One of the most common questions we hear is, “how long is this going to take?” Unfortunately, the length of time it takes to get a VA benefits claim approved varies from person to person. Generally speaking, it can take anywhere from a month to a year (sometimes more) to get approval for VA disability. However, the length of time you will wait for a decision in your case will depend on several key factors, including:

  • Type of claim filed. There are many kinds of VA disability claims, and each requires a different level of processing. For example, a Fully Developed Claim (FDC) has a faster processing time than an original claim.   If you were denied benefits but are appealing the decision, you have a reopened claim, which may take additional time due to the gathering of further information.
  • Type of disability. The VA will base its disability decision (and percentage of disability) on the medical evidence that you provide of your condition. If you have an extremely complex disability (such as PTSD or a mental disorder) or are claiming disability for more than one condition, your processing may take longer.
  • Evidence. One of the most time-consuming aspects of your claim is gathering the necessary evidence to make a determination. If you did not provide enough information, or the information needed to make your disability decision is not readily available, you will likely see further delays.
  • Location. Finally, your processing time will vary depending on where you live. Claims for Nebraskans will be processed at the Regional Benefit Office in Lincoln, which currently has an average of 100 processing days for new claims.

Is There a Way to Get My Benefits Faster?

There are several ways to get your benefits approved more quickly. If you apply under the Fully Developed Claims program, you may get a faster decision as long as you can provide all medical evidence needed for your claim up front. You can also hire an attorney to collect information and follow up with the VA on your behalf, increasing your chances of approval. Send us an email at [email protected] or fill out the quick contact form on this page to have us look over your claim.


Sean D. Cuddigan
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SSA and VA Disability Attorney in Omaha, Nebraska