Separate service members wishing for disability benefits may apply through the Veterans Affairs (VA) Benefits Delivery at Discharge (BDD) program before departure. The BDD program enables service members to apply for VA disability benefits 180 to 90 days before departure. This time frame allows the VA to schedule exams, review service treatment records, and evaluate the application before leaving, allowing the VA to decide as soon as possible, sometimes the day after leaving active service.
Program Requirements To qualify for benefits delivery at discharge, service members must:
- Know your departure dates,
- Submit complaints 180 to 90 days before departure.
- When filing a claim, provide a copy of the Service Treatment Records (STR) for the current length of service.
- Be available 45 days from the date you apply to take the VA exams.
The following problems and conditions are excluded from BDD claims:
- Service members who do not meet the above requirements or who:
- Seriously ill or injured
- lost a part of the body
- terminally ill
- are required for service members awaiting discharge while hospitalized at a military or VA treatment facility.
- Complaints about pregnant service members.
- Requests that are needed for the eviction detection character.
Who Is Exempt From The BDD Program?
Several factors prevent a service member from using the benefits delivery at discharge. These exceptions are:
- It does not meet any of the above requirements
- Having a serious illness or injury that prevents you from carrying out your daily activities
- being terminally ill
- Illness or injury resulting in loss of the limb
- Overseas assignments in Germany or Korea that prevent you from joining the VA
- Be hospitalized at the VA or military treatment facility
- Requests that require the eviction detection character
If any of these conditions apply, you must apply through a different program, depending on your situation.
What Else Should You Know?
Service members who do not meet BDD requirements can file a claim through the Full Enhanced Claims program or the Standard Claims Process. As you prepare to migrate, you will likely want a complete set of your STRs for your records and submit it to the VA as part of your BDD request.
As appropriate, copies of STRs should include:
- Physical military enlistment and all periodic health assessments
- Inpatient and outpatient records
- Military and private medical documents
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI) record.
- Behavior Health records
If your medical records determine that you are ineligible to apply for benefits delivery at discharge, contact the nearest Military Treatment Facility (MTF) to obtain your leave health assessment.
Additional Benefits Available
There are other VA benefits that a veteran can benefit from after discharge. Education benefits pay for tuition, fees, housing, and other expenses, depending on the specific portion of the GI Bill benefits. Eligible veterans can apply for housing benefits such as the VA Home Loan program or home improvement scholarships.