VA Disability provides monthly cash payments to veterans who have become disabled due to their military service. The common imagery of a VA disability claim is someone who has been injured during combat, or a veteran that develops cancer decades later due to exposure to chemical during service, but the type of injuries covered by VA Disability are much more broad. Among other things, VA disability covers injuries related to injuries sustained in recreational activities during military service
If a veteran is on active duty and suffers a broken leg due to snow skiing while on leave, such injury is compensable the same as if the leg was injured during combat in Afghanistan. The same would hold true for injuries sustained during activity duty from other recreational activities, such as dirt bike racing or sky diving. There are few restrictions as to what meets the criteria for a compensable injury during active duty. One of the requirements for an injury to qualify for VA disability is that it cannot have been the product of the veteran’s willful misconduct. For example, if a veteran is on leave and is at a bar and through no provocation is punched and suffers an injury, the veteran can receive VA disability. But, if the veteran provoked the fight, they would be barred from receiving VA disability for the injuries.
Another exception to VA disability is that it is unavailable for health programs due to a veteran’s tobacco use during service. If a veteran develops cancer, the veteran’s use of tobacco products cannot serve as a link to military service to entitle the veteran to receive VA disability. The veteran may still receive VA disability for the cancer if it is tied to another aspect of service, such as chemical exposure. The use of tobacco products can, in rare cases, be the support for a claim for VA disability when the veteran has post traumatic stress disorder (“PTSD”), and used the tobacco products to relieve the stress from such condition.
There are several different basis for a claim for VA disability. A veteran who has been denied VA disability should seek the services of an experienced accredited VA attorney.