After You Apply for Disability Benefits

Find out what happens to your claim after you apply for disability benefits.

How long does it take VA to make a decision?

121.8 days Average time to process disability-related claims in February 2017

The amount of time it takes to review your claim depends on:

  • The type of claim you filed
  • How many injuries or disabilities you claimed and how complex they are
  • How long it takes us to collect the evidence needed to decide your claim

What should I do while I wait?

You don’t need to do anything unless we send you a letter asking for more information. If we schedule any exams for you, be sure not to miss them. You can check the status of your claim online. The time frame you see there may vary based on how complex your claim is.

Track the Status of Your Claim


What happens after I apply?

  1. Claim Received

    You’ll see a notice from us in your claims list within about 1 hour if you applied online with VONAPP Direct Connect. If you applied through the U.S. mail, you’ll need to allow for mailing time plus 1 week before you get a note telling you we have your claim.

  2. Initial Review

    A Veterans Service Representative (VSR) will review your claim. It’ll move to step 3 if we don’t need any more evidence to support it.

  3. Evidence Gathering, Review, and Decision

    During this step, the VSR will do 3 things:

    • Ask for evidence from you, health care providers, governmental agencies, or others
    • Review the evidence
    • Make a decision

    If we need more evidence during the review, your claim may return to this step more than once.

  4. Preparation for Notification

    We’ll get your entire claim decision packet ready to be mailed.

  5. Claim Complete

    We’ll send you a packet by U.S. mail that includes details of the decision on your claim. Please allow 7 to 10 business days for your packet to arrive before contacting a VA call center.

What should I do if I disagree with your decision on my claim?

If you disagree with our decision, you can appeal it. The decision notice will have instructions on how to file an appeal. File an appeal now.