How it Works
Above are the steps of the FDC electronic process. Here are detailed instructions on the FDC process:
- Navigate to eBenefits.va.gov and click on Login. If you don't yet have an eBenefits.va.gov account, register today.
- Click Apply for Benefits.
Important! Before you apply, go to the Request for Representative area to appoint a Veterans Service Officer as your Power of Attorney (POA). Your POA will help you collect the required documents and evidence you need to submit your claim.
- Next, go to the Compensation Benefits area and select Apply Now to start a new application using the electronic FDC application.
- Accept the Terms and Conditions and click Save & Continue on the Privacy Act statement. Then, enter your VA File Number. If you do not know your number, select I do not have a VA File Number. The system on its own will locate your record.
- To fix incorrect personal information, click Edit Personal Information.
- Review the information at the Claim Notification page, check I understand these Terms and Conditions, and click Save & Continue.
Important! You can start your claim today and then take up to 365 days to gather the required documents and information to complete your claim. This acts as a placeholder and may allow VA to pay your benefits back to the date you first started the claim if eligible.
- Read the Informative Material to understand the requirements and benefits of the FDC program and then click Save & Continue.
- Next, verify your Service History and Add a New Period of Service if one is missing. Verified Service Periods are marked Verified and are not editable.
- Answer every question and input all applicable required information on the Service Information and Military Pay pages and click Save & Continue.
- On the Disability Records page, you may either Claim a New Disability to have a new disability considered for VA benefits or Request Increase to seek an increased evaluation of a service-connected disability or Request Reopen to reopen a disability that previously was not found to be service connected. Choose Add Secondary to claim an additional disability that you believe was caused or aggravated by a service-connected disability. Click Save & Continue.
- If you chose Claim a New Disability, enter your new disability information. Once you Save & Continue, the added disability will appear in the grid. Click Save & Continue.
- At the Confirm Treatment page, answer the question about receiving any medical treatment at a VA Medical Center. If "No," you'll go to the Direct Deposit page. If "Yes," you'll go to Medical Treatment Records page to provide all the information as directed. Make sure you click Save & Continue on each page.
Important! If you request VA assistance in gathering medical evidence by completing VA Form 21-4142, your claim will not be processed as an FDC. As a result, it may take more time for VA to process your claim.
- Next, upload all the required documents with your application. Review the information on file type, file size, and alternative ways to provide your documents. Explanations of each required document are also provided. Click Manage Files to upload your documents or images.
- This page displays the documents you've successfully uploaded. Click Browse to navigate to the file or image you want to upload from the personal files stored on your computer. Highlight or click on the file or image and then click Open. When the file name displays, click Upload.
- Upload as many files as you need to, and see them displayed in the grid. If an upload is unsuccessful, you'll see an error message. The Error Check page will display errors found during the upload process. Correct the errors and then click Recheck to resume uploading.
- The Final Validation page displays all the information you provided for your final review. If any information is incorrect or missing, you can navigate back to the appropriate page to correct it (e.g., if a Treatment Record is missing, click on the Treatment Record tab. Click Save & Continue).
- The final step is to certify that you have enclosed all the information and evidence to support your claim. You may select No More Evidence or More Evidence from the drop-down box. Click Continue. Then, certify that all the information is correct and true. Accept the Terms and Conditions and click Submit.
Important! You have 365 days from the date you first started your claim to collect your required documents and information. Make sure you have collected everything before you submit your claim.
- VA is now reviewing your claim. You'll receive a confirmation number and notice at your eBenefits Message Center and via your email address of record indicating that your claim was submitted successfully. Check the status of your claim 24/7 by logging on to your eBenefits.va.gov account.