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Benefits Delivery at Discharge

What is the Benefits Delivery at Discharge Program?

The Benefits Delivery at Discharge program allows Service members to submit a claim for disability compensation between 180 to 90 days prior to separation, retirement, or release from active duty or demobilization. We need a minimum of 90 days to complete the medical exam process (which may involve multiple specialty clinics) prior to your separation from service.

What are the requirements to participate?

Requirements To ParticipateBenefits Delivery at Discharge Program
Do I have a known separation date? Yes
When may I apply? You may apply between 180 - 90 days prior to separation.
When must I submit my service treatment records to VA? At the time claim is submitted.
When must I be available for the VA medical exam? Up to 45 days from the submission of your claim.
When must I complete all phases of the VA/DoD medical separation exam process? Prior to your release from the military.

How do I apply?

To file a Benefits Delivery at Discharge claim, you can do one of the following:

  • Submit your application and service treatment records online using eBenefits.
  • Mail the VA Form 21-526EZ, “Application for Disability Compensation and Related Compensation Benefits,” and submit it with copies of your service treatment records to this address:

Department of Veterans Affairs
Claims Intake Center
PO Box 4444
Janesville, WI 53547-4444

Or, you can fax it to:
(844) 531-7818 (inside the U.S.)
(248) 524-4260 (outside the U.S.)

  • Visit your local VA regional office or Benefits Delivery at Discharge Intake Site and speak with a VA representative to assist you. For the location nearest you, use the VA locator directory or call us at 1-800-827-1000.

You can include any personnel or other records that document injuries, illnesses, or events that contributed to your service related disability. Include buddy statements, if additional documentation is needed.

Exclusions from the Benefits Delivery at Discharge Program

There are certain situations where Service members are unable to participate in the program because their claims require special handling. These special situations include:

  • Claims requiring case management for a Service member who is seriously or very seriously injured or ill or a “special category person” (SPC), who has suffered loss of a body part.
  • Claims involving a terminally ill service member
  • Claims involving a service member who is awaiting discharge, while hospitalized in a VA or military treatment facility
  • Claims requiring a VA exam that must be done in a foreign country, except when the exam can be requested by the overseas Benefits Delivery at Discharge office in Landstuhl, Germany, or Camp Humphreys, Korea.
  • Claims from pregnant Service members.
  • Claims requiring a Character of Discharge determination.
  • Claims received from Service members with less than 90 days remaining on active duty.  These claims can be processed under the standard VA claims process, Fully Developed Claims program, Decision Ready Claims, or any other qualifying VA claims program
  • Claims for Service members who are not available to report for exams through 45 days from the date the claim was submitted.
  • Claims that do not include a copy of service treatment records for the current period of service.
  • Medical conditions added after the submission of the initial claim and with less than 90 days remaining on active duty.  These additional conditions will be processed after separation.

Assistance for Transitioning Service Members

If you are on a military installation, contact your local Transition Assistance Program office to schedule appointments, attend VA benefits briefings, and learn how to initiate your claim.  You can visit our Transition Assistance Program website for more information about how we help Service members transition to civilian life.