How long does a VA claim take?

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Ever feel this way during your veterans disability claim?

“How long does a VA claim take?”  It is a question that I hear from veterans on a daily basis.  I will do my best to answer that question, but let me first give you my best lawyer-like answer:

It depends because every VA claim is different and there are choices along the way that makes it shorter or longer.  I will try to get a little more specific, but I also want to talk a little about what is more important – what you can be doing to improve your chances while you are in VA’s slow claims process.

Really, how long does a VA claim take?

That question does not have a simple answer because there is no clear end to a VA disability compensation claim.  There is the initial claims decision.  After that, there are series of appeals that can extend the time frame indefinitely.

Man sitting with hands crossed I have seen veterans who filed a fully developed claim and received a ratings decision on their claim 90 days later.  But, this is usually just the first step in your VA disability compensation claim.  VA does not usually get it completely right the first time around.

The ratings decision often denies your claim for benefits or does not grant all the benefits you deserve.  In that situation, you will need to decide what to do next.  This gets very complicated because VA changed the rules a few years ago.  This is where the question “how long does a VA claim take?” gets a little harder to answer.

You will have a few different options on appeal that can impact how long the entire process takes.  I won’t go into all of those here since you may already be familiar with them.  The different routes you take have different pros and cons.  Some are quicker than others and some are more likely to be effective.

Each one of these is a “fork in the road”.  Each path is a little different in terms of process and length of time.  It is not unusual for a claim to be several years old by the time it makes it to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals.

I wish it could be a simple answer as to which path to take.  Unfortunately, which route is best will depend on the specific facts in your case and the reasoning that VA gave when they issued your ratings decision.

Do you want it done fast or do you want it done right?

Both, right?  If you have not seen it, here is a funny clip from The SimpsonTV-show where Homer asks Marge this question.

Marge told Homer that she was “like most Americans” and wanted it done fast.  I find some veterans are like Homer and his stick of dynamite.  They resort not to actual explosives but to explosive language directed at the VA.

I see it all the time in VA claims files I review.  Complaining about the VA or to the VA is not going to make it go any faster.  Adding more paperwork to the file, whether it is a written complaint or redundant information, will only slow down the process.  Some veterans don’t realize that they are contributing to the delay when they do this.

A couple sitting on a couch looking at a piece of a paper

I can promise you that a better use of your time will be figuring out what evidence and what appeals path is the best one for your claim.  Spend your time wisely and use the delay to gather winning evidence for your claim.

If you do that, you will make it easier for the VA to approve your claim and cut out unnecessary delay. That is the best of both worlds – a quick (ok, somewhat quick) and successful VA disability compensation claim.


Travis Studdard is an attorney who focuses on representing veterans in VA disability compensation claims.  He regularly writes about issues that are important to veterans and their families.

You can subscribe to his Veterans Disability channel on YouTube.

I could not have asked for a better lawyer to represent my worker comp. case. Any questions I had during the process was always answered in a timely manner. Mr. Perkins really cared about insuring that I wasn't being taken advantage of during this process and helped us reach a settlement that I feel comfortable with. I would recommend this firm to my parents or children.syndel Laber
I'm so thankful and grateful for all the hard work Jason, Tina and Liz did for me. They went above and beyond to get the best outcome for me. They took the to explain everything that was going on with my case again I'm so thankful grateful and happy with the outcome of my workers comp case.Adrian Adams
First off, I must say thank you again to the office of Perkins Studdard. I appreciate all the hard work and dedication your office has shown to achieve a successful and happy outcome. You have forever changed my family’s life! Also, I wanted to give a special shoutout to Jessica Hyatt for her excellent attitude, advice, and overall professionalism throughout every step of this process. This journey has finally been complete after more than a decade of being denied and almost giving up. However, two of my old coworkers advised me that the office of Perkins Studdard had also successfully helped them achieve their proper rating too. Needless to say, this has been one of my best decisions in life. I can now sleep a little better and stress free knowing I finally got what I deserved all along. Once again, thank you for everything! And shoutout to Travis Studdard, “we did it.” Respectfully, Jonathon FloresJonathon Flores
My family and I are so grateful for Jason Perkins and his team. Jason explains thing's to detail and walks you through every step of your case. I would highly recommend Perkins Studdard for your legal needs. Thank you so much Jason and Tina!Chapin & Lea Anne Warner
The best I know for workers comp attorney'sDenise Williams
Jason really has helped me so much through this hard experience I have went through! And the ladies in the office was wonderful with any and everything I had questions about! I highly recommend using this lawyer office to everyone and Jason Perkins for sure!! Thank y'all for everything and making it easier to get through this long though experience! James HammittJames Hammitt
Thank you so much ! I received excellent representation from the entire Perkins Studdard Law firm, my VA claim was resolved and granted in a timely manner, they were hands on with me during the entire process. I would definitely recommend the firm to any veteran deciding to file a VA claim.Darrell Lynn
I would like to thank the law firm of Perkins-Studdard (Travis) and his team, for performing such an outstanding job, at every possible level, during my recent situation with the VA Disability Claims . From the first time I called and spoke with Mr Studdard with an overview of my situation, until the final settlement was executed (successfully I may add), I always felt that I was in good hands with this firm. Everyone in the office, Jessica, and April were responsive, approachable, knowledgeable, good listeners, and extremely professional. Mr. Studdard was realistic of the circumstances and of the potential difficult process that would lay ahead, should I proceed. I can’t say enough about Travis, and I will always be thankful to him. Travis was committed, and he instilled a real sense of confidence during both the highs and the lows. He ultimately prevailed and the outcome was very much in my favor. Of course, each case is different on its own merits and one can never predict how things ultimately will turn out. All I know is that the settlement far exceeded my expectation. Mr. Studdard has been a blessing to me. I strongly recommend that anyone who would find themselves in a similar legal situation with the VA to contact Law Offices of Perkins Studdard for a consultation. It was a very positive experience given the circumstances. Thank you again, I shall forever be in your debt.Concetta Hogg
Mr. Perkins, I cannot express enough how thankful I am for your exceptional representation. Your hard work, expertise, and unwavering commitment to my case have left an indelible mark. Thanks to you, I can now move forward with my life, confident that justice has been served.Esli Roque
Travis and his team have been a blessing for me and my family. They have done an amazing job in helping me navigate the VA appeals process. They kept their eye on the ball all the way through the long, difficult and confusing process. I highly recommend Travis and his team because thanks to their professionalism and know how, I got the benefits I deserve.Daniel patriot

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