How to Apply for Veterans Disability
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Veterans Disability Benefits in South Dakota
South Dakota is home to more than 60,000 honorable veterans. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) recognizes their valor and service through a variety of beneficial programs and services.
Among these benefits is the Veterans Disability program. This initiative offers monthly financial support to South Dakota veterans who are dealing with disabilities related to their time in the military.
Understanding the VA Disability Program
The VA uses a rating system to evaluate the severity of a veteran's disability. Each disability is given a rating between 10% and 100%. The greater the rating, the larger the monthly financial aid a veteran can get.
A Compensation & Pension (C&P) examination is typically needed to confirm the disability. The VA carries out this medical exam to evaluate the disability and assign it a rating.
When a veteran has multiple disabilities, the VA gives each one a separate rating using the VA's Schedule for Rating Disabilities. The combined disability rating is then determined using a special algorithm.
Eligibility Guidelines for VA Disability Benefits
To be considered eligible for VA benefits, South Dakota veterans must meet several eligibility requirements.
Both of these must be true:
- You have an existing condition, either physical or mental, that impacts your health, and
- Your service history includes active duty, active duty for training, or inactive duty training.
And, at least one of the following must be true:
- You incurred an injury or sickness during your military service that can be connected to your current condition. This is known as an in-service disability claim.
- An existing injury or illness from before your military service worsened due to your service — called a pre-service disability claim, or
- You have a disability that is associated with your active-duty service but it only manifested after your service ended. This is known as a post-service disability claim.
One thing to keep in mind — the type of discharge you received when you left the military can impact your eligibility for benefits. An honorable or general discharge generally lets you access all VA benefits. But if you received a discharge that's less than honorable, you might not be able to get VA benefits.
The key to a successful VA disability claim is to provide strong medical evidence that connects your condition to your time in the military. Keeping thorough medical records during your service can be very helpful and may improve your chances of receiving benefits.
Applying for VA Disability in South Dakota
To apply for disability benefits, gather your paperwork and medical evidence, such as your military records, medical reports, and your DD214 form, which shows your military service. If possible, include statements from witnesses or people you served with to help show how your disability is connected to your military service.
To start your application, visit VA.gov and click on "Sign in to start your application." Follow the instructions to submit your claim.
Need help? Call the VA benefits hotline: 800-827-1000
You can also mail your application or apply at a VA office in person.
To apply by mail, download and fill out the Veterans Application for Compensation and/or Pension (VA Form 21-526EZ), and mail it to:
Department of Veterans Affairs
Claims Intake Center
PO Box 4444
Janesville, WI 53547-4444
To apply in person, visit your local South Dakota VA office. While you are there, you can meet with a veterans service officer who can review your claim and offer suggestions.
Be prepared for long wait times. The VA usually needs about 3-6 months to process a claim. This can vary based on individual circumstances.
Appealing a Denial
If the VA denies your disability claim, you can file an appeal. Fill out a Notice of Disagreement form and send it to the VA within one year of getting your denial notice.
Be sure to include your medical records, related documents, and any statements that support your claim that your disability is related to your service in the military.
To have a successful appeal, you must show that your disability is directly tied to your military service.
More VA Benefits Available to South Dakota Veterans
In addition to disability benefits, the VA provides many more benefits to eligible veterans.
South Dakota veterans can access these additional VA benefits:
- VA Loans
- Education and Training
- Health Care
- VetSuccess on Campus
- VA Burial Benefits
- VA Pension
- VA Life Insurance
- Dependents and Survivor Benefits
These benefits can greatly improve the quality of life for veterans and their families by providing a wide range of valuable resources.
The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) is the nation's biggest integrated health care system. It operates over 1,300 health care facilities and provides health care to veterans all over the country.
The VetSuccess on Campus program is another great resource, particularly for veterans interested in furthering their education. This program offers Education and Training opportunities that can lead to new job opportunities and personal growth.
But that's not all — there is also the VA Loan program, which helps veterans obtain a mortgage by guaranteeing the loan.
Talk to a veterans service officer if you have questions about accessing the benefits you deserve.
Claim Your Disability Benefits
VA Disability benefits are available for South Dakota veterans who have disabilities tied to their military service. If your condition is connected to your time in military service, don't wait — apply for disability benefits today.
South Dakota — VA Office Locations
Veterans Benefits Administration
|Sioux Falls VA Health Care System||2501 W. 22nd Street Sioux Falls, SD 57105||605-336-3230|
|Sioux Falls Regional Office||2501 W 22nd St. Sioux Falls, SD 57105||800-827-1000|
National Cemetery Administration
|Black Hills National Cemetery||20901 Pleasant Valley Drive Sturgis, SD 57785||605-347-3830|
|Fort Meade National Cemetery||Old Stone Rd. Sturgis, SD 57785||605-347-3830|
|Hot Springs National Cemetery||Cemetery Access Road Hot Springs, SD 57747||605-347-3830|
Veterans Health Administration
|VA Black Hills Health Care System - Hot Springs Campus||500 North 5th Street Hot Springs, SD 57747||605-745-2000|
|VA Black Hills Health Care System - Fort Meade Campus||113 Comanche Road Fort Meade, SD 57741||605-347-2511|
|Aberdeen VA Clinic||3307 10th Ave SE Aberdeen, SD 57401||605-229-3500|
|McLaughlin VA Clinic||24348 Fox Ridge Rd Eagle Butte, SD 57625 Mailing Address: PO BOX 130, 24348 Fox Ridge Rd Eagle Butte, SD 57625||605-823-4574|
|Mission CBOC||Horizon Health Care, Inc. 153 Main Street Mission, SD 57555||605-856-2295|
|Pierre VA Clinic||Linn Medical Clinic, 1601 North Harrison, Suite 6 Pierre, SD 57501||605-945-1710|
|Pine Ridge VA Clinic||Next to Dialysis Building across from IHS Hospital Pine Ridge, SD 57770||605-867-2393|
|Rapid City VA Clinic||3625 5th Street Rapid City, SD 57701||605-718-1095|
|Sioux City VA Community Based Outpatient Clinic||380 W. Anchor Drive Dakota Dunes, SD 57049||605-232-2800|
|Watertown CBOC||4 19th Street NE Watertown, SD 57201||605-884-2420|
|Winner VA Clinic||660 West 2nd Street Winner, SD 57580||605-842-2443|
|Rapid City Vet Center||21 East Omaha Street Rapid City, SD 57701||605-348-0077|
|Sioux Falls Vet Center||5020 S. Broadband Lane Suite 100 Sioux Falls, SD 57108||605-330-4552|
|Wagner Outreach Clinic||400 West Hwy 46 Wagner, SD 57380||605-384-2340|