Current Disability Requirement for VA Benefits

When a veteran files a claim for VA benefits, he must show three things:

1. a current disability, injury, or illness;
2. an event, injury, or illness that took place in service; and
3. evidence connection the current disability to the in-service injury or event.

Generally, the veteran satisfies the first element (current disability requirement for VA benefits) if he receives a diagnosis of the claimed disability any time after he files a claim. This element is satisfied even if the disability improves, or resolves altogether, before he receives a decision from VA.

Romanowsky v. Shinseki

In the recent case of Romanowsky v. Shinseki, the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims dealt with a case where a veteran received a diagnosis of a psychological disability and shortly thereafter filed a claim for VA benefits. However, when he went for his VA examination shortly after filing the claim, the VA doctor said there was nothing wrong with him. The VA turned down the claim because the veteran did not have a current disability. VA refused to even consider the medical evidence showing that the veteran had a psychological disability shortly before he filed his claim.

The Court corrected the VA’s erroneous determination, concluding that a veteran who demonstrates a disability shortly before filing his claim could meet the “current disability” requirement. Thus, to meet the “current disability” requirement, the veteran can show that he had a diagnosis either while his claim for VA benefits is open, or just before he filed the claim.

Help Proving the Current Disability Requirement for VA Benefits

Do you think your claim for VA disability compensation was incorrectly denied because the VA wrongly concluded you didn’t have a “current disability”? Veterans Help Group offers a free case evaluation to review your claim and advise you on your rights. Our veterans disability advocates stay on top of the law and will help you recover the benefits to which you are rightly entitled.

VA Benefits Explained

VA Benefits Explained

VA Benefits Explained Veterans disability benefits can provide much-needed financial support and...

More Articles

What Causes PTSD to be Triggered in Veterans?

In the past 15 years, the estimated number of veterans who have been diagnosed with PTSD currently numbers more than 500,000. As many as 60,000 of these veterans are Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans. Estimates show more than 20% to 30% of veterans...

Federal Court Addresses PTSD Stressors

A recent decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit confirms that VA must apply a generous standard when evaluating the lay testimony of veterans suffering from PTSD concerning their combat experiences and PTSD stressors. Sanchez-Navarro v....

Permanent and Total VA Disability Ratings for PTSD

What is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)? Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that develops in some people who have experienced a shocking, scary, or dangerous event. Symptoms of PTSD usually begin within three months of the...

Depression And Your VA Claim

Depression can negatively affect every aspect of your life: how you feel, think, sleep, function, and interact with others. According to the National Alliance on Mental Health Issues, about 14% of veterans suffer from depression. Depression is one of the most common...


"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.