Benefits Delivery at Discharge Program
Service members who are separating and plan to file for disability compensation can file their claim before separation through the Benefits Delivery at Discharge (BDD) program.
The BDD program allows Service members to apply for VA disability compensation benefits between 180 to 90 days prior to separation. This timeframe permits VA to review Service Treatment Records (STRs), schedule needed exams and evaluate the claim before separation. BDD’s goal is to deliver a decision within 30 days after separation.
To be eligible for BDD, service members must:
- Know their separation date
- File their claim between 180 and 90 days prior to separation
- Provide a copy of their STRs for the current period of service
- Provide a completed Separation Health Assessment - Part A Self-Assessment
- Be available for 45 days from the date the claim is submitted to attend VA exams
The following issues and conditions are excluded from BDD claims:
- Service members who do not meet the requirements above, or who:
- Are seriously ill or injured
- Lost a body part
- Are terminally ill
- Claims requiring a VA exam in a foreign country, except those that can be processed through Landstuhl, Germany or Camp Humphreys, Korea
- Claims for Service members awaiting discharge while hospitalized in a VA or one military treatment facility
- Claims that require a character of discharge determination
How Do You Get Started?
The best way to get started is to create an account and apply online at va.gov. Go to https://www.va.gov/disability/how-to-file-claim/
to access the How to file a VA disability claim portal. By filing your BDD Claim on VA.gov, your claim will be processed faster.
Include the following in your claim:
- A Separation Health Assessment - Part A Self-Assessment that can be downloaded from https://www.benefits.va.gov/compensation/dbq_publicdbqs.asp
- A copy of your STRs from the current period of service. Note: If you have electronic STRs and are not filing your claim on VA.gov, contact your local BDD intake site to receive instructions on how to send them securely. Refer to the What Else Should You Know? section below for more information about STRs
- Any other records, personnel or other, documenting the injuries, illnesses or events that contributed to your service-related disability
- Dental records
- Mental health records, if applicable
- Birth certificate (for spouse and dependent children, if applicable)
- Direct Deposit Information (account number, name of financial institution androuting or transit number are required for direct deposit)
- DD Form 214 Member-4 or Service-2 Copy, for all periods of service to include current period of service once issued You can also fill out and mail in a VA Form 21-526EZ, “Application for Disability Compensation and Related Compensation Benefits.”
- Find VA forms at https://www.va.gov/find-forms/
Submit your complete application and the relevant items listed above, plus any additional paper records and evidence to:
Department of Veterans Affairs Claims Intake Center
PO Box 4444
Janesville, WI 53547-4444
If you need further assistance, visit your local VA Regional Office or BDD Intake Site. You can find the closest location on the VA locator directory at https://www.va.gov/find-locations
or call 800-MyVA411 (800-698-2411).
What Else Should You Know?
Service members who do not meet the BDD requirements can submit a claim through the Fully Developed Claim program or the Standard Claim Process. When preparing to transition you want a complete set of your STRs for your own records, in addition to submitting to VA as part of your BDD claim.
As applicable, copies of STRs should include:
- Military entrance physical and all periodic health assessments
- Inpatient and outpatient records
- Military and private medical documents
- Traumatic Brain Injury records
- Behavior Health records
- Dental records
If you are determined ineligible to participate in the BDD program, consult with your nearest military treatment facility who will complete your separation/retirement physical.
How Can You Get More Information?
Use the following resources for more information: