When the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) approves your claim for disability benefits, it will be assigned an effective date. Your effective date determines when you first became eligible for benefits, so an earlier date will result in a large payment for back benefits. However, partial months are not awarded back pay—so your pay begins the month following your effective date.
If you believe your VA claim has been assigned an incorrect effective date, you should contact an experienced veterans benefits attorney as soon as possible. VA laws can be quite complex, and even long-time VA employees can make errors that affect your right to compensation.
Direct Service Connection
If you’ve been granted a direct service connection, your effective date is normally the date the VA received the claim.
Presumptive Service Connection
If your disability qualifies for a presumptive service connection, and you applied within a year of leaving service, your effective date is when you became disabled or when the VA first received your application—whichever is later.
If you filed for benefits within a year of leaving the military, your effective date would be the day after your service ended.
If you’re submitting an appeal for an increased rating and your case is received within one year of when you first became entitled to the increased rating, your effective date is the date you initially became eligible for the increase.
Appeals Based on a Decision Error or Differences in Opinion
If you win an appeal based on an error in a previous decision or a difference of opinion, your effective date is the date of the original decision, had it been favorable.
Cases Affected by a Change in Law
If your case is related to a recent change in VA law and your claim is received with one year of the law change, your effective date should be the date the law changed.
Do You Need to Speak With a Veterans Benefits Lawyer?
If you need to speak with an experienced veterans benefits lawyer, please contact us online, or call our Virginia Beach office to schedule your free consultation. We have offices throughout Virginia, including Chesapeake, Newport News, Norfolk, and Suffolk.