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How to File a Disability Claim

Claims Overview

Filing a claim for disability benefits through the federal VA is actually a legal process. In order to receive benefits and compensation, you must file a claim with the United States proving eligibility through legal, military and medical evidence.

Though it is possible to file a claim yourself (just as it is possible to represent yourself in a court of law), it is highly recommended that you seek the free assistance of a veteran service officer (VSO) employed or certified by the Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs.

Available at the statewide level and in every county, VSOs represent veterans, their dependents and survivors through each stage of the claims process, including appeals.

How to File a Claim

For more information: Federal VA: Disability Compensation.

What if My Claim Is Denied?

If your claim for disability compensation is denied by the VA, you may appeal the decision. You may also appeal if your claim is approved, but you disagree with the rating or any other part of the VA’s decision.

VA appeals involve a long, complicated and multi-step adjudication process between you, your veterans service officer and the regional office of the federal VA. There are a number of different options for appealing your case, and your statewide or county VSO will work with you to determine the best course for your situation.

The process may involve some of the following steps, as outlined by the Board of Veterans Appeals.

For more information: Federal VA: "How Do I Appeal?" | Federal VA: Board of Veterans' Appeals


Did You Know? 

To be accredited through the VA under ODVA, Veterans Service Officers must attend a five-day training course, be observed by the ODVA training team, and attend our annual VSO conference. They must also pass the VA's accreditation exam with an 80% or greater, and are retested every five years.

Find A VSO

To start a claim, find a veteran service officer near you.

Find A VSO
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