In Special Needs News

Military veteran who uses wheelchair hugs his kids outside.Service members transitioning out of active-duty service and who have a disability claim may be able to take advantage of a more streamlined application process for disability benefits.

Previously, when service members began their transition back to civilian life and filed a disability claim, they had to have two medical exams performed, one by the Department of Defense and another by the Department of Veterans Affairs. As of Spring 2023, these offices now require veterans to submit just one common health assessment form with their application.

What Is the Separation Health Assessment Form?

The Separation Health Assessment form currently in place reduces the number of required medical exams. Now, the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense will both accept a single medical examination.

The Separation Health Assessment form discourages redundant medical examinations and ensures accurate results from exams. This ultimately makes the process of getting a decision regarding your disability benefits more quickly.

Questionnaire + Clinical Assessment

The Separation Health Assessment includes two main parts for the veteran. Each part collects the information a service member must provide in their disability application.

Part A requires a service member to complete a medical history questionnaire. Service members must complete this questionnaire before attending a clinical assessment.

Part B of the Separation Health Assessment requires a service member to submit to a clinical assessment. During the assessment, a medical provider will review the service member’s treatment records. They also will give an opinion regarding the service member’s disability status.

How Does the Separation Health Assessment Expedite My Disability Claim?

Using the new Separation Health Assessment process can potentially speed up the disability claim process. The Separation Health Assessment form expedites the disability claim process by providing the following benefits:

  • Avoids duplicate examination results for medical examinations.
  • Avoids wasted time waiting for medical examination results that are likely to be duplicated.
  • Helps service members and medical providers get early illness and disease detection and connect ailments to occupational hazards due to exposure to dangerous conditions.
  • Assesses a service member’s current medical and health care history.        
  • Discovers and names all medical concerns the service member had during their military career.

How Do I File a Disability Claim?

Service members put their lives on the line when they join the military. Unfortunately, many veterans suffer permanent disability after their service ends. If you have a disability claim, consider taking the following steps:

  • Visit a local Veterans Affairs office and file a disability claim in person with a Veterans Affairs representative.
  • Complete your application online on the Veterans Affairs website.
  • Connect with a Veterans Service Officer, whose support is available at no cost. Visit the VA website to access additional resources and to learn more.

The implementation of the Separation Health Assessment form is intended to make it easier for U.S. service members to get access to disability benefits so they can settle back into civilian life.

VA Disability Compensation Rates

Note that the amount of disability benefits payments you will receive each month depend on several factors, namely:

  • the severity of your disability
  • whether you have dependents

Check out the 2023 VA disability compensation rates online.

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