Can I still apply for VA benefits even though I left the military years ago?
- Can I still apply for VA benefits even though I left the military years ago?
- Can I receive VA disability benefits for a service-connected disability that occurred after my service ended?
- NEED MORE ASSISTANCE?
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Is applying for VA benefits years after service allowed?
Yes! Applying for VA benefits years after service is perfectly normal. There is no deadline to apply for VA benefits.
The sooner the better—but it’s never too late!
Sometimes the process can become more complex the longer you wait. The sooner you apply the better. In fact, you can file a claim for VA benefits 180 to 90 days before separating. This is called a pre-discharge disability claim and can help expedite any benefits you may be eligible for.
Is applying for VA disability benefits years after service common?
Yes. Applying for VA disability benefits years after service is extremely common—even if it’s been many years since you were in the military. The VA calls this a post-service claim. The truth is that many veterans were either unaware of their eligibility or didn’t know how to begin the claims process at the time of their separation.
According to the VA, there is no timeline for filing a post-service claim. But if you think your condition is service-connected, now is the time to begin the claims process.
Can I receive VA disability benefits for a service-connected disability that occurred after my service ended?
What if I didn’t have symptoms or a diagnosis until after I left the military? Can I still get VA disability benefits?
Yes, you can! Many service-connected disabilities don’t manifest until years after separation. Mental health issues, including PTSD, organ damage, and conditions caused by toxic exposure, can take years to develop and present with symptoms. But this does not affect your eligibility as long as you can prove service connection.
What if my condition wasn’t diagnosed while in the military?
One common myth is that your disability must be documented on military medical records in order to be eligible for VA benefits. While it may help in proving service connection, this is false! You only need a medical diagnosis now located in either VA medical records or private medical records.
Once you receive a diagnosis, then you’ll need to have a nexus. Nexus means “link” or “connection.” Nexus letters are official medical opinions stating that the condition was caused or aggravated by military service or an already service-connected condition.
Brian Reese’s Youtube video, Top 5 Tips for Veterans Applying for VA Disability Benefits Years After Service, offers more insight and practical tips that might be the difference between winning and losing the VA disability benefits you deserve by law!
NEED MORE ASSISTANCE?
Most veterans are underrated for their disabilities and, therefore, not getting their due compensation. At VA Claims Insider, we help you understand and take control of the claims process, so you can get the rating and compensation you’re owed by law.
Our process takes the guesswork out of filing a VA disability claim and supports you every step of the way in building a fully-developed claim (FDC)—so you can increase your rating FAST!
If you’ve filed your VA disability claim and have been denied or have received a low rating—or you’re unsure how to get started—reach out to us! Take advantage of a FREE VA Claim Discovery Call. Learn what you’ve been missing—so you can FINALLY get the disability rating and compensation YOU DESERVE!