Benefits Delivery at Discharge Fact Sheet

The Military Family Network

November 7, 2008 – If you are separating from active duty within the next 60 to 180 days, BDD can help you receive VA disability benefits sooner.

What Is Benefits Delivery at Discharge (BDD)?
The Benefits Delivery at Discharge (BDD) Program allows a servicemember to apply for disability compensation benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) prior to retirement or separation from military service.

How Can BDD Help Me?
BDD is offered to accelerate receipt of VA disability benefits, with a goal of providing benefits within 60 days after release or discharge from active duty. BDD allows a servicemember with at least 60 days, but not more than 180 days, remaining on active duty to file a VA disability claim prior to separation. BDD requires a minimum of 60 days to allow sufficient time to complete the medical examination process (which may involve multiple specialty clinics) prior to separation from service.

How Do I Get Started?
Submit VA Form 21-526, Veteran’s Application for Compensation and/or Pension, and submit it to the nearest VA Regional Office. You can also complete your application on-line at VA’s website ( using the Veterans Online Application (VONAPP). For the VA Regional Office nearest you, call the VA toll free number at 1-800-827-1000. Submit your service treatment records. Either your original records or copies are acceptable. Attend and complete all phases of your VA/DoD medical separation examination process.

Where Can I Get An Application?
VA Form 21-526 can be downloaded from the VA website at An on-line application can also be submitted on that website using the Veterans Online Application (VONAPP). You may also call VA toll free at 1-800-827-1000 to have a claim form mailed to you. Remember, to fully participate in the BDD Program, you must submit VA Form 21-526, along with a copy of your service treatment records (or original), and be available to attend and complete all phases of the VA/DoD medical separation examination.

What Else Should I Know?
BDD is a time-sensitive process. To receive your VA disability benefits within the goal of 60 days following separation, you must submit your claim 60 to 180 days prior to your release or retirement from active duty. This time is needed to complete your medical examinations before you leave your point of separation. If you are closer than 60 days to separation from service, you can submit a Quick Start claim. Call the VA today at 1-800-827-1000 to learn about this process and get started.

How Can I Get 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 number, 1-800-827-1000. Be sure to visit for 24/7 access to helpful pre-separation and transition guides; employment, education, and relocation information, benefits checklist; and more.

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