Can I Collect VA Disability While in the Reserves?

Yes, someone in the reserve can collect most of the VA benefits and compensation as usual. According to the VA, it tries to aid the members of the reserve components and their families as they deserve it.

The point you should note here is that your eligibility for different benefits may depend on your active service length. Additionally, whether you have served during wartime or the type of service you have done may also be an important factor. But you need to know what counts as active duty first.

Let’s cover this topic in full detail below.

Are Members of the National Guard or Reserve Count as Veterans?

Previously, the Reserve or National Guard members were only counted as veterans if they served in any federal agency or program for at least 180 days. So, it took more work to get the veteran title while in the reserve at the time.

However, thanks to Barack Obama signing the Miller-Blumenthal Veterans Health Care and Benefits Act, it became a new rule that any reserve or guards who served active duty for at least 20 years would also get the veteran title in 2016.

So, if you are a veteran while in the reserve, you will obviously be eligible for the veteran benefits. But what about members who didn’t get the veteran title? They are eligible, too, except they often need to meet extra criteria.

What Counts as Active Duty and Full-Time National Guard Duty?

You may be eligible for certain VA benefits depending on your active duty status length. The question is what counts as active duty.

Active Duty- Any full-time duty in the armed forces, except for training. They include-

  • Traveling from or to active duty.
  • Deploying units during wartime.
  • Other tasks performed during full-time duty.

It falls under Title 10.

Full Time National Guard Duty- Any duty where you will get payment from the Federal government is a part of the Full Time National Guard Duty. They include-

  • Serving as an Active Guard Reserve (AGR).
  • Serving in response to any national emergency, national disaster, or artificial issues.

Since you don’t get paid by the federal government for serving during any State Active Duty, it doesn’t count as Active Duty. State Active Duty are only within a state and doesn’t involve the VA.

VA Benefits You Can Get While in the Reserve or National Guard

You can get various VA benefits while in the reserve, given you have served in active duty for the required time or matched the proper criteria. The following are some of these benefits-

Pension Benefits- Aside from old age (65 years old) or having certain disabilities, you may need to have an active duty of at least 90 days if you served before September 7, 1980, as enlisted or October 16, 1981, as an officer.

If you have served after the above dates, you will need to have served for at least 24 months continuously or the entire period you were ordered. However, there needs to be at least one day of wartime. Additionally, getting discharged or released for any service-connected disabilities will also make you eligible.

VA Disability Compensation: Having any service-connected disabilities will make you eligible for VA disability compensation.

Home Loan Guaranty: In order to get this benefit, you may need to match any one of the following factors-

  • Served for at least 90 days during wartime on active duty.
  • Was released or discharged from active duty for service-connected disabilities.
  • At least six years of service in the selected National Guard or Reserve and was honourably discharged.
  • Was transferred from the selected reserve to any Ready Reserve or Standby Reserve.
  • Still serving in the selected reserve.
  • Was on the retired list.

Health Care: Serving for the entire period of a Federal order will make you eligible for VA health care.

Other than the above, you can get Insurance, Burial, and Education benefits with certain eligibility factors. See here for more details.

Can VA Disability Payments Be Used to Pay Child Support While in the Reserves?

When it comes to the implications of va disability on child garnishment, it is essential to understand the specific rules and regulations. While VA disability payments are generally protected from being used for child support payments, it is important to note that this protection may vary based on individual circumstances. Reservists receiving VA disability payments should consult with legal professionals to assess the potential impact on child support obligations.

Final Note

Anyone who served in the Reserve can get VA disability benefits. However, other than the disability compensation, one needs to match different criteria for each type of benefit. If you are going for them, you must file a claim describing your condition. You can get an eligibility review from the VA Disability Coach, which can help you file for a disability benefit.