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Highlights

Through the Benefits Delivery at Discharge (BDD) program, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) collaborates with the Department of Defense (DOD) to streamline access to veterans' disability benefits by allowing some servicemembers to file a claim and undergo a single collaborative exam process prior to discharge. BDD is designed for servicemembers with conditions that, while disabling, do not generally prevent them from performing their military duties. This program can shorten the time it takes for veterans to receive benefits by several months. GAO was asked to discuss issues surrounding VA's and DOD's BDD program and related Quick Start program, and identify ways VA and DOD could improve these programs for transitioning servicemembers. This statement is based on GAO's September 2008 report (GAO-08-901) that examined (1) VA efforts to manage the BDD program and (2) how VA and DOD are addressing challenges servicemembers face in accessing the BDD program. GAO updated some information to reflect the current status of claims processing and improvement initiatives in the BDD program.

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