I have had a bunch of questions about disability. I have not avoided them, but I have been thinking about how to answer them. I do not feel disabled and would not be disabled on a civilian definition. That being said, I have a few things that are "broken."
My military retirement is about a little over 60% of my base pay. It does not include bonuses of specialty pay. When you retire, the VA pays for things that are limiting for full CIV employment or may find your ability to work.
Examples could be:
- Arthritic joints that were caused or exacerbated by military service.
- Sleep apnea
- Burn pit exposure
- Surgical procedures with organ loss
Most who retire are 50-100% disabled. They get a check from the VA for $1000 to 3400 per month to compensate for the loss.
Speaking as a retired .mil.guy: Caim.everything.you.can.NOW.
You might not "feel" disabled now, but you will soon enough, especially once you get in the mix with non-.mil folks of a similar age. Likely you'll run out of health LONG before you run out of time or money.
Even if you don't think anything in your medical record amounts to much, I assure, it's something. Make sure to establish cause, diagnosis, effect, and treatment and meds when you write up the claim, backed up by copies of your medical record.
ANYTHING chronic or surgical should be an auto-include!!!!! No ifs, ands, or buts.
Even 0% is a "rating" that can establish service connection. If it gets worse, then any treatment or claim augment isn't new and goes through easier.
If you don't claim it now, after a few years the burden of proof is on you to establish service connection, at which point getting care or funding gets exponentially harder.
.mil disability is codified as an entitlement. YOU EARNED IT, claim it.