There are eight distinct steps that most claims for disability compensation follow. These phases may vary in time depending on the complexity of the claim, the amount of evidence that must be gathered to support the claims, and the type of evidence. You are strongly encouraged to submit as much evidence as possible with your claim to help minimize processing time. The eight steps of claims processing are as follows:
Your claim has been received by the VA. If you applied online with VONAPP Direct Connect, you should see receipt in your list of Open Claims within one hour. If you applied through the U.S. mail, please allow mailing time plus one week for us to process and record receipt of your claim.
Your claim has been assigned to a Veterans Service Representative and is being reviewed to determine if additional evidence is needed. If we do not need any additional information, your claim will move directly to the Preparation for Decision phase.
The Veterans Service Representative will request evidence from the required sources. Requests for evidence may be made of you, a medical professional, a government agency, or another authority. It is common for claims to return to this phase, should additional evidence be required.
We have received all needed evidence. If, upon review, it is determined that more evidence is required, the claim will be sent back to the Gathering of Evidence phase.
The Veterans Service Representative has recommended a decision, and is preparing required documents detailing that decision. If more evidence is required, the claim will be sent back in the process for more information or evidence.
The recommended decision is reviewed, and a final award approval is made. If it is determined that more evidence or information is required, the claim will be sent back in the process for more information or evidence.
Your entire claim decision packet is prepared for mailing.
The VA has sent a decision packet to you by U.S. mail. The packet includes details of the decision or award. Please allow standard mailing time for your packet to arrive before contacting a VA call center.
The length of time it takes to complete a claim depends on several factors, such as the type of claim filed, complexity of your disability(ies), the number of disabilities you claim, and the availability of evidence needed to decide your claim.
You can track the status of your claim by registering for eBenefits at www.ebenefits.va.gov. You can also visit VA's ASPIRE web site. Here you can find the average processing days for the regional office that is working on your claim. To find the average processing days for your state:
The number you see is the average processing days to complete a claim that requires a disability rating. The average is based on completed claims since October 1 in a given fiscal year.
Veterans Crisis Line:
1-800-273-8255 (Press 1)
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs | 810 Vermont Avenue, NW Washington DC 20420
Last updated April 1, 2014