Sorting out and working with the VA is still a challenge for most veterans. I know of a lot of Vets that really need some assistance, but are very confused about how to start the process.
Even though the VA has tried to make it simpler for Vets to apply it is still an in-depth and lengthy process. My advise to any wanting to apply for benefits is to hook up with one of the (VSO) Veteran Services Organizations. ie; American Legion, Purple Heart, VFW, DAV.
They are all very knowledgeable and I personally prefer the DAV. I am currently a life member of the DAV. Over the last couple of years I have had a lot interaction with the DAV and the VA. I am familiar with the application and appeals process and was awarded two months ago 100% service connected disability.