Special Claims Available When Standard Veteran Disability Benefits Aren’t Enough
The VA provides Veteran disability benefits and compensation based on an individual’s disability rating. The higher the disability rating – the level at which a service-connected injury or illness is considered to be disabling to the Veteran – the greater the benefits available to that Veteran.
In some circumstances, however, injuries or illnesses can lead to additional out of pocket costs or unemployability without rendering the Veteran completely disabled based on the VA’s disability rating scale. Veteran disability Special Claims benefits are available in many of these circumstances and include:
Automobile allowance and adaptive equipment – if your disability prevents you from driving, you may be eligible for funding to modify an existing vehicle or purchase a new vehicle specially equipped to meet your needs.
Birth defects linked to Agent Orange – if you were exposed to toxic chemicals while serving in East Asia and your child has spina bifida or other birth defects, you may be eligible for disability benefits.
Clothing Allowance – at times, clothing can be damaged by prosthetic or orthopedic devices. If you have a service-connected disability requiring the use of devices or medication which damage clothing, help to purchase new clothes may be available.
Convalescence – temporary disability payments may be available while you recover from treatment or surgery.
Dental Care – dental care is available to many veterans via the VA.
Time in Hospital – when disability requires you to spend time in a hospital, you may be eligible for increased disability payments for that period from the VA.
Individual Unemployability – if you’re not considered totally disabled by the VA disability rating scale but are unable to work due to your service-connected disability, Total Disability based on Individual Unemployability (TDIU) may apply. In this case you’d receive disability compensation at the same rate as a Veteran with a 100% disability rating.
Prestabilization – this benefit offers quick, temporary disability compensation to transitioning Veterans with service-connected disabilities.
For more information on Veteran disability Special Claims benefits available through the VA, visit https://va.gov/disability/eligibility/specialclaims.