What is the VA Benefits Delivery at Discharge Program?

VA Benefits Delivery at Discharge Program

As many service members prepare to leave the military, they want to know, “What is the VA Benefits Delivery at Discharge program (BDD)? And how does it work?”

Data from the last U.S. census shows that 19.6% of all veterans have a service-connected disability. Most of these are reported to the VA within the first year of military discharge. 

This, in turn, means that most of these veterans were suffering from their service-connected disability while still in service. Because of this, the VA instituted the Benefits Delivery at Discharge program with the goal of ensuring veterans who have recently been discharged from the military would get their benefits at an accelerated rate as compared to those who apply for benefits later. 

What is the VA Benefits Delivery at Discharge Program?

Simply put, the VA BDD program allows service members to apply for VA disability compensation benefits before they are discharged from the military. 

In order to take advantage of this program, you must apply by filing a claim between 180 days (6 months) to 90 days (3 months) before separating from the military. In other words, the VA is asking that you look to file when you are about 6 months away from getting out.

VA Benefits Delivery at Discharge Program
You will have to apply between 180 and 90 days of discharge

By allowing you to file before discharge, the VA is provided time to schedule exams, review your treatment/medical records, and evaluate your claim. As a result, most of those who take advantage of the BDD program receive the decision about their claim the day after leaving active duty!

That gives service-members who take advantage of the BDD program a significant advantage, as most veterans wait 80 days for a decision over their claim (as of the latest data). 

By using the VA benefits Delivery at Discharge program,  you could receive your benefits almost immediately.

Am I Eligible for the VA Benefits Delivery at Discharge Program? 

For a service member to be eligible, you must:

  • Know the date of separation from active duty
  • Present a copy of your service treatment record
  • File your claim between 180 and 90 days prior to separation (Claims filed 89 days or less before discharge will be processed the same as other disability claims)
  • Make yourself available for 45 days after submitting your claim to attend exams
VA Benefits Delivery at Discharge Program

There are other specific exclusions, depending on certain issues and conditions. Those exclusions are:

  • Not meeting the criteria listed above
  • Claims that require a VA exam in a foreign country (unless it can be processed in Landstuhl, Germany or Camp Humphries, Korea)
  • Claims for pregnant servicewomen
  • Claims that require a character of discharge determination
  • Claims for those hospitalized in a VA or military treatment facility while awaiting discharge
  • Claims that require case management, for example, service members who might be:
    • Seriously ill or injured
    • Terminally ill
    • Missing a body part
  • Not being able to attend a VA exam during the 45 days after submitting your claim
  • Adding a medical condition to the original claim with less than 90 days left on active duty (the added conditions may, however, be added after discharge)

While that may seem restrictive, the truth is that the vast majority of service-members will be eligible to participate in the VA BDD program. 

What is the Process to Apply for the BDD Program?

You will need to begin by submitting your disability claim. You will also need to submit your service treatment records and all of the following information:

  • All personnel and other records documenting injuries, illnesses or events that add to your service-related disability
  • Dental records
  • Mental health records, if applicable
  • Birth certificate, including those for your spouse and any dependent children if you are married and/or a parent
  • Marriage certificate or Divorce decree, if applicable
  • Direct deposit information for automatic transfer of benefit payments (bank account number, name of financial institution, routing number)
  • Buddy statements, if applicable
  • DD Form 214 Member-4 or Service-2 copy for all periods of service
VA Benefits Delivery at Discharge Program

The fastest way to send an application is through eBenefits, the VA’s online benefits portal. It can be accessed by going to https://www.ebenefits.va.gov. If you have electronic service treatment records, you will want to get in touch with your local Benefits Delivery at Discharge site to learn how to send those records securely. 

You may also choose to fill out VA Form 21-526EZ, the “Application for Disability Compensation and Related Compensation Benefits.” Mail your completed form to:

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

Choosing the mailing route will be slower, so filing through the eBenefits portal is recommended for the fastest turnaround time. 

Encouraging Info About the Benefits Delivery at Discharge Program

The most recent data released by the VA regarding the BDD Program shows more than 36,000 service members took advantage of BDD in 2018.

Of those, 53% received a decision within 30 days of their claims. In early 2019 the numbers increased to 57.7% receiving that quick decision.

Imagine the security of knowing you will already have your benefits coming so soon after discharge from military service. That is the true value of the BDD Program! 

Other Benefits Available Pre-Discharge

The VA Benefits Delivery at Discharge program is only one of the many benefits available to you before you leave your time in military service. 

VA Benefits Delivery at Discharge Program
Take the time to learn all the benefits available before discharge

While you are still in service you can begin your application for Education Benefits. For instance, you can begin to manage your GI Bill benefits in preparation to attend college or a training program. Applying for these benefits is possible while still enlisted. 

Housing assistance is also available to you while still in service. You can go through the application process with the VA to see if you qualify for a guaranteed home loan or even a housing grant. This can help you begin your journey of living more independently with a service-connected disability. 

The military also provides benefits for you to recover from having a service-connected disability that limits your ability to work by providing Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment benefits and services. You can begin to take advantage of these before discharge. 

These VR&E benefits will help you discover options of employment for when you leave the military, as well as provide additional training if you need it. 

File a Winning VA Disability Claim

The VA Benefits Delivery at Discharge program delivers numerous benefits, including the ability to file a VA disability claim early. 

But you still have to file a winning claim

In order to take full advantage of the BDD program, you will want to file a comprehensive and well-prepared claim. By doing things right the first time, you have a much better chance of getting the disability rating you deserve for better disability compensation. 

Here at VA Claims Insider, we have a team of experts ready to assist you in putting together a claim you can be confident about. We want to see you get the most out of your disability claim.

If you are interested in getting ELITE level help for your claim, click HERE to get signed up today!

📣 Want to help even more Veterans? Please CLICK AN ICON ABOVE and "SHARE" this post on Social Media! Thank You! 🚀


Hi Veterans, how would you like to learn 3 VA disability claim SECRETS from actual VA Rating Officials, aka, the people who determine your final VA rating?

Brian Reese here, USAF 100% disabled veteran, and founder of VA Claims Insider.

Part of the reason we call ourselves VA Claims “INSIDER” is because we get access to information that nobody else does…

In my brand-new 30-minute video training you’ll hear from “Actual VA Raters Who Reveal 3 VA Claim SECRETS (Learn What the VA Doesn’t Want You to Know…)”

Are you finally ready to get the VA disability rating and compensation YOU deserve?

Enter your email address below for immediate FREE access to the training:

Recent Posts

Follow Us

Easy VA Claims to Win!

How to File a Claim on VA.gov (step-by-step)!

How to Get a 100 Percent VA Rating (if deserved)!

Dear Veteran, here’s the brutal truth about VA disability claims:

According to our data, 8/10 (80%) of veterans reading this message right now are underrated by the VA…

This means you do NOT currently have the VA disability rating and compensation YOU deserve, and you could be missing out on thousands of dollars of tax-free compensation and benefits each month.

As a fellow disabled Veteran this is shameful and I’m on a mission to change it.

Brian Reese here, Air Force service-disabled Veteran and Founder @ VA Claims Insider.

Since 2016, VA Claims Insider has helped thousands of Veterans just like you get the VA rating and compensation they deserve in less time.

If accepted into our ELITE membership program, you’ll get free up-front access and permission to use $13,119 worth of proprietary VA claim resources, including access to our network of independent medical professionals for medical examinations, disability evaluations, and credible Medical Nexus Letters, which could help you get a HIGHER VA rating in LESS time.

It’s FREE to get started, so click “Go Elite Now” below to complete our 3-step intake process.

STEP #1: Complete Basic Information
STEP #2: Sign Members Agreement
STEP #3: Join the Mastermind Group

If you’re stuck, frustrated, underrated, and currently rated between 0%-90%, VA Claims Insider Elite is for you!

Click “Go Elite Now” below to get started today and a member of our team will be in touch within minutes.

*Website Disclaimer*

VA Claims Insider, LLC is NOT an accredited agent, VSO, attorney, or entity recognized by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and is not affiliated with the VA in any way. VA Claims Insider, LLC does NOT assist veterans with the preparation, presentation, and prosecution of VA disability claims for VA benefits. Veterans shall prepare and file their own claim or work with an accredited representative, many of which offer services for FREE. Veterans may search for and appoint an accredited VSO by clicking HERE. Veterans may also search and find Accredited Attorneys and Claims Agents by clicking HERE. By using this website or VA Claims Insider, LLC’s Mastery or Elite program, you acknowledge that there are completely FREE services available to assist veterans with VA disability claims for VA benefits. Veterans always have the option to utilize the free services provided by entities such as National Service Organizations (e.g., DAV, VFW, AMVETS, American Legion, among many others), Service Organizations, State Sponsored Veteran Service Officers, and/or the paid services of VA accredited agents or attorneys. Utilization of VA Claims Insider, LLC’s website or services is NOT required to submit a claim for VA disability benefits, and you may achieve a positive VA disability claim outcome with these other free or paid organizations. Information listed on this website, including but not limited to, success percentages, disability rating increases, and processing timelines are averages and not specific to any one claim. VA Claims Insider, LLC MAKES NO GUARANTEE OF RESULTS BY USING THIS WEBSITE OR OUR SERVICES, AND YOUR INDIVIDUAL RESULTS MAY VARY. Under no circumstances does VA Claims Insider, LLC, provide medical or legal advice. This website is solely for marketing purposes and contains no medical or legal advice. The VA Claims Insider® name and logo are registered trademarks of VA Claims Insider, LLC.