Veterans’ Service-Connected Disability Compensation
A service-connect disability is an injury or illness that was directly caused by military service, sustained while in the military (both on duty and off duty injuries may be service connected, i.e. knee injury playing basketball off duty), was aggravated by military service, or was caused by conditions that are themselves service-connected.
An injury or illness that results from honorable service to our country may impact your ability to earn a future living for yourself and your family. Service-connected disability compensation provides monthly tax-free payments to disabled veterans to assist financially with the reduced employment capability or opportunities related to service-connected disabilities.
If you served on active duty, active duty for training, or inactive duty training and you have a current illness or injury that occurred, was aggravated by, or was caused by another service-connected condition, you may have a service-connected disability.
If you meet these requirements, you may file a claim with the Department of Veterans Affairs requesting compensation for your disability. Free application assistance may be obtained through your county Veterans Service Office, the Texas Veterans Commission, or other veterans organizations in the state.
Only “current” disabilities are considered service-connected disabilities eligible for compensation. For example, if you injured your knee during physical training in the military and have since fully recovered without any complications related to the injury, that injury is not a service-connected disability.
Any injury or illness that occurred or was aggravated during the time you were on active duty is an injury or illness that occurred “in the line of duty”. For example, injuries you sustained in a Humvee accident while training are considered injuries that occurred in the line of duty.
However, any injury or illness that resulted from your own misconduct or abuse of alcohol or drugs will not be considered “in the line of duty.” In most cases, your claim for service-connected disability will be denied if the disability was a result of your own misconduct or abuse of alcohol or drugs.
Yes. To be eligible for most veterans benefits and programs you must have been discharged or released from military service under conditions other than dishonorable. You will always be eligible for veterans benefits and programs when the character of your military service is Honorable.
You may still be eligible for service-connected disability compensation if the character of your military service is listed as a Discharge Under Honorable Conditions or a General Discharge.
If your character of military service is listed as Discharge Under Other Than Honorable Conditions, Undesirable Discharge, Bad Conduct Discharge or Dishonorable Discharge, in most cases you will be barred from receiving benefits.
Yes, it does. Even if you can prove that you have a service-connected disability you will not receive compensation for the disability if you have been discharged or released from military service under conditions other than honorable.
The amount of compensation is based on the disability rating percentage. Once the Department of Veterans Affairs makes the decision that your injury or illness is a service-connected disability, your disability will be assigned a disability rating between 0% and 100%.
The Department of Veterans Affairs begins paying compensation at the 10% rating level. In 2021, a 10% rating is equivalent to $144.14 per month while a 100% rating is equivalent to $3,146.42.*
*Ratings depicted reflect the amounts received by single, childless veterans. Additional compensation may be received for veterans who are married as well as veterans with children or dependent parents.
The Department of Veterans Affairs’ rating system is based on how severe your disability is and how it impacts your earning capacity. When assigning disability ratings, the VA raters review a schedule of over 800 diagnostic codes, each relating to a specific medical condition or set of conditions. Each diagnostic code contains different criteria which correspond to disability percentage ratings. For example, a veteran with symptom A may receive a 10% rating, while a veteran with symptoms A, B, and C may receive a 50% rating.