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Disabled Veterans Benefits

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
Medical Care:
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.

Disability Compensation:
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/.

Vocational Rehabilitation:
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 http://www.insurance.va.gov/gli/buying/SDVI.htm.

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Untitled Document
Transition Assistance

Preseparation Timeline

Effects of a Career Change

Employment Assistance

Relocation Assistance


Health and Life Insurance


Reserve Affiliation

Veterans Benefits Briefing

Disabled Veterans Benefits

Post Government (Military) Service Employment Restriction Counseling

Retiring Soldier