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How Long After Separation Can You File a VA Claim?

va claim separation

If you were discharged months or even years ago, and you have a condition, illness, or disability that you consider to be connected to your service in the military, you may be wondering how long after separation you can file a claim with the VA. Fortunately, you do not have to wonder any longer. In the guide below, we will review these time frames so you can better understand whether you can still collect VA benefits.

The Time Limitations Involved 

There are no time limitations on filing for VA disability after service. Sometimes, symptoms of certain conditions may not appear until years later, and some Veterans may not immediately realize that their condition is related to their service. That is why there is no deadline or statute of limitation for a condition caused or worsened by a person’s time in service.

However, this does not mean you should wait if you believe your symptoms or condition are related to your service. Why? Because you do not want to miss out on benefits. Although the VA offers back pay, it usually only goes back to a specific date. In addition, when you delay filing, obtaining the specific records you will need to establish your claim may be challenging.

Filing a Claim Before Discharge

According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, if you have a service-connected condition, you can pursue a claim for disability benefits 90 to 180 days before you leave the military. This often helps speed up the claim process so individuals can get their benefits sooner.

However, if there are less than 90 days left of military service, you will not be able to file a pre-discharge claim or include further medical conditions to the initial pre-discharge claim. Instead, you can start the process of filing your claim, but it will be processed once you are discharged. 

Are There Discharge Requirements?

Another thing to keep in mind is that the type of discharge you receive can impact your eligibility for VA benefits. Generally, most Veterans with qualifying medical conditions can receive VA benefits. However, if you were dishonorably discharged, you may not be eligible for these benefits. Additionally, the type of discharge you receive can affect your eligibility for other veteran programs such as home loans, education, and pension benefits.

Contact the Veterans Benefit Group of Goodman Allen Donnelly Today and Fight for the Benefits You Deserve

Although you can file a VA claim years after you leave active duty, this does not mean that it will be approved. More importantly, if you receive a denial or partial denial, you will have deadlines for filing an appeal or a supplemental claim. Thankfully, you do not have to tackle this appeal process alone. 

At the Veterans Benefit Group of Goodman Allen Donnelly, our team specializes exclusively in appeals, and we are ready to fight on your behalf and pursue the benefits you deserve. For further information about the appeals process, contact us today.