To maximize your potential VA disability compensation back pay for your service-connected condition(s), Effective Date is one of the most important terms for you to know and understand. The reason the Effective Date is so important is because it is the date the VA uses to calculate and determine any back pay to which you may be entitled. Following is an explanation of the most common ways veterans obtain their Effective Dates and how it could affect you.
The vast majority of veterans secure their Effective Date when they file their initial claim for VA disability compensation. Generally, in this situation, the Effective Date is the date the VA receives the claim. If the VA receives a claim for VA disability compensation within one year of release from active duty, the Effective Date is the day following separation. In rare circumstances, the Effective Date may be the date the entitlement arose (the date the condition was shown to exist by medical evidence) when such date is later than the date the claim was received by the VA. The final common way that veterans obtain their Effective Date is when they reopen a claim. The Effective Date of a reopened claim is the date the VA receives the claim or date the entitlement arose, whichever is later.
How does this apply to you? First, generally the sooner you file your claim for VA disability compensation the better. That doesn’t mean to go off half-cocked and file a claim just to get the back pay clock running. You should take the time to file a comprehensive, complete claim for all conditions you believe to be service connected. Otherwise, you could end up filing multiple claims that do not run concurrently which just gives the VA yet another opportunity to become confused and not properly adjudicate all your claims. Second, if you have received a decision from the VA regarding your initial claim filing with which you disagree, be sure to file an appeal within ONE YEAR from the date of the decision to preserve your original Effective Date (usually when you initially filed the claim). Otherwise, if you miss the one year appeal deadline, you will have to reopen your claim and your Effective Date will then be the date the VA receives your request to reopen your claim. Then, if you are eventually awarded back pay, the VA will only calculate your back pay to the date you reopened your claim rather than when you initially filed your claim. By filing your appeal within the one year deadline, if you are later awarded back pay, the VA will calculate your back pay to the date you initially filed the claim ultimately resulting in considerably more money in your pocket – money to which you are entitled.
If you have questions about filing your claim or appeal and your Effective Date, please call or contact Ms. Brandy Neill White, Esq. at MJA to arrange your free initial consultation. (Information current as of 2016 April 27.)
Clinton Butler says
I find for Individual unemployability in 2014 and was denied in August 2015. I file for an appeal. When l win my appeal, will my effective day be 2014 or 2015. I appreciate any new information on this situation. Thanks you for your time in effort.
Robert Sandine says
My father died in 2006 from a related VA disability called Agent Orange. My mother
is a widow and has recently been diagnosed with blindness. Is there any compensation for her and help with home care. My wife and I have been her care
giver for the last 3 years and her care is getting beyond what we are able to handle.
Candyss Bryant says
Robert – we are happy to provide you some suggestions. Would you like to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org?
I just found out the VA is underpaying me because they didn’t include my wife on the compensation form. That was 8 years ago. I called them and they said they would forward the forms up to change pay going forward, but since it was out of the 1 year appeal window, I was out of luck with the retroactive pay. What course of action do I have?
Will the back pay based on the additional rating only or the whole rating?
Jimmy Hill says
HERE IS MY QUESTION. I was granted a rating of 100% in 2011. The rating was from an increase of 60%, with the granting of individual unemployability, making it 100%. My start date went back to April 2009. The original date of this claim is September 1997. I appealed this decision. Regional Office agreed that the start date is September 1997. However, RO granted me a 20% rating. I am now appealing that decision. My issue is that RO should have granted a 100% rating dating back to 1997. Reason being, my condition in 1997 is the same condition I was in 2011. The medical records relied upon for the 2011 decision, as the same records that were available in 1997. Also, my injuries in my 1997 claim are the same injuries in 2011 where they granted me the 100% rating. Furthermore, my condition, also, rendered me unemployable at the time I filed 1997 claim.
I know it may not be enough information, but, Do you think I may have a viable claim.
Thank you for your time on this matter.
Karl Monger says
Your argument is sound to me, however I’m not an expert in how that determination is made. My first question is, are you working with a VSO or are you working directly with the VA? If you aren’t using a VSO, I highly recommend you do. You can find a DAV VSO at their website: https://www.dav.org/veterans/find-your-local-office/.
It’s been my experience the DAV is well trained on a national level. There are also VSO’s available through the VFW and other national veteran orgs.
If you’re working with a VSO and not satisfied with the result you might consider using an attorney. The attorney is not allowed to charge you an hourly rate for working a VA claim but will take a percent from the final settlement (set by law).
I don’t see you have joined the GallantFew network. For us to help you further, please go to http://www.gallantfew.org and click on Veteran Sign Up.
Robert Bullock says
Hi my name is Robert I was granted 50% for sleep apnea in 2017 my effected date was 2010 will I get paid back that far
Candyss Bryant says
Robert, there is no way to tell without looking your paperwork. It’s valid to the day you filed the claim as long as the claim was always kept current and never lapsed. Your best course of action is to wait and see how much the check is.
Warren McKee says
Is it possible to get back pay from before a claim was made?
Basically I was struggling with suicidal depression which lead to drug and alcohol abuse. I wasn’t in a mental state where I would even think about applying for benefits.
Now I am in therapy and awaiting an approval for benefits.
Is this something that ever happens?
James Nelson says
it depends on when you filed. If you filed within one year of separation than you will be back paid to date of separation. if not, then back pay will be paid to the day they received your claim.
SGT. James Nelson USA(retired)
Robert Johnson Jr says
I am Robert Johnson Jr, 420-84-5873 a retired Major Sergeant of the US Army Veteran with 30 years of active duties served have apply for VA disability back in August 2005. However during that period VA was not fairly conducting a complete diagnosis of my condition. I am filing a appeal and do not a clue how to process my application. Please assist me with this process and long awaiting process have file twice no records of me filing without a claim # help Thanks
My name is Anthoney Underwood and i have a appeal coming up this month on the 26th and i was just wondering if my appeal is won will the VA go back to the date when i first put in my request for a appeal and back pay me from that date because i was some were online were it said if you was submitted paperwork while your appeal was still pending that if you get back pay they only pay back from the last evidence you sent is this the case
Max Bring says
filed and received 10 percent in 99 for TBI mild, included dizziness, vague problems. 2017 diagnosed with superior canal (rare ear disease, not discover until 1998) deshiscence syndrome. which I am filing for a service connect. If I receive the rating for this, can i file for a backdate to 1999, due to the rarity of the syndrome and the doctors not being aware of it? My medicial records Active duty, cover the symptoms reported and a in-service trauma to head.
Fred Ruggles says
Separated dec 1992 filed for disability in left knee due to intramural football injury within year to which was denied due to not able to find medical records. Appealed it March 93 to which was denied again same reason got letters from supervisors also had TDY orders sending me to barksdale Adair force base for consult. Also advised to get opinion from civilian doctor to which I did he said knee obviously had issue just as VA doctor said in 93 also got letters from senators requesting to find medical records all to no avail.denied again. Fast forward I was in Oman during desert storm and feel I def have chronic fatigue so went in to local Veterans rep who was absolutely terrible and finally got him to file a claim my question is if they can find my records and obviously see this injury was from the military will I get back pay back to the original appeal March 1994? Also I read on here something about a spouse getting a portion. I am looking for some realistic guidance thanks in advance
Karl P Monger says
Your message is a bit difficult to follow. Who did you go to when you say “local Veterans rep”? Was it VA? VFW? American Legion?
If your original appeal was kept live by meeting all the appeal suspenses, you should get paid to the date of the original application. If you failed to meet those suspense dates and had to restart the process, that restarts the clock on back pay.
If you are married or have children under 18 there is an additional amount paid by the VA. You can find this on the VA’s disability compensation table: https://www.benefits.va.gov/compensation/resources_comp01.asp
You must complete VA paperwork to certify your dependents. Instructions here: https://www.benefits.va.gov/compensation/add-dependents.asp
My husband got out of the military a little over a year ago, when we got home he tried filing for benefits but kept getting denied and was told that he made too much money. fast forward a year he was approved for benefits and is now getting disability. my question is, will they back date his pay to the time he got out. there are records showing that he tried but apparently no one knew what they were doing
Karl P Monger says
The generic answer is benefits are paid back to the date the claim was filed, if you kept a live appeal going without missing any suspense dates.
The VA doesn’t deny disability ratings or compensation payments due to personal income level. A veteran without a disability rating, under a certain income threshold may qualify for care through the VA.
Andre Brown says
Good morning to all veterans brothers and sisters. My name is Andre Brown I got shot in the military in my groin I’ve been fighting this ever since 1980 Iwas awarded 50% PTSD. For that but I file claim for 1980 I kept filing claim least five or six times was denied on all of them they said they couldn’t find my record said that I had been wounded in the military all those years finally I found my records I got time playing with him I got me a lawyer and it says on there I got shot when I got shot where I got shot they sent my records on a disc but guess what they didn’t put all my records on the desk so that’s something that you got them look out for y’all have a blessed day and may God bless you all
Rodney D Anderson says
If you’re awarded tdiu is your backpay paid at the 100 % rate or 70 % rate for every month you’ve been waiting