An issue that is of interest to many veterans is the filing a claim for disability benefits. The Veterans Benefits Administration is still accepting claims for disability compensation, despite the COVID-19 pandemic. On May 28, VBA resumed in-person compensation and pension exams in some locations and plans to make them available in more locations when possible. If an in-person exam is not available yet, you can still submit private treatment records or request that VBA obtain those records on your behalf. You can always seek accredited assistance in completing claims and get more information assistance online.

Are you eligible for VA disability compensation?

You may be able to get VA disability compensation if you have a current illness or injury that affects your body or mind and you meet at least one of the requirements listed below:

Both of these must be true. You:

  • Served on active duty, active duty for training or inactive duty training
  • Have a disability rating for your service-connected condition

And at least one of these must be true. You:

  • Got sick or injured while serving in the military — and can link this condition to your illness or injury (called an in-service disability claim)
  • Had an illness or injury before you joined the military — and serving made it worse (called a pre-service disability claim)
  • Have a disability related to your active-duty service that did not appear until after you ended your service (called a post-service claim)

Presumed disabilities:

  • A chronic illness that appears within one year after discharge
  • An illness caused by your time spent as a prisoner of war (POW)
  • An illness caused by contact with chemicals (toxic chemicals) or other hazardous materials

Who is covered?

  • Veterans
  • Qualified dependents

What if you received an other than honorable, bad conduct or dishonorable discharge?

If you received one of these discharge statuses, you may be eligible for VA disability benefits.

There are two ways you can try to qualify:

  • Find out how to apply for a discharge upgrade
  • Learn about the VA Character of Discharge review process

What conditions are covered by these benefits?

  • Chronic back pain resulting in current diagnosed back disability
  • Breathing problems resulting from a current lung condition or lung disease
  • Severe hearing loss
  • Scar tissue
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Loss of range of motion (problems moving your body)
  • Ulcers
  • Cancers caused by contact with toxic chemicals or other dangers
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Depression
  • Anxiety

We thank all of our veterans, Native or not, male and female, for their service to this great nation, the United States of America! Migwetch (Thanks)!

Until further notice, our Citizen Potawatomi Nation Veterans Organization has suspended our meetings and other activities until this pandemic crisis has passed. Be well, and God bless!

(Thank you),

Daryl Talbot, Commander

CPN VA Representative: Andrew Whitham

CPN Office Hours: 1st and 3rd Wednesday each month 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.