If you have a disability, illness, or condition that you believe is tied to your military service, and you were discharged months or even years ago, then you may want to know how long after separation can you file a VA claim. This is where your friends at Tabak Law come in to help you out. We have years of experience in veteran law and can even provide you with a free case review. Let’s get into this topic and help you learn your rights and the time frames involved when trying to collect VA benefits.
Is It Ever Too Late for You to File for VA Disability?
There is no time limit to how long after your service you can file for VA disability benefits. Some conditions may take a while to have symptoms surface while still others might not be immediately understood as being tied to your service.
However, there are multiple reasons why you will not want to wait even if you only suspect that your condition or symptoms that you are experiencing were tied to your service. The first is that you don’t want to leave unclaimed benefits on the table. Though the VA does provide back pay, it typically only goes back to the date that your claim was filed unless you filed within one year of discharge.
Additionally, the longer you wait, the harder it will be to collect the necessary medical records that you need to prove your claim and its connected status. Though there is no time limit, there are certain time frames that you will want to be aware of.
Can You File a Claim Before Discharge?
Yes, you can. If you have 80-90 days left of active duty, you can file through the Benefits Delivery at Discharge program also known as BDD. This can actually help speed up your claim and ensure that you get your benefits as soon as possible after your discharge.
If you have less than 90 days left on active duty, you can still file your claim however it will not go through the BDD program and will instead be processed as a normal claim after your discharge.
As mentioned before, if symptoms do develop within a year of discharge, it’s important that you file your claim as soon as possible because, within one year of discharge, your effective date will be your discharge date instead of the date that you filed which will increase your potential for back pay.
Discharge Requirements for VA Disability
Something else that you should be aware of when seeking VA benefits is the nature of your discharge. Most veterans will be able to collect VA benefits if they have a condition that qualifies. However, if you were dishonorably discharged, you will not qualify for those benefits. Many other veterans programs are also affected in different ways by the nature of your discharge including pension benefits, education benefits like the GI Bill, and home loan benefits.
Seek Legal Help With Your Veterans Benefit Claim
If you need legal help with your VA benefits claim, then look no further than Tabak Law. We have years of experience helping veterans get the benefits that they deserve and you can get started with us through a free case review today! Don’t let a denial letter be the end of the road for your veterans benefits claim, fight back with Tabak.
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