After you file your application for disability benefits from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), it’s normal to want a decision as soon as possible. However, you will need to be patient. As of June 2021, the average time it takes for the VA to issue a decision on VA benefits is 134.4 days. If your application is denied and you want to complete the appeals process, it will take approximately 125 days for a Supplemental Claim or Higher-Level Review and more than one year for a Board Hearing.
Ways to Speed up the Process
If you would like to access your benefits as soon as possible, there are a few steps you can take to avoid unnecessary delays:
- Make your initial claim or file for an increased rating as soon as you believe you qualify. Don’t wait to see if your condition will improve or if you can manage financially without VA disability benefits.
- Include all secondary service-connected disabilities with your initial application instead of trying to add them at a later date.
- Pay attention to all filing deadlines and submit any documentation requested by the VA as quickly as possible.
- Don’t resubmit evidence or submit irrelevant evidence. This will only delay the VA’s decision-making process.
- Work with an attorney to make sure your application or appeal contains all of the necessary evidence and makes a sound legal argument.
- Request a priority review if you are experiencing financial distress, diagnosed with a serious illness, or have extenuating circumstances that would justify an Advanced on Docket status. (If you are 75 years of age or older, you will automatically receive a priority review.)
Checking the Status of Your Claim
You can check the status of your disability application or appeal at any time. Visit the VA website, and sign in with your DS Logon, My HealtheVet, or ID.me account. Or, you can call the VA’s national toll-free phone number at 800.827.1000 for assistance.
Do You Need to Speak With a Veterans Benefits Lawyer?
If you need to speak with an experienced veterans benefits lawyer, please contact us online, or call our Virginia Beach office to schedule your free consultation. We have offices throughout Virginia, including Chesapeake, Newport News, Norfolk, and Suffolk.