Among the many veteran benefits and entitlements offered through the United States Department of Veterans Affairs is VA disability compensation. This type of compensation provides a monthly tax-free payment to veterans with a service-connected illness or injury, including mental health conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Who is eligible for VA disability compensation?

According to the VA website, servicemembers must meet at least one of the requirements listed below: Both of these must be true. You:

  • Served on active duty, active duty for training, or inactive duty training, and
  • Have a disability rating for your service-connected condition

And at least one of these must be true. You:

  • Got sick or injured while serving in the military—and can link this condition to your illness or injury (called an inservice disability claim), or
  • Had an illness or injury before you joined the military—and serving made it worse (called a preservice disability claim), or
  • Have a disability related to your active-duty service that didn’t appear until after you ended your service (called a postservice disability claim)

If these criteria are met, veterans can begin the process of filing their claim in one of three ways: They can file online using the newly launched Disability Compensation Claim Tool, by mail after downloading an Application for Disability Compensation and Related Compensation Benefits (VA Form 21-526EZ), or in person at their local VA benefits office.

Before you start the application process, make sure you have your paperwork in order.

As with any government process, applying for VA disability compensation will be faster and easier if you can produce all of the necessary paperwork to support your claim.

This includes service treatment records as well as VA and/or private medical records and hospital records that show evidence of your diagnosis, along with any documentation that shows the worsening or progression of your illness or injury. Veterans may also want to gather statements from close friends and relatives in support of their claim.

You can learn more here about the evidence needed to support a VA disability compensation claim.

You’ll also need a copy of your DD214, and here’s how to get one.

The DD Form 214 (or Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty) is requested for the majority of veteran benefit applications to show proof of service and honorable discharge, which is why we say the DD214 is one of the most important documents a veteran can possess.

Every member of the Armed Forces (with the exception of Reservists and National Guard members) should receive a DD214 upon discharge from the military, but there are times when military records get lost, damaged, or even stolen.

If you want to apply for VA disability benefits but do not have a copy of your DD214 handy, an expedited retrieval service like may be your best bet for getting your military discharge documents faster than you would if you went through normal government channels.

Veteran-owned DD214Direct helps you get the documents you need, when you need them.

Our cutting-edge technology platform and keen knowledge of government protocol and procedure allow us to deliver your documents faster than competitors. We physically stand in line at the records repository and manually coordinate your order, freeing up your time and easing your worries about whether or not you will get your DD214. Much like paying a small fee to have your taxes done by a professional, DD214Direct provides the service and convenience you’ve been hoping for, plus we make it a lot easier.

Instead of having to download, print, sign and fax your document request form, you can submit your order directly through our website with the ease of e-signature technology from a desktop, laptop or mobile device. Once we locate your DD214, we will email you a copy immediately—a service not offered by the government. And tracking your request through us is simple, so you never have to worry about long hold times and inconclusive answers.

Ready to get started? Click here to begin the order process.