Disabilities that appear within 1 year after discharge
If you have certain chronic (long-lasting) conditions that started within 1 year after your discharge from active military service, you may be eligible for VA disability compensation. Eligible conditions include high blood pressure (hypertension), arthritis, diabetes, or peptic ulcers. Compensation provides tax-free monthly payments. Keep reading to find out if you may be eligible.
Am I eligible for VA disability compensation?
You may be eligible for disability compensation if you meet these 3 requirements.
All of these must be true:
- You have an illness or condition that’s at least 10% disabling that appears within 1 year after discharge, and
- The illness or condition is listed in Title 38, Code of Federal Regulation, 3.309(a), and
- You didn’t receive a dishonorable discharge
Note: If you get a disability rating, you may also be eligible for VA health care and other benefits.
How do I file a claim for compensation?
You can file a claim online now. You can also file by mail, in person, or with the help of a trained professional.
What evidence will I need to provide to support my claim?
Here’s what you’ll need to provide:
- Evidence that your condition is at least 10% disabling (like a doctor’s report that shows you take medicine for your high blood pressure), and
- Evidence that your condition appeared within 1 year after your discharge from active service (like a medical report with the date of your diagnosis)
Note: If you have a condition listed in Title 38, Code of Federal Regulation, 3.309(a), you won’t need to show the problem started during—or got worse because of—your military service. This is because we automatically assume (or “presume”) that certain conditions that appear within 1 year after discharge are caused by your service. We call these presumptive conditions.
Are any illnesses covered if they appear more than 1 year after discharge?
Yes. You may be eligible for disability compensation for these illnesses, even if they appear more than 1 year after discharge:
- Hansen’s disease (a long-lasting infection that affects your skin, nerves, and mucous membranes) can appear within 3 years after discharge.
- Tuberculosis (an infection that attacks your lungs and sometimes other areas of your body) can appear within 3 years after discharge.
- Multiple sclerosis (a long-lasting illness that can cause numbness, weakness, and many other symptoms) can appear within 7 years after discharge.
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease (a long-lasting illness that affects muscle control), can appear any time after discharge.