Disabled Veterans Benefits
If you are leaving the Army with a service connected disability, you may be
eligible for one of several federal programs designed to assist your transition
and provide for your and your family's future. You do not need to be medically
discharged or retired to qualify for some of these programs. Your eligibility
will be determined based on the degree of disability and its cause. Your ACAP
Center can help you identify sources of additional information available on
the installation. The Internet also offers a great deal of information. Click
on the Links button to explore relevant websites.
Disabled Transition Assistance Program (DTAP)
The Disabled Transition Assistance Program (DTAP) is an integral component of
transition assistance that involves intervention on behalf of service members
who may be released because of a disability or who believe they have a disability
qualifying them for VA's Vocational
Rehabilitation and Employment Program.
The goal of DTAP is to encourage and assist potentially eligible service members
in making an informed decision about VA's Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment
Program. It is also intended to facilitate the expeditious delivery of vocational
rehabilitation services to eligible persons by assisting them in filing an application
for vocational rehabilitation benefits.
DTAP presentations are generally group sessions that include a comprehensive
discussion of VA's Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Program and educational/vocational
counseling available to separating service members and veterans. Usually,
the VA Regional Office VR&E Officer will coordinate DTAP sessions for
those service members who are hospitalized, convalescing or receiving outpatient
treatment for a disability and who are unable to attend a DTAP group session.
DTAP sessions may include a review of a service member's medical records.
The amount of time available to conduct DTAP presentations may vary among
military installations; however, the official DTAP briefing is two hours long.
A brief overview of the VR&E program can be viewed online at http://vetsuccess.gov/dtap/dtap.html.
VA Disability Benefits
The VA provides medical care for disabled veterans with service-connected
disabilities. The VA makes an important distinction between veterans based on
the nature of their disability. This distinction, service-connected or non-service
connected, determines the cost and availability of VA medical services. Any veteran
who was disabled by injury or disease incurred or aggravated in the line of duty
during active military service will receive VA medical care on a mandatory basis.
In general, this means that service will be provided, as needed, at no cost to
the veteran. Any veteran whose disability originated outside of active service
will receive VA medical care on a discretionary basis. The VA generally provides
medical care to those in the discretionary category on a space-available basis,
as long as the veteran agrees to make a co-payment. Contact the VA for more information
or visit their website at http://www1.va.gov/health/.
The VA's Civilian Health and Medical Program helps pay for medical
services and supplies a veteran's family members and survivors obtain from
civilian sources. To qualify, family members and survivors must not be eligible
for Medicare or TRICARE. Contact the VA for more information or read the
online CHAMPVA Handbook at http://www.va.gov/hac/forbeneficiaries/champva/handbook.asp.
The VA pays monetary benefits to veterans who were
disabled by injury or disease incurred or aggravated in the line of duty
during active military service. To obtain a VA disability rating, you must
file a claim with the VA using VA Form 21-526, Veterans Application for Compensation
or Pension. This serves to notify the VA about your health problems so that
service connected disabilities can be evaluated. There is no time limit to
apply for VA disability compensation. However, you are encouraged to apply
within one year of your release from active duty because entitlement is established
retroactively to the date of separation if your claim is filed within this
period. The effective date of eligibility for benefits will be based on the
date of your claim if you apply after the one-year period. Contact the VA
for more information or visit their website at http://www.vba.va.gov/bln/21/.
The VA's Vocational Rehabilitation program provides
necessary services and assistance to veterans with service connected disabilities
so they may achieve independence and obtain and maintain suitable employment.
Vocational Rehabilitation can include college, technical school or on-the-job
training or special training at rehabilitation facilities or at home when
it is necessary because of a serious disability. Vocational Rehabilitation
services include, in part, assessment, counseling, training, subsistence
allowances and employment assistance. VA also will assist you with job placement.
While you are enrolled in a Vocational Rehabilitation program, VA pays the
cost of tuition, fees, required books, supplies and equipment. VA also may
pay for special supportive services such as medical and dental care, prosthetic
devices, lip-reading training and signing for the deaf. For more information
contact the Department of Veterans Affairs or visit their website at http://www.vba.va.gov/bln/vre/index.htm.
Disabled Veterans Insurance:
If you are in good health, except for a service-connected
disability, you may apply for up to $10,000 in life insurance coverage at
standard insurance rates. You must apply within two years from the date you
are notified that your disability has been rated as service connected. If
you are totally disabled, you may apply for up to $20,000 in life insurance
coverage. Your premiums on the first $10,000 in coverage will be waived.
Contact the Department of Veterans Affairs or visit their website at
Return to Top