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Basic Eligibility Requirements for VA Benefits

Posted by Gregory M. Rada | Disability Compensation,Health Benefits,State Veteran Benefits

Each VA benefit – health care, disability, pension, education, housing, etc. – administered by the VA has its own unique eligibility requirements but there are basic eligibility requirements common to all VA benefits. The most common requirement is whether you are a veteran, and some benefits look at whether you had wartime versus peacetime service or the length of your service.

Definition of a Veteran

The first and most important basic eligibility requirement is that you must be a veteran as defined by the VA. The VA defines a veteran as “a person who served in the active military, naval, or air service, and who was discharged or released therefrom under conditions other than dishonorable.”

Examples of “military, naval, or air service” are:

In addition to military service, the service must have been “active.” Examples of active-duty service include:

Active duty also includes “active duty for training.” Examples of active duty for training include:

The requirements for active duty can be confusing, especially for Reserve and Guard servicemembers. 

Wartime versus Peacetime Service

The only time that wartime service arises as a basic eligibility requirement is for non-service-connected pension. To be eligible for a non-service-connected disability pension, the veteran must have served at least 90 consecutive days on active duty during a period of war. The veteran need not have engaged in combat – they simply need to have been on active duty for 90 days during a time of war. 

The current periods of war are as follows:

Yes, this means the United States has technically been at war via the Persian Gulf War since August 1990 to present time. 

Experienced Veterans Benefits Attorneys

If you have been denied benefits, you need an attorney who will fight the VA for you. Contact After Service LLC online or call us at (844) 838-7529 to schedule your free initial consultation.