Disabled veterans are well aware that it can take months or even years before they receive benefits. Once a veteran is awarded, he or she can begin collecting compensation payments. But what about all the time before the veteran started receiving benefits? Fortunately, the VA is required to pay VA disability back pay. A Mobile, AL disability benefits attorney can help make sure you receive all payments to which you are entitled.
The period in question is from the effective date of the claim to the date the veteran is granted benefits. The effective date is typically the date on which the veteran filed his or her current claim. That’s usually either the date that compensation entitlement began or the date it received the veteran’s claim (whichever is later).
The date that entitlement began is the date on which the veteran satisfied all requirements for disability compensation. In many cases, this was the date when there was first medical evidence of the disability. However, most veterans will apply for benefits after they have been made aware of this evidence. That means the effective date will be whenever the veteran applied for benefits. Your Mobile, AL veterans disability benefits lawyer can explain more about the effective date in your case.
It’s important to understand that the VA does not regard the date of the injury as the effective date. The same applies for any other event in service which gave rise to the disability. The VA can grant benefits back to the date of discharge, but only if the veteran applied within one year. This can potentially give you a date earlier than when you applied, which means a higher amount of back pay. Since time is of the essence for many veterans, you should consult an experienced Mobile benefits attorney about applying.
There are other scenarios in which the effective date may be earlier than the date on which the veteran applied. One example is for Agent Orange exposure in Vietnam. This is because many diseases arose before the VA recognized Agent Orange as a service-connected factor. Another example is when there is an error in the effective date determination. These situations are uncommon, but they do arise. Ask a Mobile, AL veterans disability benefits attorney if you have questions about the accuracy of your effective date.
The amount of your back pay may depend on a few factors. But the main ones are the effective date and the disability rating you are assigned. If the VA makes an error with respect to either of these, you should consult a veterans benefits attorney. An error could make a substantial difference in how much money to which you are entitled. There is no cap or limit on the amount of back pay that a veteran can receive.
Every year, the VA changes disability compensation rates based on a Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA). The COLA, in turn, is set forth by the Social Security Administration. Veterans who are entitled to back pay will be paid compensation amounts respective to each year. Ask your attorney about how COLA can impact the amount of your VA disability back pay.
We’re Here to Help Get the VA Disability Back Pay That You Deserve
VA disability back pay can be a complicated ordeal, and can depend upon numerous factors the VA may get wrong. Veterans often find they were entitled to an earlier effective date, or a higher disability rating. Either of these will affect your overall compensation. Let Ascend Disability Lawyers, LLC, help. We can make sure you get the benefits you deserve, and appeal any unfair decisions. Give us a call today.