For veterans that have never filed, the VA has three programs for disability compensation. Which program you file under will be determined by where you are at in your transition at time of filing.
A step a veteran can take when they know they will not be able to submit a claim under the BDD program timeline of no more of 180 days and no less than 90 days of separation. If the veteran files a claim or an intent to file within 1 year of separation, the effective date can be locked to the day after separation. If not the effective date will be the day the claim is received by the VA. An effective date will establish the date the veteran was eligible to receive benefits.
For Intent to File website: Click Here
Go online through eBenefits at www.ebenefits.va.gov. Use the support of a VSO through the Stakeholder Enterprise Portal. You must follow this process:
Mail paper VA Form 21-0966, “Intent to File a Claim for Compensation and/or Pension, or Survivors Pension and/or DIC.” You can access this form at: Click Here
Over the phone or in person:
Locate a Veteran Service Organization (VSO) to assist you in your claim process:https://www.va.gov/ogc/apps/accreditation/index.asp
It's simple to apply. Remember, for faster processing, it is important to have copies of all your Service Treatment Records (STRs) to submit with your claim.