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When Can I File for VA Disability?

Most veterans are allowed to begin their claim between 180-90 days before separation from military service through the Benefits Delivery at Discharge (BDD). With some exceptions, if you have less than 90 days of active duty remaining, you won’t be able to file through BDD, and although you can file before your discharge, your claim won’t be completed until after separation. However, you can begin the process of filing your claim(s).

A post-service claim can be made any time following your separation from active duty. However, the later you file your claim following your service, the more challenging it may be to prove your claims. After all, you are trying to connect the in-service issues to your current medical problems, after the fact. Documenting a recent injury is much more straightforward than substantiating one that occurred decades ago. If you plan to make a claim for injuries sustained during a time in the less-than-recent past, the right legal team can be critical to navigating the system.

Claims can be made for specific disabilities connected to events or areas of service, including disabilities related to your time in Vietnam and possible Agent Orange exposure, as a prisoner of war (POW), in Southwest Asia, or for disabilities with symptoms that present following exposure to hazardous materials. In any of these cases, retaining an attorney can make the difference between proving your disability and winning your case, or being denied.

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