The maximum time it can take for a VA disability claim to be approved

If you are a US Army veteran, this is the maximum time you will have to wait for a disability claim to be approved.


Service to the nation is an honorable feat, even if it resulted in injury or sickness. To commemorate this, the US Department of Veteran Affairs offers monthly tax-free payment to injured veterans as VA disability compensation. 

While the application process for this compensation is usually pretty seamless and straightforward if done right, the time it takes for a claim to be approved can be a matter of concern. 

Eligibility for VA Disability Benefits 

Having a service-connected condition automatically makes you eligible for VA disability compensation. A service-connected illness includes any physical or mental injury that was caused by, or got worse during active military service. 

Starting from March 5, 2024, The PACT ACT grants veteran survivors of burn pits and other toxic experiences eligibility to the VA disability compensation. 

However, if you received a dishonorable discharge, other than honorable or bad conduct, you may not be eligible for VA disability compensation. 

How to File a VA Disability Claim 

You can file for disability benefits online with a VA Form 21-526EZ, by fax, via the mail, or in person at any VA regional office near you. 

To file a disability claim, first ensure you are eligible for VA disability compensation. Then, fill out your claim and submit the necessary documents. Some documents needed to support your claim and get approval include; 

  • VA medical records and hospital records
  • Private medical records and hospital reports
  • Supporting statements from family members, friends, clergy members, law enforcement personnel, or fellow veterans. 

If you’re unable to navigate you can seek the help of a trained professional or a Veterans Service Organization (VSO) representative.

Maximum Time for Approval of VA Disability Claim

As at April 2024, the number of days to complete a disability-related claim is 155.5 days. 

However, according to the U.S. Injury and Disability Law Centre, this approval might take months to a year or even longer.

However, the duration of disability claims approval depends on factors like; 

  • The type of claims filed 
  • The number and complexity of injuries or disabilities claimed 
  • The time needed to collect evidence needed to decide your claim

The process of approving a VA disability claim usually involves 5 steps; 

  • Receipt of claim confirmed by an on-screen message after you submit your form, if you filled your claim online. Or a letter acknowledging receipt of claim about 1 week after filing, if you sent your claim via mail.
  • Initial review of claim 
  • Gathering of evidence, reviewing submitted documents and making a decision. If your submitted evidence is insufficient, this step might take longer than usual. 
  • Sending out notification of claim decision via mail.
  • This final step involves receipt of details of decision on your claim. 

You can consistently check your disability claims status while waiting for your claims approval. In addition, it is recommended that you respond promptly to any request or any exam scheduled for you by the governor. 


The ideal standard time needed for a disability claim approval is 155.5 days, which is just over five months. However, it may take longer depending on factors like insufficient evidence of claims, or wrong document submission. 

Ensure to check all eligibility boxes before filing a disability claim, monitor your claims status. Submit the required documents, and be patient with the process. 

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