What is a Pre-discharge Claim, and What are The Types of Disability Claims?

Filing for VA disability claim assistance can be a constant challenge for many veterans, as it is most often a tedious and lengthy process.

To avoid undergoing this hassle, some veterans apply for VA claim assistance before their date of discharge through a Veterans Affair Benefits Delivery at Discharge program, otherwise known as the VA BDD program, that supports veterans in their application for a pre-discharge claim.

Types of Disability Claims

To completely understand the process for a pre-discharge disability claim, we can look at the different types of disability claims and potentially help you navigate it during your application for a pre-mature discharge claim if you need to request more benefits. Additionally, you can check out our VA disability claims assistance page for more thorough coaching on pre-discharge claims for veterans.

Disability Claims Type 1: Original Claim

The VA regards your first claim as the original claim, which allows you to file a claim within 90–180 days (about 6 months) before you leave the service, warranting a pre-discharge claim for veterans, which the VA will require you to apply for through the BDD program. These can either be due to separation, retirement, or release from active duty.

However, if you have less than 90 days (about 3 months) left on active duty, the VA will not allow you to file your claim through a BDD VA program. You can file your claim before discharge, but the procedure after separation is considered a standard disability claim.

Disability Claims Type 2: Increased Claim

The increased claim refers to additional disability compensation for aggravated service-connected injuries or conditions.

The VA will mandate that you submit updated medical evidence or, in some cases, a VA personal statement, which can be critical when you require a positive response to your claim.

Disability Claims Type 3: New Claim

The difference between a new claim and an increased claim is that it is separate from any aggravated injuries you incur during military service.

Decisions on new claims depend on the new evidence and documents, which can appear in the form of a doctor’s report or a medical test result.

It is important to understand that the VA will only consider new evidence that you provide to support a specific claim. The VA will reject or not consider any other evidence that you may have previously submitted.

Disability Claims Type 4: Secondary Service Connected-Claim

An injury that develops from a service-connected injury is known as a secondary service-connected claim.

Examples of these are when veterans develop arthritis due to a service-connected knee injury, a heart disease caused by hypertension, or high blood pressure, which the VA determines is connected to active service.

Disability Claims Type 5: Special Claim

Special claims refer to compensation granted to veterans who have special needs. Benefits include:

  • Automobile allowance and adaptive equipment
  • Birth defects
  • Temporary payments are available for veterans recovering from surgery, provided that the surgery is related to their service.
    • Alternatively, they received other treatments that rendered them immovable.
  • Additional compensation due to injuries sustained during military service.

Disability Claims Type 6: Supplemental Claim

Supplemental claims if the VA has decided on your claim in the past that you disagree with.

This can be achieved if the VA has already decided on your claim or if your claim isn’t contested.

And you have to at least have new and relevant evidence that you can submit, or a new law will be implemented, giving you a chance to review your claim.

One of the examples of this is if you receive treatment for elbow pain during active duty but are denied disability benefits since the VA concluded that there is no problem. However, a couple of years later, an X-ray or a medical checkup for your elbow confirmed that you have arthritis, for which the VA will grant you a supplemental claim.

Availing Pre-Discharge Claim

On the original claim, the VA allows you to apply for VA claims benefits through a BDD if you have 180 to 90 days (about 3 months) left on duty, which is considered a military pre-discharge claim or VA pre-discharge claim as it gives you more chances of acquiring VA claims benefits than the standard claim.

In this process, it is crucial to have the following:

  • Knowing when your separation date
    • You can file a pre-discharge disability claim between 90 and 180 days (about 6 months) before separation.
  • Availability for a medical examination after filing
  • Service treatment records

However, most active service members are stationed in different countries, making it difficult for them to take advantage of pre-discharge claims.

Should you find yourself stationed in the United States,

Department of Veterans Affairs

Claims Intake Center

PO Box 4444

Janesville, WI 53547-4444

  • You can also submit your application in person by bringing it to the VA regional office closest to you.
  • By Fax:
    • You can send it to 844-531-7818.

If you are in Asia Pacific, send an application to the Visitor Engagement Reporting Application (VERA) website – Asia Pacific, or send an email to [email protected].

If you are in Europe, Africa, or the Middle East, you can contact the Landstuhl BDD Office in Germany and schedule an appointment through the VERA website, or send them an email at [email protected].

You can also seek our disability claims coaching services, which will provide you with the correct information on how to process your VA claims and obtain the most appropriate rating for you to receive your appropriate compensation package. Feel free to book a free strategy call and contact our veteran coaches directly. You may also visit our VA claims assistance page for more information.

DISCLAIMER : Just4Veterans LLC is NOT an accredited agent, attorney, entity or VSO recognized by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and is not affiliated with the VA in any way. Veterans shall prepare and file their own claim with an accredited representative, who may offer their services for FREE. Veterans may search for and appoint an accredited VSO.