Tuesday, July 23, 2024


Back to basics with an article from the ar­chives. VA disability compensation, per the Code of Federal Regulations Title 38 Chapter 1 Part 3 (38 CFR Part 3), is defined as “basic entitlement for a Veteran exists if the Veteran is disabled as the result of a personal injury or dis­ease (including aggravation of a condition exist­ing prior to service) while in active service if the injury or disease was incurred or aggravated in the line of duty”.

Simply stated, you may be eligible for disabil­ity compensation for physical or mental health conditions caused or aggravated by your active military service. Once established, it is common­ly referred to as a service-connected disability. I will only be scratching the surface this week, but more is available online at va.gov/disability

The eligibility requirements taken straight from the VA website: “You have a current illness or injury (known as a condition) that affects

your mind or body, and you served on active duty, ac­tive duty for training, or inactive duty training”

(other than full-time duty by Reserves or the Na­tional Guard of any State). In addition, one of the following must be true: “you got sick or injured while5 serving in the military – and can link this condition to your illness or injury (in-service or direct disability claim), or you had an illness or injury before you joined the military – and serv­ing made it worse (pre-service or aggravated disability claim), or you have a disability relat­ed to your active-duty service that didn’t appear until after you ended your service (post-service disability claim)”. There are also presumed dis­abilities that include chronic illness that appears within one year after discharge, or illness caused by contact with contaminants or other hazardous materials, or illness cause by your time spent as a prisoner of war (POW).

To receive service-connected disability benefits (compensation), you must submit a claim on VA Form 21-526EZ Application for Disability Com­pensation and Related Compensation Benefits. The elements of a claim are a current diagnosed disability; an in-service event, injury or illness; and a medical nexus (opinion) linking the first two.

If you are a Veteran (any military service – not dishonorable), then please contact your CVSO to discuss disability compensation benefits.

Brad Anderson is the Lake County Veterans Service Officer and can be reached at 218.834.8326, or cvso@co.lake.mn.us

Karen Christianson is the Cook County Veterans Service Officer and can be reached at 218.387.3639, or karen. christianson@co.cook.mn.us

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