Pre-Discharge Program helps New Vets Move from Servicemember to Veteran

The purpose of the Pre-Discharge program is to speed the process for veterans who are going to be applying for VA benefits upon their discharge.  Often, working with this program greatly simplifies the processes that have to be gone through, and removes the confusion that often accompanies a benefits application.  A servicemember can apply for disability compensation and other benefits as early as 180 days prior to separation.

Benefits Delivery at Discharge

BDD is a special application of the Pre-Discharge Program, and is available to all active duty CONUS servicemembers (those stationed within the States.).  Offices in Germany and South Korea are also able to accept applications for BDD.  The purpose of participation in BDD is to further speed the receipt of benefits, with the target of getting initial payments to the new veteran within two months of separation.

To participate in the BDD program, servicemembers must meet the following criteria.

1. have at least 60 days, but not more than 180 days, remaining on active duty.
2. know date of separation or retirement
3. have service treatment records, originals or photocopies, though because you are not going to get these back, it is always recommended to provide copies, as you may need the originals at a later date.
4. be able to complete all necessary examinations prior to date of separation.

For those who cannot complete all required examinations before separation, there is still the option of Quick Start.  The criteria for Quick Start are much less stringent:

1. have at least one day remaining on active duty.
2. know date of separation or retirement.
3. have service treatment records, originals or photocopies, again photocopies are highly recommended.  Keep your originals if at all possible.

The easiest way to begin the Pre-Discharge Program process is to download VA Form 21-256c, fill it out and send it to the VA nearest you along with your service treatment records.  To apply for BDD or Quick Start online, visit the VONAPP webportal.


Photo thanks to ToddMorris under creative common license on Flickr.



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