Types of VA disability claims and when to file

Find out when you can first file a claim for service-connected benefits — and what to do if you want to request more benefits or have new evidence to support a claim that was denied in the past.

You can still file a claim and apply for benefits during the coronavirus pandemic

Get the latest information about in-person services, claim exams, extensions, paperwork, decision reviews and appeals, and how best to contact the VA during this time.
See the VAs coronavirus FAQs

Learn when to file claims

  • Original claim—file your first claim for disability compensation.
  • Increased claim—file a claim for more compensation for a disability that the VA has already determined to be service connected and that’s gotten worse.
  • New claim—file a claim for added benefits or other benefit requests related to an existing service-connected disability.
  • Secondary service-connected claim—file a claim for a new disability that’s linked to a service-connected disability you already have.
  • Special claim—file a claim for special needs linked to your service-connected disability.
  • Supplemental Claim—provide new evidence to support a disability claim that was denied.

Programs to help speed up your claim decision

Pre-discharge claim

If you have 180 to 90 days left on active duty, find out how to file a disability claim through the Benefits Delivery at Discharge (BDD) program to get your benefits sooner.

Fully developed disability claims

Find out how to use the Fully Developed Claims program to get a faster decision on your disability benefits claim by submitting your evidence (supporting documents) along with your claim.

This information has been provided by the U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs and is available, along with other important information about veteran benefits, on their site at va.gov.

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