VA Disability Back Pay

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VA Disability Back Pay
VA Disability Back Pay for Law Changes

 

The VA Disability Process can take quite a lot of time. Because of this, Disabled Veterans are, unfortunately, left to wait for the VA Disability Benefits they are already eligible to receive.

 


VA Disability Back Pay

A couple benefits from VA Disability Back PayTo make up for the time between the VA’s Rating Decision and the veteran’s date of eligibility, the VA instituted VA Disability Back Pay.

VA Disability Back Pay is a payment of all the money that the veteran should have been receiving for the months in between his date of eligibility and his VA rating decision. 

A veteran’s date of eligibility for VA Disability Back Pay is determined in one of two ways.

First, if the veteran submits his VA Disability Claim within one year of his date of separation, his date of eligibility for VA Disability Back Pay is his date of separation.

Second, if the veteran submits his VA Disability Claim after this 1-year period, then his date of eligibility for VA Disability Back Pay is the first day of the month after the VA receives his claim.

It’s important to get your VA Disability Claim submitted as soon after discharge from the military as possible. If the claim is not submitted within 1 year of discharge, all the VA Disability Back Pay that could have been received between the date of application and the date of separation will be lost.

For example, Ben applies for VA Disability 9 months after he separated from the military. This is within the 1-year mark, so his date of eligibility for VA Disability Back Pay is his date of separation. It takes another 9 months before the VA’s Rating Decision is reached. Ben will receive VA Disability Back Pay for the entire 18 months between his date of separation and the VA’s rating decision. If, however, Ben submits his VA Disability Claim 13 months after he separates, and the VA takes 16 months (unfortunately not unusual) to reach their Rating Decision, he will only receive 16 months of VA Disability Back Pay. The additional 13 months of VA Disability Back Pay he could have received had he submitted his claim one month earlier is lost.

VA Disability Back Pay is paid in one single payment, so depending on the length of time it takes for the VA to come to their rating decision, the VA Disability Back Pay a veteran receives could be fairly substantial.  

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VA Disability Back Pay for Law Changes

The only other time VA Disability Back Pay is given is when Congress changes the laws that govern VA Disability. The amount of VA Disability Benefits a veteran receives is determined by the VA Disability Rating he is given by the VA. The Rating Authorities use the laws of the VASRD to decide these ratings. When the VASRD changes, these ratings, and thus the amount of VA Disability the veteran should receive, also change.

For example, let’s say Congress passes a law that changes the rating of a particular condition from 20% to 30%. The law also states that the change should affect all ratings of that condition from 2009 on. The VA would then give all the veterans with this condition VA Disability Back Pay to make up for the extra 10% the law says they should have been receiving for this condition since 2009.   

The exact rate of this VA Disability Back Pay will not be the total the condition should receive at 30%, but the difference between the 20% amount and the 30% amount. So if the veterans received $100/month for the 20% rating but should have received $150/month for the 30% rating, the VA Disability Back Pay will be $50/month (150 – 100 = 50) times the number of months the change applies.

Changes in law like this do not happen very often, but they do happen every now and then. Luckily, the VA will automatically process your VA Disability Back Pay if a law is changed. You don’t have to do anything to receive your VA Disability Back Pay in these situations.  

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