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If you are reading this than you are most likely in the military, or know someone in the military, and are more than aware of government processing times. Does “hurry up and wait” sound familiar? The VA is no different when it comes to processing times on your VA Disability Compensation claim. The good news is there are some loopholes that will expedite your claim. If you are on active duty there are three was for you to apply for your VA disability: (1) Benefits Delivery at Discharge (BDD), (2) Quick Start, or (3) Integrated Disability Evaluation System (this occurs through a medical evaluation board).

When should you file your disability compensation claim if you are still on active duty?

If you are applying through BDD you need to apply 60-180 days prior to separation from active duty. To err on the side of caution, apply with as much time as possible to account for any processing hiccups.

You will need to apply for the Quick Start process between 1 and 59 days prior to your separation from active duty.

The Integrated Disability Evaluation System Examination is used to determine if you are fit for full duty. If you are found to be unfit for active duty, the Department of Defense (DOD) and the Veterans Affairs (VA) work together to evaluate your disability for DOD and VA purposes. The Integrated Disability Evaluation System will recommend a disability rating for the DOD and a disability rating for the VA. Typically the DOD disability rating will come back substantially lower than the VA disability rating. You may appeal the VA disability rating if you do not agree with it.