Do You Have "Service-Connected" MS?
If you are a veteran diagnosed with MS within seven years of your separation from the military, the VA (Veterans Administration) could classify your illness as related to your military service and award you a service-connected disability.
If you separated more than seven years ago, you might still be eligible. You must have a diagnosis by a healthcare provider, preferably a neurologist, who directly links the symptoms you had during those seven years to your current diagnosis. Having your primary care provider, neurologist, or even your ophthalmologist, complete a Nexus Letter may assist in the process of getting your MS service connected.
A crucial part of the process is to have copies of all your medical data and records. Don’t hesitate in collecting this information. It will help your benefits application tremendously. Be sure to include all outside [non-DVA, non-DoD] medical records as well.
Tips to Attain Benefits
Many avenues of assistance are available for you as a veteran with service-connected MS. Utilize the tips and resource list below to maximize your benefits
- Enroll in your local VA Medical Center. To enroll in the VA health care system, the Veteran will need a copy of their military discharge or DD Form 214. Click here to request a copy of military discharge. Click here for the VA Form 10-10EZ.
- Once enrolled, file an initial claim through a service officer using VA Form 21-526. This form can be accessed online or picked up at the local VA Medical Center.
- Review and be able to obtain updated medical copies of all service treatment records. VA Form 21-4138 (accessed here) may serve as a resource to help the Veteran keep track of their medical history.
- Keep a journal or notebook of your symptoms, noting duration and severity, and any limitations imposed by your MS.
- Keep questions of your healthcare providers in the same notebook and take it with you to all medical appointments. This information could help support a case for future rating increases.
- For more information about health care benefits for veterans with multiple sclerosis visit here.
Learn about the Nexus Letter and how to make it work for you.
Questions? Call 1-800 FIGHT MS