Department of Pennsylvania - The American Legion

Rehabilitation Division


What is VA Disability Compensation?

Disability compensation is a benefit paid to a Veteran because of injuries or diseases that happened while on active duty or were made worse by active military service. It is also paid to certain Reservists or National Guardsmen with a line of duty (LOD) for claimed disability. The benefits are tax-free.

Who is Eligible?

You may be eligible for disability compensation if you have a service-related disability and you were discharged under other than dishonorable conditions.

Who can help me file a Claim?

We recommend that you obtain the help of an Accredited Veteran Service Officer to help follow the processing of your claim. There are State, County or Veteran Organization Service Officers. To locate a County Director you can call PA State headquarters at 1-800-547-2328.


The Mil-Vet Advocacy Project


This is a non-profit group that can help you with the entire process of filing a claim, overseeing the process and if necessary help appeal a rejected claim. The group provides these services free to Veterans. They can be reached at:


Mil-Vet Advocacy Project

116 South Street - Suite-600

Bridgewater, MA 02324

Phone = 1-888-326-8006



What are the Key elements for a successful claim?

Current Diagnosed Disability

Evidence of Service Incurrence or Aggravation

Medical Evidence of a Nexus between In-Service Disease or Injury and the Present Disease or Injury


How long do I have to apply?


There is no time limit for filing an application for disability benefits, but waiting may make the claim harder to prove since the records could be lost or destroyed. Benefits are not retroactive, so an application should be filed as soon as there is evidence of a disability. Claims submitted within one year from separation of duty will be given a claim date of the day after separation.


What documents are needed?




Copy of Service medical Records


Copy of all marriage and divorce decrees for you and current spouse


Copy of birth certificates and social security for all dependents under 18; if over 18 and in school full-time proof of school is required


Direct Deposit information or voided check


All private doctor reports regarding claimed disabilities (It is recommended that you obtain a copy of these records to be submitted with your claim. At minimum, prepare a list of all doctors, address, phone numbers and dates seen for disability)


Are you or did you ever receive any military retirement, disability or severance pay? If so please specify.


Are you currently a member of Guard or Reserve? Please provide unit contact information.