Although the process for initiating a claim for veteran’s disability benefits has become quicker and more streamlined over the past decade, recent changes to the program now prevent veterans from applying for benefits before leaving their branch of service. Under the former “quick start” process, veterans could start the claim process if they had 59 days or fewer left to serve. The Department of Veterans Affairs phased out the “quick start” program in 2017.

The successor program is called “Decision Ready Claims.” Under this new system, however, you can’t initiate a claim until after you leave the service. Although the processing time for service-connected disability claims remains better than it was over a decade ago, these recent changes to the claims process create the potential for delays in getting you the financial and medical benefits you need and deserve.

Although the current average processing time of 250 days is less than half what it once was, those eight months of waiting for benefits can be excruciating. If the claim is further delayed for any reason, such as an error in the application, it could be disastrous. It is therefore important to get the claims process going as soon as possible and get it right the first time.

If you were injured while serving in the military, an attorney with extensive experience in the VA benefits process can help to cut through the confusing claims bureaucracy. Visit our page dedicated to service-connected disability benefits to learn how we can help you through the application and/or appeals process and get you the medical and financial assistance you deserve.