Am I Eligible for VA Benefits?
If you are planning on submitting a claim for VA compensation benefits you have to meet a few requirements.
To even submit a claim, you have to be a veteran, a dependent of a veteran, or a survivor of a veteran. A veteran is “a person who served in the active military, naval, or air service, and who was discharged or released therefrom under conditions other than dishonorable.” The military includes the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard including their associated service academies. Interestingly, a few other public servants are entitled to claim VA benefits. If you served in the Public Health Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Environmental Science Services Administration.
There are some benefits that require certain length of service requirements. These benefits include health care and non-service connected pensions. There was no minimum service requirement before September 8, 1980, with a few exceptions. If you enlisted after that date, you may have to have completed twenty four months of active service. There are a few exceptions which basically pertain to being discharged due to an approved reason, such as a service-connected disability.
This is only the first step in submitting a claim for VA compensation benefits. You actually receive compensation, you will have to show that you have a current service-connected disability.