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VA Decision Ready Claims Program

The Decision Ready Claims (DRC) program is the fastest way to get your VA claim processed. Find out if you can use the DRC program to get a decision on your claim in 30 days or less by working with an accredited Veterans Service Organization (VSO).

What types of disability compensation claims can be filed through the Decision Ready Claims program?

Right now, you can file these types of claims through the Decision Ready Claims program:

  • Direct service connection claim for a condition that began during your military service or was caused by an event while serving
  • Presumptive service connection claim for a condition that we believe is related to your military service even if there’s no direct evidence of a link
  • Secondary service connection claim for a condition caused or made worse by your service-connected disability
  • Increased disability claim for an existing service-connected condition that you have medical evidence to show has gotten worse
  • Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) claim as the eligible surviving spouse of a Veteran
  • Pre-discharge claim for disability compensation as a Servicemember who has less than 90 days before your separation from military service

Note: We’re working to expand the DRC program to include more types of claims. Come back soon, or check with your VSO, to find out about updates.


Can I file my disability compensation claim through the Decision Ready Claims program?

You can file a Decision Ready Claim if you meet all of the requirements listed below.

All of these must be true:

  • You’re filing one of the claim types listed above, and
  • You’ve already filed a VA claim and received a rating decision from us on that claim (unless you’re filing a pre-discharge or DIC claim), and
  • None of the exclusions listed below apply to you

What exclusions disqualify me from being able to file my claim through the Decision Ready Claims program?

You can’t file your claim through the Decision Ready Claims program if any of the exclusions listed below apply to you.

Exclusions for all Decision Ready Claims

None of these can be true. You can’t file:

  • A claim for a condition that’s already been denied, or
  • A claim for a disability you got during an earlier period of active duty for training or inactive duty for training, unless you’re a Servicemember filing a VA claim before discharge, or
  • A claim for pension benefits, or
  • For Chapter 18 (Spina Bifida) or any other birth defects for dependent children, or
  • A restricted access claim (includes VBA employees, relatives of VBA employees, National Service Officers, or high-ranking government officials), or
  • A direct service connection DRC for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury (TBI), Camp Lejeune contaminated water (CLCW), and conditions related to mustard gas or as a former prisoner of war (FPOW)
    Exception: Pre-discharge claims involving PTSD and/or TBI may be processed under the Decision Ready Claims program if an in-service diagnosis has been documented on examination.

And none of these can be true. You can’t be:

  • Waiting for a decision on a pending disability claim, unless the claim was submitted via the Benefits Delivery at Discharge (BDD) program, or
  • Currently appealing the condition you want to file a DRC for, or
  • Claiming individual unemployability, or
  • Seeking special monthly pension benefits, or
  • Seeking only special monthly compensation, or
  • Submitting a Decision Ready Claims application without a Veteran signature

And none of these can be true. You can’t be:

  • Rated at 100% for your condition, or
  • An incarcerated Veteran, or
  • Living outside the U.S.

Check more exclusions for certain claim types

  • You can’t file your pre-discharge claim through the DRC program if any of the below factors are true for you.

    None of these can be true. You can’t file a claim if:

    • Your claim involves one or more of the exclusions in the lists above, or
    • You have more than 90 days left on active duty (unless you already have a pending BDD claim), or
    • You’re currently enrolled in IDES, waiting to be discharged from a VA hospital or military treatment facility, or pregnant, or
    • You need a character of discharge determination, or
    • You’re filing a claim for a condition you had before you entered military service that got worse during your service or was noted when you entered (unless you provide baseline evidence of the severity of the condition before you entered service)
  • You can’t file your DIC claim through the DRC program if any of the below factors are true for you.

    None of these can be true. You can’t file a:

    • Claim for parents’ DIC, or
    • Burial claim (unless it’s submitted with a DRC-eligible DIC claim)

How do I file a DRC?

You’ll need to follow the steps below. When you work with an accredited VSO and provide all the needed evidence with your application, you can get a decision on your claim in 30 days or less.

  1. Appoint and work with an accredited VSO
    Accredited VSOs are fully trained on the DRC program. They can help you determine if a DRC is right for you.
    Go to eBenefits to find a VSO near you.
  2. Gather all relevant evidence needed to support your claim
    This includes your federal and medical records as well as any related Disability Benefits Questionnaires (DBQs). Your VSO will help you gather everything you need.
  3. Attend a VA claim exam if needed
    Your VSO can request a VA claim exam for you. This exam is sometimes called a compensation and pension (C&P) exam. You'll then work with a VA partner to quickly schedule an exam at a time that works best for you. The results of your exam can be included along with your application.
  4. Submit your claim
    Your VSO will check to make sure your application includes all the needed information and will help you submit your claim online. Giving us all the relevant evidence when you submit your DRC allows us to send your claim directly to a VA Rating Specialist for a decision.

When can I expect a decision on my DRC?

You can expect a decision within 30 days or less from the time you submit your claim.

More questions about the Decision Ready Claims program