How to Request Temporary 100 Percent Disability from the VA

Veterans may be eligible for temporary disability if certain requirements are met.

Veterans may be eligible for temporary disability if certain requirements are met.

The Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) sponsors a benefit that allows veterans to receive temporary 100 percent disability compensation for a disability related to their military service that require surgery, convalescence or specific treatment. Disabilities are evaluated to determine the severity, and payments are made accordingly. In order to qualify for temporary 100 percent disability, the veteran must meet certain requirements.

Draft a cover letter to the Veterans Administration explaining that you are applying for temporary 100 percent disability compensation. Include information about your disability such as how and when it occurred, how the disability relates to your military service and how you were discharged from military service. You should also include information about your treatment and the prognosis. This letter is not required to accompany the Veterans Administration's application for disability benefits, but it may help tell your story, which can only assist in clarifying your case.

Complete Veterans Administration Form 51-526. Be sure to fill this form out completely and sign where necessary. If the form is incomplete, the Veterans Administration will return it.

Include with your letter and disability application your medical records relating to the disability for which you are seeking compensation, your dependency records to show whether you are married and have children, and your discharge or separation from military service papers.

Make a copy of your completed application for your records.

Mail or deliver your letter, application and supporting material to the closest regional Veterans Administration office.

Items you will need

  • Veterans Administration Form 21-526
  • Discharge or separation from service papers (Form DD-214)
  • Medical records


  • You can also apply for temporary disability online at the Veterans On-Line Application (VONAPP).
  • You may qualify for Social Security disability benefits, so you should also contact the Social Security Administration to apply for their program as well.
  • Disability payments from the Veterans Administration are not subject to federal or state income tax.


  • At the end of the required period of convalescence or the end of treatment, the Veterans Administration Regional Office will review the whether the temporary 100 percent disability should be continued. Attend any follow-up evaluations that are scheduled.

About the Author

Kay Lee began freelance writing for Answerbag and eHow in 2010. She is an attorney in Washington, DC, practicing since 2006. Lee specializes in employee benefits and executive compensation. She holds a Juris Doctor from the Columbus School of Law and a Master of Laws from Georgetown University Law Center.

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