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Short Active Service = no benefit?



Hello, my wife has always been denied VA benefits as she was only active Army for 2 mo 11 days. However, She was previously Inactive for 1mo 18 days as she was mistakenly placed into a male platoon in Fort Knox where She waited for reassignment. 

When activated, She was injured with bunions which later required surgery. (Could not March in Military boots)

Subsequently discharged honorably in June 1980 due to JFT. (Did not meet procurement medical fitness)


Is there any hope in hell of getting any VA benefit?



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  • HadIt.com Elder

Yes, she should file. Remember the 3 elements of the  Caluza Triangle needed for a claim. Diagnoses of an existing condition: does she have foot problems now? If not, forget it. If so, she needs to get a doc's opinion that her current condition is a direct correlation to the bunions while in the service. This is called a nexus. The third element is she needs records that show her service time and medical. If it was a medical discharge you need those records.Was the surgery done while in service, or civilian? Need evidence. Length of time in service isn't the driving factor as there is a "presumption of fitness" rule. In other words, if she was discharged from the Army for foot problems, but didn't have any foot problems found in her initial induction physical, the Army has to grant that the injury occurred while in service. But all that said, you have to have a good package because they will try to say she wasn't in long enough for benefits. That is inaccurate for disabilities. I once got a veteran a 50% disability for hearing because of his activities in 87 days of basic training 50 years prior. Work the Caluza!

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  • Lead Moderator

GbArmy is right on!  They always try to sway us from applying for benefits and that is how they win.  Like he said if it was incurred in service then keep fighting.  I have a friend who I know was in service for a short time and they got injured in Iraq and had to be med boarded out.  I know he is 100% and more.  Keep fighting!

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  • HadIt.com Elder

Eligibility for most veterans benefits requires a minimum length of military service. Take a gander this table. As you can see, to qualify for full Montgomery GI Bill education benefits, you have to serve for a minimum of 36 months.

On the other hand, you could qualify for VA disability compensation or VA medical care with only one day of active duty. Don’t get too excited, because for disability or medical care, you have to meet a slew of other qualification requirements...AS  BG Army mention   

''Proroad quoted''

''When activated, She was injured with bunions which later required surgery. (Could not March in Military boots)''

if no evidence like medical records  then buddy statements that was there and witness the event,(injury ),if nothing comes up or don't remember buddy's  then a good lay statement might help if she can remember close to the dates the event /injury happen  location and time of the event and describe her surroundings she remembered because it was a special day/date  like a holiday  ect,,ect,,   her unit /name of complete units  also if she can remember her 1st Sgt name or C.O.

This is called pluisable evidence.  they can check out her story and if found to be true then this is a start.


maybe an old medical note with the date on it?

GB  87 days in basic training? it must be longer now?

back when I had my basic training thank God it was only about 2 months  but I didn't get to go home  we went straight to AIT Aberdeen Proving Grounds Maryland for another 2 months training.


Edited by Buck52 (see edit history)
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Length of Service

Prior to September 8, 1980, there was no minimum length of service necessary to be considered a veteran for most VA benefits. However, for an individual who enlisted after September 8, 1980, there are now certain minimum length of service requirements. The general requirement is either 24 months of continuous active duty or the “full period” for which the servicemember was called or ordered to active duty.

14 Several exceptions exist to this general rule. For example, service-connected disability compensation benefits are exempt from the minimum active duty requirements. Thus, a veteran with a disease or injury incurred during active service should almost always be able to receive service-connected compensation for his or her condition or disability.

15 Other exceptions to the minimum service requirements include claims for VA life insurance benefits,16 hardship discharges,17 and persons retired or separated from service because of a service-related disability.18

Active Service Criteria for Veteran Status A claimant must have “active military, naval, or air service” to be considered a veteran for most VA benefits.8 However, not all types of service are considered active military service for this purpose.9

In general, active service means full-time service, other than active duty for training, as a member of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard; as a commissioned officer of the Public Health Service; or as a commissioned officer of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration or its predecessors.

Active service also includes a period of active duty for training during which the person was disabled or died from an injury or disease incurred or aggravated in the line of duty10 and any period of inactive duty for training during which the person was disabled or died from an injury incurred or aggravated in the line of duty or from certain health conditions incurred during the training.11

Additional circumstances of service, and whether they are deemed to be active military service, are set out in law.12 For example, if on authorized travel to and from the performance of active duty training or inactive duty for training, a person is disabled or dies, the duty will be considered to be active duty for training or inactive duty for training.13

The determination of whether a claimant has met the active service requirement may not be a simple process. The claimant and the VA may have to scrutinize the claimant’s service records to determine whether the claimant’s service fits into one of the many categories of active service, or whether an exception has been made for his or her service, so that it is considered to be active service for the purposes of veterans’ benefits. In addition, a claimant may have more than one period of service, which may further complicate the determination.

Search for “Who is a Veteran?”—Basic Eligibility for Veterans’ Benefits, a PDF will come up and go from there.

Since her discharge was prior to September 1980, she may have a chance but she would have to file a claim and then file a timely appeal



Edited by pacmanx1 (see edit history)
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