A key part in successfully completing your transition from military to civilian service is to ensure you carryout all of your Veteran’s Affairs intake requirements. Some of these requirements should have been completed while accomplishing your Final Out-Processing checklist requirements for your installation. The checklist outlined below assumes you have completed your SHPE exam. This can be a daunting task to accomplish on your own. Don’t worry, Patriot U has got your six!
If you haven’t yet set yourself up with the capability to access CAC required sites without a CAC (post-separation), you need to do that now. Sites like VA.gov or Milconnect primarily use your DS Logon credentials. You will also need to setup your ID.me and My HealtheVet accounts.
You need to run a quick calculation. This is to determine if you can have Benefits Delivered at Discharge (BDD) or not. Basically, if you are filing your initial disability claim between 180 and 90 days prior to separation, you are eligible for BDD. Otherwise, you will have to wait until AFTER you separate to start filing your claims.
Reference the following link for the VAs official BDD fact sheet: VA BDD Fact Sheet
If you are NOT eligible for BDD, then you can start your process by filling out the VA Form 21-526EZ (downloadable and fillable PDF).
**NOTE: Both forms will have you list ALL prior medical facilities you have visited in the past. Yeah, you heard that right. So TAKE YOUR TIME to fill this in properly. If you think of something after submitting the form, you will always have a chance to go back and file that specific claim on a separate form.
Once you have completed the BDD process or have filled out the 21-526EZ, you’ll upload/submit these plus your Separation History and Physical Exam (SHPE) paperwork attained during your Final Out Processing timeline to the “My VA” tab of your VA.gov account. You will need to keep up with your notification on VA.gov to keep the process moving forward as efficiently as possible.
From here, you have to keep up with the VA notifications, lab visits, doctor visits, paperwork, etc. The VA will walk you through this process step by step and keep your account on VA.gov updated with everything. Be patient and understand that this process is not run very efficiently. If you have questions, reach out to your local VA office or VSO.