Anyone interested in more money from VA?

Jonathan Kaupanger
August 29, 2018 - 1:05 pm

Dreamstime

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Are you receiving all of your VA benefits?  Not all of VA’s compensation payments are based on service-connected conditions.  Here are five that you may not know about:

  • Clothing Allowance.  If your clothing is damaged by a prosthetic device, wearable orthopedic appliances or by a prescribed medication you use on your skin, this allowance is for you.
    • Eligibility requirements:  You must be a veteran who uses either of the following:
      • A prosthetic or orthopedic appliance such as a wheelchair or crutches due to a service-connected disability.
      • Medication prescribed by a physician for a service-connected condition that causes permanent stains or damage to outer garments.
    • Payment:  Current rate table is here.  You may receive this as a one-time payment or yearly allowance for reimbursement.  To receive the annual payment, you must establish eligibility by August 1 for the year you are claiming payment.   Payments are distributed between September 1 and October 31.  If you haven’t received payment by October 31, you should contact your local prosthetic representative.  Applications are collected throughout the year and held until the August 1 closing date.   
    • How to apply:  Use VA Form 10-8678.  Submit the form to the prosthetic representative at your VA medical center.  If you haven’t submitted a disability compensation claim, you must do so before filing for a clothing allowance.
  • Prestabilization Ratings.  This is a temporary initial rating given to veterans who are recently separated from service and have an unstable disability.  They are graded at either 50 or 100 percent, depending on the severity of the disability.  Prestabilization ratings continue for a 12-month period following discharge from service.
    • Eligibility requirements:  You must be a veteran and separated from military service with an unstable, significantly disabling service-connected disability at the time of separation.
    • How to apply:  Apply online using eBenefits or work with an accredited representative or agent or go to a VA regional office and have a VA employee help.
    • Additional information:  Go to VA’s How to Apply page for tips on making sure your claim is ready to be processed.
  • Title 38 U.S.C. 1151 Claims.  This allows VA to pay compensation for death or disabilities “as if service-connected.”  These are NOT service-connected issues.  This benefit may be paid for injuries incurred or aggravated while receiving VA-sponsored medical treatment or while participating in vocational rehabilitation under 38 U.S.C. Chapter 31 or when participating in compensated work therapy under 38 U.S.C. 1718.
    • Eligibility requirements:  You must be a veteran and have a disabling condition that’s the result of or has been aggravated due to VA sponsored medical treatment or training. 
    • How to apply:  Apply online using eBenefits or work with an accredited representative or agent or go to a VA regional office and have a VA employee help.
  • Automobile Allowance.  This is a one-time payment that may be used to buy an automobile or other conveyance if you have certain service-connected disabilities.  Both veterans and active duty may apply for this allowance.  Some may also be eligible for adaptive equipment such as power steering, brakes, windows, seats and special equipment to assist the eligible person in and out of the vehicle. 
    • Eligibility requirements:  You must be on active duty or a veteran and the injury is service-connected.
      • Automobile grant: Is available for persons who have lost or have permanent loss of use of one or both feet, one or both hands or permanent impairment of vision in either eye, severe burn injuries or Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).
      • Adaptive equipment: You must meet the requirements for the automobile grant or have immobility of the joint of one or both knees or hips that is recognized by VA as being service-connected.  
    •  Payment:   When purchasing a vehicle, the grant is paid directly to the seller of the vehicle.  If purchasing adaptive equipment, the benefit is payable to either the seller or the veteran.  The automobile grant is available only once during the person’s lifetime.
    • How to apply:  Complete VA Form 21-4502 and mail it to your regional office or work with an accredited representative or agent.
    • Additional information:  You must have prior VA approval before purchasing an automobile or adaptive equipment.
  • Birth defects.  This applies to biological children of veterans with qualifying service in the Republic of South Vietnam or the Republic of Korea. In addition to monetary compensation, these children may also receive health care and vocational training, depending on the degree of disability.  There are two categories for this benefit, one for those with spina bifida and one for birth defects in children of women veterans.
    • Eligibility requirements:  
      • For Spina Bifida:  Both male and female children may be eligible if the veteran parent served in the Republic of South Vietnam from Jan 9, 1962 through May 7, 1975; or the parent served in or near the Korean demilitarized zone (DMZ) between September 1, 1968 and August 31, 1971.  The child must be conceived after the above dates and the child has been diagnosed with a form of Spina Bifida other than Spina Bifida Occulta.
      • For Birth Defects:  Only children of female veterans who served in the Republic of South Vietnam from February 28, 1961 through May 7, 1975 and the child was conceived after the above date and the child has a covered birth defect that resulted in a permanent physical or mental disability.
    • Payment:   Compensation is based on the severity of the disability.
    • How to apply:  Complete VA Form 21-0304 and mail it to your regional office or work with an accredited representative or agent.
    • Additional information:  VA has no requirements regarding the character of the parent’s discharge or the length of their service.

            Contact us about this article or share your story at gethelp@connectingvets.com