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Which veteran benefits should I apply for?

There are many different types of benefits available to veterans. Are you unsure of which benefits you may be able to apply for? The links below will help you figure it out:

  • If your discharge was less than fully Honorable please click here.
  • For an explanation of the difference between Department of Defense, Veterans Affairs, and Social Security Benefits click here.
  • For a guide to help you find out which benefits you may be able to apply for click here.
  • VA benefits…compensation or pension? click here.
  • If you meet the requirements for VA pension benefits click here.
  • If you meet the requirements for VA compensation benefits click here.

Filing your VA Disability Compensation Benefits Claim

This page provides information for veterans with service-connected disabilities who want to file a VA compensation claim. Service-connection does not mean that something had to have happened to you during a time of combat. Service-connection means that something happened to you in the service that caused or aggravated the disability that is currently bothering you. Filing a claim can be confusing and the following information and resources should help you through the claims process.

When you apply for service-connected disability benefits, you may either file a Fully Developed Claim (FDC) or a Standard Claim. You use a different form depending on which type of claim you decide to file.

For more information on Fully Developed Claims click here.

  • Getting to know the claims here.
  • Reports and evidence click here.
  • How long is the claims process? click here.

After you decide whether you want to file a Fully Developed Claim or a Standard Claim, you’ll have to decide whether you want to file electronically or whether you want to file a paper form that you will mail to your local regional office.

  • If you want to file your claim electronically click here.
  • If you want to file a paper application click here.

Physician Reports and Evidence to Support Your Claim

As part of the claims process, you must provide physician reports and evidence. The following information will guide you in collecting the reports and evidence you will need to complete your claim. Please pay special attention to the instructions for medial professionals because some of the forms will need to be filled out by your doctor and you cannot fill them out yourself.

  • Physician Reports click here.
  • Evidence to support your claim click here.

If you want help with the application process

Veterans can begin an application at their Regional Office or their County Veteran Service Commission. Below is the contact information for the Cleveland Regional Office and for the Veterans Service Commissions for Ashtabula, Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake, and Lorain counties. We have also provided the links for the Disabled American Veterans website, the Veterans of Foreign Wars website, and the VA’s Inquiry Routing and Information System (IRIS).

  • Cleveland Regional Benefit Office
  • Disabled American Veteran click here.
  • Veterans of Foreign Wars click here.
  • Veterans service Commissions Chart (by county) click here.
  • The inquiry Routing and Information System click here.

What do I do if my claim is denied?

When you are not satisfied with the decision that the local VA office made on your claim, you may request an appeal. When you request an appeal, you are asking the Board of Veterans’ Appeals to review the decision because you do not agree with it. You can appeal for any reason.

  • The appeals process click here.
  • Forms for appealing a claim click here.

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