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The VA claim process after you file your claim

Learn about what happens after you file your claim. And find out the average number of days it takes to process a VA disability claim.

How long does it take VA to make a decision?

159.8 days

Average number of days to complete disability-related claims in January 2024

The time it takes to review your claim depends on these factors:

  • 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 we need 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 timeline listed there may vary based on how complex your claim is.

Check your VA claim status

What happens after I file a VA disability claim?

  1. Claim received

    We’ll let you know when we receive your VA disability claim.

    • If you file your claim online, you’ll get an on-screen message from us after you submit the form.
    • If you mail your application, we’ll send you a letter to let you know we have your claim. You should get this letter about 1 week, plus mailing time, after we receive your claim.
  2. Initial review

    We’ll review your claim.

  3. Evidence gathering, review, and decision

    During this step, we’ll do 3 things:

    • Ask for evidence from you, health care providers, government 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 claim decision packet ready to mail.

  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 my VA disability claim decision?

If you disagree with a claim decision that you received on or after February 19, 2019, you can ask us to review the decision. You have 3 decision review options to choose from. 

Learn about your decision review options

More information about disability ratings and payments