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eBenefits Access Your VA & DoDo Benefits 24-7


Quick Start Program

Quick Start allows a Servicemember to submit a claim for disability compensation 1 to 59 days prior to separation, retirement, or release from active duty or demobilization. Submitting your disability compensation claim before discharge makes it possible to receive VA disability benefits as soon as possible after separation, retirement, or demobilization.


Servicemembers with 1-59 days remaining on active duty or full time Reserve or National Guard (Title 10 or Title 32) service, or Servicemembers who do not meet the Benefits Delivery at Discharge (BDD) criteria requiring availability for all examinations prior to discharge, may apply through Quick Start. The program is available nationwide and open to all Servicemembers on full time active duty, including members of the National Guard and Reserves.

Requirements To ParticipateQuick Start Program
Do I have a known separation date? Yes
How far away is my known separation date? 1 - 59 days
When must I submit my service treatment records to VA? At the time claim is submitted
When and where must I complete all phases of my VA/DoD medical separation examination process? At your point of separation, prior to release from the military
When may I apply? If you meet all of the requirements above, you may apply for Quick Start 1-59 days prior to separation.
*Quick Start allows National Guard or Reserve members attending demobilization briefings to file a claim and leave the area where the VA disability claim was submitted. Those unable to complete the application before separation can submit a claim through the traditional claims process after separation.

How to Apply

To file a pre-discharge claim under Quick Start, do one of the following:

  • Submit your application online using eBenefits and follow the instructions about where to submit your service treatment records
  • Complete the VA Form 21-526EZ, Application for Disability Compensation and Related Compensation Benefits, and submit it with copies of your service treatment records to the VA location nearest you.
  • Call VA toll free at 1-800-827-1000 to have the claim form mailed to you
  • Visit your local VA regional office. For the VA regional office nearest you, call VA toll-free at 1-800-827-1000.

For More Information

If you are on a military installation, contact your local Transition Assistance Office or ACAP Center (Army only) to schedule appointments to attend VA benefits briefings and learn how to initiate your claim. You can also call the VA toll-free at 1-800-827-1000.