Select Page

M21-1, Part III, Subpart i, Chapter 2, Section A – General Information on Pre-Discharge Claims

Overview


In This Section

This section contains the following topics:

1.  Introduction to Pre-Discharge Claims and Corresponding Application/Eligibility Requirements

 


Introduction

This topic contains information about pre-discharge claims, including

Change Date

October 24, 2018

III.i.2.A.1.a.General Description of a Pre-Discharge Claim

pre-discharge claim is a claim accepted from a service member who is still on active duty.
The claim may be a(n)
  • original claim
  • reopened claim
  • claim for an increased evaluation
  • new claim for service connection (SC), or
  • claim for resumption of compensation.
Notes:
  • Some pre-discharge claims undergo processing under the Benefits Delivery at Discharge (BDD) program, the goal of which is provide every service member an in-service examination(s) and a decision on their Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) claim the day following discharge from active duty.
  • Another special pre-separation program is the Integrated Disability Evaluation System (IDES), which is covered in separate sections of this chapter.
  • For the purposes of M21-1, Part III, Subpart i, 2.A and B, pre-separation claims will be described as either handled under the BDD program or excluded from the BDD program.
References:  For more information on

III.i.2.A.1.b.   Who May File a Pre-Discharge Claim

Any service member on active duty may file a pre-discharge claim.  This includes
  • reservists serving on active duty in an Active Guard Reserve (AGR) role under 10 U.S.C..
  • full-time National Guard members serving in an AGR role under 32 U.S.C., and
  • service members undergoing medical evaluation board or physical evaluation board proceedings who are not currently enrolled in the IDES program.

III.i.2.A.1.c.Forms for Filing a Pre-Discharge Claim

A service member must complete a VA Form 21-526 variant to file a pre-discharge claim but VA Form 21-526EZ, Application for Disability Compensation and Related Compensation Benefits, is the preferred form.
References:  For more information on

III.i.2.A.1.d.Qualifying for Claim Processing Under the BDD Program

In order for a pre-discharge claim to qualify for processing under the BDD program, all of the following requirements must be met:
  • the service member must
    • have a known date of discharge
    • be 180 days to 90 days from discharge at the time of filing
    • be available to report for examinations within 10 to 45 days from the date the claim was received (Example:  For a claim received on January 1, 2017, the service member must be available for examination from January 10, 2017, through February 15, 2017.)
    • provide a copy of the service treatment records (STRs) from their current period of service
    • submit the claim on a prescribed form listed in M21-1, Part III, Subpart i, 2.A.1.c, and
  • the claim must not be excluded from Veterans Benefits Management System (VBMS) processing.
Exceptions:
  • Additional contentions received with less than 90 days remaining on active duty will be processed as a BDD-excluded claim as indicated in M21-1, Part III, Subpart i, 2.A.1.e and M21-1, Part III, Subpart i, 2.A.2.i.
  • Service members who file a BDD claim might not be able to complete certain types of examinations, such as sleep studies, before discharge.  VA does not penalize these service members (by removing them from the BDD program) under these rare circumstances.
  • If the service member is unable to attend required examinations within the prescribed 45-day time period due to a delay on VA’s part then
    • do not remove the claim from the BDD program, and
    • do everything possible to attempt to have the examination performed prior to the service member’s discharge, including requesting the appropriate examination at their current locationprior to performing the actions in M21-1, Part III, Subpart i, 2.B.2.c.
Reference:  For information on claim types or attributes that are excluded from processing under the BDD program, see M21-1, Part III, Subpart i, 2.A.1.e.

III.i.2.A.1.e. Claim Types or Attributes That are Excluded From the BDD Program

Claims of the types, or with the attributes, listed below are excluded from the BDD program, even if service members submit them prior to discharge.
  • Claims received from service members with less than 90 days remaining on active duty
  • additional contentions that were added by the service member with less than 90 days remaining on active duty
  • claims from service members who are unable to report for examinations as provided in M21-1, Part III, Subpart i, 2.A.1.d, subject to the exceptions in that block
  • claims where the service member did not provide a copy of STRs for the current period of service with less than 90 days remaining on active duty
  • claims requiring case management for a service member who is
    • very seriously injured/ill (VSI)
    • seriously injured/ill (SI), or
    • a “special category person” (SPC), who has suffered loss of a body part
  • claims involving a terminally ill service member
  • claims requiring a VA examination that must be completed in a foreign country, except when the examination can be completed by VA offices in Landstuhl, Germany, or  U.S. Army Garrison Humphreys, Korea (also referred to as Camp Humphreys)
  • claims involving a service member who is awaiting discharge, while hospitalized in a VA or military treatment facility
  • claims from pregnant service women, or
  • claims requiring a character of discharge (COD) determination.
Note:  Claims categorized as involving a special category person are abbreviated as “SPC” (special category) on VA Form 21-0773, Global War on Terrorism Seriously Injured/Ill Servicemember/Veteran Worksheet.
References:  For more information on

III.i.2.A.1.f.  Processing of Claims Excluded from the BDD Program

The station of origination (SOO) is responsible for processing pre-separation claims that are excluded from the BDD program.
The service member can elect to have the claim processed under the Fully Developed Claim (FDC) Program, the Decision Ready Claims (DRC) Initiative, the standard VA claims process, or any other available program unless otherwise noted.
References:  For more information on

III.i.2.A.1.g.  Claims Received Prior to October 1, 2017

The following claims received from service members prior to October 1, 2017, must be processed according to prior BDD and Quick Start (QS) procedures:
  • with less than 90 days remaining on active duty, or
  • unavailable for examination.
Important:  If a service member added a new condition(s) to a pending BDD or QS claim prior to October 1, 2017, the additional condition(s) must be accepted and adjudicated.
Reference:  For more information on BDD and QS procedures prior to October 1, 2017, see historical documents for M21-1, Part III, Subpart i, 2.A and B, dated August 18, 2017.

2.  EPs and DOCs for Pre-Discharge Claims


Introduction

This topic contains information about tracking data for pre-discharge claims, including

Change Date

 October 24, 2018

III.i.2.A.2.a.Placing BDD and BDD-Excluded Claims Under Diary EP Control

Upon receipt of a BDD or BDD-excluded claim, intake sites must place the claim under control by establishing the appropriate diary EP in VBMS.  As illustrated in the image below, this procedure includes
  • selecting Pre-Discharge as the CLAIM TYPE
  • selecting the proper PRE-DISCHARGE TYPE
    • BDD for BDD claims
    • QUICK START for BDD-excluded claims
  • entering the day following the anticipated date of separation from active duty as the SUSPENSE DATE
  • checking the ALLOW POA ACCESS TO DOCUMENTS box, if applicable
  • selecting the appropriate INTAKE SITE
  • assigning the claim to the BDD (NATIONAL) lane in VBMS for BDD claims only, and
  • utilizing the EP and claim label provided in
Example:
This is an image of the new claim informaiton screen in VBMS filled out as indicated in the block.
Important:  For foreign claims in which the service member is remaining overseas, enter the Foreign Claim corporate flash.  This is essential for proper National Work Queue (NWQ) routing of foreign claims.
Exceptions:
  • Claims excluded from establishment in VBMS must be established in Share.
  • BDD claims by a service member with 180 days to 90 days remaining on active duty, that are received via eBenefits or submitted electronically by the service member’s Veterans service organization (VSO), are automatically established as provided in M21-1, Part III, Subpart i, 2.A.2.e.
References:  For more information on

III.i.2.A.2.b.DOCs for Pre-Discharge Claims

The date of claim (DOC) for a pre-discharge claim is the first day following the anticipated date of release from active duty (RAD), regardless of the date VA received the claim.

III.i.2.A.2.c.  EP and Claim Label for Initial Establishment of BDD Claims

When initially establishing BDD claims, intake sites must use diary EP 336 – BDD(the EP and claim label), to manually place BDD claims under control.
Exception:  Restricted access claims center (RACC) BDD claims must be initially established as BDD rating EPs as listed in the table in M21-1, Part III, Subpart i, 2.A.2.d.
References:  For more information on

III.i.2.A.2.d.  EP and Claim Label Adjustment Following Completion of BDD Intake Site Development Action

The intake site must change the diary 336 EP to the proper EP and claim label as shown in the table below after all development actions have been taken.
Claim Type
BDD EP – Claim Label
original
  • 110 – BDD-Initial, or
  • 010 – BDD-Initial 8+ issues
  • new SC
  • reopened, or
  • increased evaluation
020 – BDD-Supplemental
Note:  If the diary 336 EP has matured to a pending EP (i.e. the suspense date of RAD+1 has been reached), the pending EP must also be changed to the proper EP and claim label in the table above.

III.i.2.A.2.e.  EP and Claim Label for BDD Claims Received Electronically With 180 to 90 Days Remaining on Active Duty

BDD claims received via eBenefits or submitted electronically by the service member’s VSO will be automatically established by VA electronic claims processing systems using the EP and claim label 336 – BDD for service members with 180 to 90 days remaining on active duty.

III.i.2.A.2.f.  EP and Claim Label for Pre-Discharge Claims Received Electronically With Less Than  90 Days Remaining on Active Duty

Pre-discharge claims received via eBenefits or submitted electronically by the service member’s VSO will be automatically established by VA electronic claims processing systems using the EP and claim label 337 – Quick Start for service members with less than 90 days remaining on active duty.
The EP 337 must be changed to the appropriate rating EP upon receipt for processing as BDD-excluded claims.
References:  For more information on

III.i.2.A.2.g.      EP and Claim Label for Pre-Discharge Claims Received Electronically When a Claim Is Already Pending

The following EP and claim label combinations are automatically established by VA electronic claims processing systems when a service member’s claim is received via eBenefits or submitted electronically by a VSO and another claim is already pending:
  • 400 – eBenefits 526EZ-Pre-Discharge (400), and
  • 400 – D2D-Pre-Discharge (400).

III.i.2.A.2.h.  EP and Claim Label Options for Initial Establishment of Claims Excluded From the BDD Program

When initially establishing a pre-discharge claim that is excluded from the BDD program, the SOO must use EPs 010, 110, or 020 as appropriate to the claim type (original <8 issues, original 8+ issues, new, increase, reopen) and attach an appropriate claim label.  This is illustrated in the image below.
Important:
  • Excluded BDD claims must also be established as a diary EP as noted in M21-1, Part III, Subpart i, 2.A.2.a.
  • For all BDD-excluded claims, claims processors must add BDD-Excluded special issue indicator under one contention requiring an examination.  This is important to ensure the examination request is routed correctly in the Examination Management System (EMS).
  • Enter Quick Start in the PRE-DISCHARGE TYPE field (as illustrated in the image below) for a BDD-excluded claim to accurately route the EMS request.  If after receipt and establishment the claim is excluded from BDD processing, the claims processor must update PRE-DISCHARGE TYPE from BDD to Quick Start and add the BDD-Excluded special issue as noted above.
This is an image of the New Claim Information screen in VBMS, filled out as indicated in the block.
Example:  An original claim for SC containing more than eight issues is received prior to discharge.  A COD is required.  The claim is excluded from the BDD program.  The SOO would establish EP 010 and use the claim label Initial Compensation 8+ Issues.
References:  For more information on:

III.i.2.A.2.i.  EP and Claim Label Options for Additional Contentions by BDD Claimants Less than 90 Days Before Discharge

As noted in M21-1, Part III, Subpart i, 2.A.1.e, additional contentions that are submitted by BDD claimants when there are less than 90 days remaining on active duty at the time the additional contentions are submitted will be processed as BDD-excluded claims.
These claims will be treated as a separate BDD-excluded claim and will be established as indicated in the table below.
If the pending BDD EP is a(n) …
Then …
336
  • review the evidence to determine if the BDD rating EP will be an EP 010, 110, or 020, and
  • follow the guidance below.
  • 010 or
  • 110
an EP 020 with the appropriate claim label.
020
an EP 021 with the appropriate claim label.
Notes:
  • All additional contentions that are received for BDD claimants with less than 90 days remaining on active duty will be included and processed under the BDD-excluded EP 020 or 021 as noted above.
  • If a new contention(s) is submitted after discharge, and the original BDD EP (010, 110, or 020) is still pending, work the additional claim under a separate EP 020 or 021 as noted above, since the service member does not have at least 90 days remaining on active duty at the time the new contention(s) is submitted.
  • An EP 336 with a BDD claim label and an EP 010 or EP 110 should not be pending together at the same time.
References:  For more information on
Historical_M21-1III_i_2_SecA_8-5-16.doc May 8, 2019 132 KB
Historical_M21-1III_i_2_SecA_6-5-15.doc May 8, 2019 123 KB
Historical_M21-1III_i_2_SecA_8-18-17.docx May 8, 2019 69 KB
Change-June-5-2015-Transmittal-Sheet-M21-1III_i_2_SecA_TS.docx May 8, 2019 42 KB
8-18-17_Key-Changes_M21-1III_i_2_SecA.docx May 8, 2019 50 KB
10-24-18_Key-Changes_M21-1III_1_2_SecA.docx May 8, 2019 170 KB
Transmittal-Sheet-pt3_sp1_ch2_TS.docx May 8, 2019 43 KB
Transmittal-Sheet-M21-1MRIII_i_2_SecA_TS.docx May 8, 2019 38 KB
Transmittal-Sheet-M21-1MRIII_i_2_SecD_TS.doc May 8, 2019 57 KB
Did this article answer your question?

Leave a Reply





Pin It on Pinterest

Share This