Veteran Disability Compensation in California

Many veterans may ask, “What is VA disability compensation in California?” when seeking assistance for disability after serving in the military. Awarded to qualifying veterans, VA disability compensation is a tax-free monetary benefit paid to veterans with disabilities who suffered injuries or diseases during military service. VA disability compensation eligibility covers physical and mental disabilities, which may be covered even if they appear years after the veteran separates from active duty. Veterans may also request to enroll in veteran disability if their injuries were obtained or aggravated during treatment at a VA medical facility. Veterans may apply for VA disability compensation in CA if they are rated at least 10 percent disabled and the disability occurred or worsened during active duty, active duty for training or inactive duty training. VA disability compensation is subject to periodic cost-of-living allowance (COLA) increases, and certain veterans with dependents may receive an additional benefit allowance. Veterans and spouses of veterans with severe disabilities may also receive additional compensation each month to help with the costs of daily living. Study the sections below to learn more about VA disability compensation eligibility, other benefits for veterans with disabilities and information on how to apply for VA disability compensation in California.

Who is Eligible for Disability Compensation in California?

California VA disability compensation eligibility depends on several factors, including the percentage of disability and the veteran’s type of duty when the incident occurred. Veterans applying for VA disability compensation must provide proof of their mental or physical disability by providing documentation from hospital and doctor visits. Even after providing this type of documentation from clinicians treating the disability, the VA requires their own exam to verify the claims. The VA will confirm that a veteran is eligible for veteran disability compensation in CA by performing a VA Compensation & Pension (C&P) exam with their own physicians during the claim review process.

Veterans wondering how does the VA disability compensation work if their disability is not linked to a specific service event may still enroll if they fit into any presumed disability categories. For California VA disability compensation purposes, the VA has several presumed disability categories of service that correlate with certain types of disability. The VA will presume that a disability is due to service if the veteran was a prisoner of war or exposed to certain chemicals while serving in specific locations.

To learn more about eligibility for veteran disability benefits, click here for an in-depth guide.

What are the Benefits of Receiving Disability Compensation?

The primary advantage of VA disability compensation benefits is the monthly monetary support that disabled veterans can use to make up for any economic hardship they must endure due to service-related disabilities. Veterans who enroll in veteran disability in CA after struggling to obtain and keep a job in the civilian workforce can sometimes afford to cut back to part-time hours or exit the workforce entirely. Being eligible for veteran disability compensation also opens access to other types of veteran benefits. Some programs offered by the State of California can become easier to obtain after enrolling in veteran disability, such as health services, employment assistance and education services offered through CalVet. Although veterans can explore health options and information on Medicare or similar programs that provide disability benefits, VA disability compensation benefits are a more convenient method for veterans to receive necessary compensation and assistance for physical and/or mental disabilities.

Other Types of Compensation for Disabled Veterans

Veterans who are eligible for veteran disability compensation in California may also qualify for other types of disability-related compensation provided through the VA. Veterans can contact their nearest California VA regional office to ask if they qualify to enroll in veteran disability compensation options other than the primary benefits outlined above. These additional veteran disability compensation programs focus on paying supplementary financial benefits to spouses, children or parents of veterans, if the family members are providing care for a veteran with disabilities. Some of these benefit programs also apply for the immediate relatives of veterans who died from their service-related disabilities. Veterans with disabilities can also receive priority for Section 8 housing eligibility or other housing assistance options. Additionally, veterans eligible for VA disability compensation in California can receive all other VA health care benefits.

How to Apply for VA Disability Compensation

The VA disability application process starts by collecting evidence requirements outlined by the VA. A full list of VA disability compensation evidence requirements can be found online or obtained at your local VA medical center. Documents include your DD-214 or equivalent discharge/separation papers, service treatment records and medical evidence gathered from doctor and hospital visits. You may apply for VA disability compensation in CA online, by mail, by fax or by visiting a VA regional office. You may also contact CalVet and ask the organization to process your application with the assistance of a VA-accredited representative or agent trained to help veterans filing claims.

After reviewing your VA disability compensation application, medical records and C&P exam results, a VA claims processor will make a decision regarding your claim. It can take three to four months or even longer to fully process a VA disability compensation claim. Claims for veterans with multiple disabilities can take longer to process than those for veterans with less severe disabilities. If you receive a refusal after you apply for VA disability compensation in California, you are entitled to appeal the decision.

Appealing Your VA Disability Compensation Claim Decision

If your VA disability compensation claim is denied, you have the right to appeal the decision. VA disability compensation claim denials are now appealed more quickly due to the VA creating a new, more streamlined approach to the appeals process. Those eligible for veteran disability compensation decision appeals now have three options to appeal a claim denial. The law also requires improved notification of VA decisions and provides safeguards to guarantee a timely appeal review or hearing.

What Kind of Employment Development Services Are Available in California?

If you are currently unemployed and need help finding a job, the state of California offers unemployment benefits to eligible applicants, in order to help them get by while pursuing work. In addition to financial assistance, the Employment Development Division of California also offers training benefits, which allow unemployed individuals to learn new skills and get a higher education so that they can earn a better living. Find out more about these employment services by downloading our guide.

What Education Assistance Is Available in California?

Just as unemployed individuals can benefit from services offered by the state, so too can college students. California students can qualify for financial aid from the government, such as loans and grants, which can help them cover the costs of higher education. Find out how you can get financial assistance for your schooling by downloading our guide.