If you are a transitioning service member applying for VA disability compensation under the Disability Benefits Delivery (BDD) or Integrated Disability Evaluation System (IDES) program, there are some changes coming that you should know about. Beginning April 1, you will be required to complete and submit the new Separation Health Assessment Part A Self-Assessment (SHA) with your BDD or IDES application.
SHA is a single separation that supports both the VA disability compensation process and the Department of Defense (DD) separation/retirement process. The SHA screening will document any medical concerns identified during your military career, help identify future illnesses, and reduce duplicate testing between both agencies.
SHA is divided into three parts:
- Part A – Medical History Questionnaire. You must complete Part A before proceeding to your clinical assessment.
- Part B – Clinical evaluation. This is where the examiner will review your Part A and your Service Treatment Records (STRs), make a diagnosis and then provide a clinical assessment.
- Section C – This is reserved for DoD review purposes only. DoD is expected to begin using SHA fully this year.
The SHA Part A Questionnaire provides VA examiners with a history of the service member’s health status and helps conduct a more thorough and better quality examination. A link to Part A questionnaire will be placed on VA Form 21-526-EZ Application for Disability Compensation and Related Compensation BenefitsEligibility criteria for the BDD program and on VA BDD and IDES Fact sheets. There is also a direct link to Part A. over here.
BDD applicants submitting applications online can upload the completed Part A under STRs Evidence section. After VA receives the application, reviews the STRs, and completes the Part A Self-Assessment, a SHA inspection is requested. Clinical evaluation of SHA is performed by one of the VA contract investigators or the local VA health care examiner. All evidence submitted by the service member shall be submitted electronically to the examiner.
The new SHA is a multi-year collaborative effort between both agencies to improve the separation testing process for service members leaving the military.
For more information about the BDD and IDES programs, please visit our website at Prepayment Claim | Veterans Affairs.