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January 19, 2024

What is a VA 1151 Claim?

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Have you suffered a disability as a direct result of VA medical malpractice? Or is an existing disability worse because of your VA medical treatment?

If you answered yes to either of these questions, you’ll want to read this post on the importance of filing a VA 1151 claim to determine if your disability is the VA’s fault and if you’re entitled to additional compensation.

This post breaks down the VA 1151 Claim—what it is, eligibility, how to file, and the medical evidence you need to win your 1151 claim.

Let’s dive in!



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What is a VA 1151 Claim?

Under VA Title 38 USC 1151, you can file a claim if you suffered an added disability or existing service-connected disability worsened while getting medical care at a VA facility or participating in a VA employment program, entitling VA monthly compensation

For example, if you had surgery at a VA medical facility and experienced complications because of the care you received, you may be entitled to compensation. 

Another example would be if a VA doctor misdiagnosed your condition, and it worsened because of the misdiagnosis. 

It’s important to note that 38 USC 1151 isn’t for conditions related to military service; however, you file the VA claim in the same way.

In addition, if you are an eligible veteran’s surviving spouse or dependent, you may be eligible for Dependency and Indemnity Compensation for VA medical malpractice.

VA 1151 Claims Eligibility

To determine whether you are eligible for an 1151 claim, at least ONE (1) of these must have led directly to an added disability or your existing disability getting worse:

  • VA negligence or carelessness, or 
  • VA medical or surgical treatment, or 
  • A VA health exam, or 
  • A VA vocational rehabilitation course (under 38 USC Chapter 31), or 
  • VA compensated work therapy (CWT)(under 38 USC 1718)

Your added disability (or disability that worsened) must not be a reasonably expected result or complication of treatment. For example, if you have a disability that is likely to worsen as you age, it’s likely not the result of VA medical care.


Medical Evidence Needed to Win a VA 1151 Claim 

You need to provide the following supporting evidence to win an 1151 VA claim and receive VA benefits:

  1. You have a new or worsened disability
  2. Your added disability isn’t due to your willful misconduct or the normal progression of another disability
  3. Your VA care, hospitalization, examination, surgical treatment, or training caused your disability 
  4. The VA is at fault, or your disability resulted from an event that wasn’t foreseeable 
  5. The circumstances and/or location in which the disability or death was incurred are covered under 38 USC 1151

How to File a VA 1151 Claim

There is no specific VA form 1151 pdf— instead, you file a regular disability claim, and you’ll note that the added disability happened because of VA medical care, a VA hospital, or a VA program designed to help you find, get, or keep a job. 

The easiest way to file an 1151 VA claim is online, but the following are additional methods.

  • By mail to:

Department of Veterans Affairs

Claims Intake Center

PO Box 4444

Janesville, WI 53547-4444

Inside the United States: 844-531-7818

Outside the United States: 248-524-4260

38 USC 1151

VA 1151 Claims (FAQs) Frequently Asked Questions

Can you sue the VA?

The VA doesn’t always get it right, but can you sue the VA? Yes, you can sue the VA if you can prove medical malpractice or negligence, which isn’t always easy. 

First, the VA must have at least six months to perform an investigation before you can file suit in federal court. In addition, you must present a strong case within two years of the injury you’re accusing the doctors of incurring. 

Is there a statute of limitations for VA 1151 claims?

No, there is no statute of limitations for a VA 1151 claim; you can file anytime. 

What conditions are eligible for a VA 1151 claim?

You are eligible to file an 1151 VA claim if you sustained any injury due to the direct result of improper VA medical or surgical treatment, shortcomings from a VA employee or VA facility, or additional negligence or error.

Can I appeal a denied 1151 VA claim?

Yes, you can appeal a denied 1151 claim if you feel you’re entitled to VA benefits for a disability caused by VA negligence. 

Three ways to appeal a denied VA claim:

  1. Supplemental Claim 
  2. Higher-Level Review
  3. Board Appeal 


Most veterans are underrated for their disabilities and, therefore, not getting their due compensation. At VA Claims Insider, we guide you and take control of the claims process so you may get the rating and compensation you’re owed by law. 

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! 

Our process takes the guesswork out of filing a VA disability claim and supports you in building a fully developed claim (FDC)—so you may increase your rating FAST! 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!

Kelly Olone

Kelly Olone

Kelly Olone is a military spouse who earned her degree in Psychology from Florida International University. After working in the non-profit sector for several years, she turned to her passion for writing. She aims to contribute to a better understanding of the valuable benefits that veterans deserve. As a mom, Kelly navigates the delicate balance between deadlines and bedtime stories with finesse. 

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