Disability compensation is paid to veterans who have injuries or illnesses that occurred while on active duty, active duty for training, or inactive duty training, or whose injuries or illnesses were made worse by active military service. Benefits are also paid to certain veterans disabled due to VA health care. Veterans with a dishonorable discharge are not eligible for benefits.
“Active duty for training” also applies to members of the National Guard or the Reserve Corps who were called up for full-time duty in the Armed Forces. If they were not called up, their membership does not qualify them for veterans benefits.
“Veterans” is defined as men and women who performed active service in a uniformed branch of the U.S. military—in the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard, Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC), or Woman’s Air Service Pilots (WASP).
It’s a little-known fact that VA disability benefits may also be given to those who served full time in the Public Health Service’s Commissioned Officer Corps or in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA; formerly the Coast and Geodetic Survey). In some cases, those who served full time, during wartime, in the Merchant Marine or the Flying Tigers may also be eligible.