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Veteran disability qualifications in Washington State

On Behalf of | Jun 3, 2024 | Veterans Benefits

The Evergreen State boasts a proud tradition of supporting veterans. Beyond the national benefits offered by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the state itself extends a helping hand to veterans facing service-related disabilities.

If you’re a Washington veteran unsure of what qualifies you for disability benefits, having a roadmap can help ensure you don’t pass up the opportunity to receive financial assistance. There’s an important distinction to make upfront: the Evergreen State itself doesn’t administer disability compensation. This falls under the purview of the federal VA. However, the state does offer additional benefits and tax breaks specifically for veterans with VA-rated disabilities.

Qualifying conditions for disability benefits

To qualify for veteran disability benefits in the Evergreen State, you must meet a couple of criteria related to your service and the nature of your disability. First and foremost, you, ideally, should have been honorably discharged from the U.S. Armed Forces. However, you shouldn’t give up if you don’t realize this requirement because exceptions may apply in certain cases.

You should also be able to link your disability to your military service. The connection can be either direct, like an injury you sustained during services, or a secondary connection, like a condition that is a consequence of a service-connected disability.

Your medical records can be crucial in corroborating your disability service-related disability. Remember, even medical records that you may perceive as irrelevant can shed light on your condition. This way, you can be assigned an appropriate disability rating based on the severity of your condition. The VA’s rating system expresses disabilities as a percentage that reflects the extent to which your disability compromises your capacity to work and perform daily activities.

Federal vs. state benefits

As a resident, you can explore state and federal avenues for disability benefits. At the federal level, you qualify for benefits like fellow veterans across the country. In the Evergreen State, the Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs (WDVA) gives you access to property tax exemptions and reduced-fee hunting and fishing licenses.

The Evergreen State recognizes the sacrifices you made while in service and offers supplementary support on top of the federal provisions. Therefore, once you secure federal benefits, you should explore the state’s additional benefits. To receive both benefits, you can work with a reliable legal team that can help streamline your application process.