If you are a Veteran and you have been wounded in action you likely qualify for the Combat Veterans related compensation program. It is a program that was designed to help compensate our heroes who have been wounded in combat or wounded while on active Duty. It is a very lucrative and advantageous benefit, for those who have suffered a wound while in Combat on active duty. It allows a veteran to collect their full VA benefits while also collecting their full military retirement pay. Previously veterans had to choose, and could not collect both amounts, but Congress changed this in 2004. Congress passed the National Defense Authorization act that helps out veterans in a big way that have been injured.
The program deals with veterans who have been injured or disabled because of:
– Functioning or being involved in a unit in conditions simulating war.
-Armed Combat Conflict type injuries.
-Being uses as an instrument of War.
-Hazardous duty combat injuries.
This is a new program and one that begins full force from the start; it is not being slowly phased in, as some of the new military benefit programs tend to be. If a person arrives at the age of retirement and are qualified then they instantly become qualified for this program. This allows a person to collect their military retirement, which they have earned over the years, as well as collect whatever level of disability that they qualify for under the VA. To be eligible for this program you have to meet the following criteria.
-You have to be awarded a combat related disability from the VA of at least 60 percent or higher.
-You have to have had at least 20 years of military service.
-You have to be receiving VA compensation of some type.
That’s it. Each branch of the service deals with Wounded Veteran Combat benefits a little different. It is up to the Secretary of each branch of the service, (or his appointed designate) to decide each case involving Combat Wounded Veterans. But it can’t hurt you to apply. Each service has the right to determine themselves if a person is a Veteran and if they qualify for this program. The program is being well received, and it promises to benefit Veterans in a big way in the coming years.