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The effective date for your veterans disability compensation determines how much you might be entitled to in retroactive benefits (i.e., benefits the Department of Veterans Affairs owes you for the time it took to grant you benefits). In most cases, you determine your effective date based on when the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) received your application for benefits.

For instance, if you applied for veterans disability on January 13, 2017 and the VA received your application on January 18, 2017, that is your effective date. Since monthly benefit awards begin the first day of the month following the effective date assigned by the VA, the VA would owe you benefits starting February 2017.

When Might My Effective Date Be Different?

While a direct service connection effective date is usually the date the VA receives your claim, certain circumstances may change your effective date. These circumstances include:

Recent Separation from Service

If the VA receives your benefit application within a year of your separation from service and later grants your claim, your effective date is the day after you left the service.

Presumptive Service Connection

If the VA presumes service connection for your medical condition — and received your application within a year of you leaving the service — your effective date is when you became disabled or when the VA receives your application (whichever is later). If the VA receives your claim after one year from your release from active duty, your effective date is when the VA receives your application.

Change in Law

Your effective date depends on when the VA receives your claim. If it receives it within one year of a “liberalizing law change,” your effective date might be the date the law changed.
If the VA receives your claim more than one year after the change, your new effective date is when the VA received your claim.

Appeal for Increase in Disability Rating

If you submit an appeal for an increase in disability rating, and the VA receives it within one year of the event that triggered the entitlement to an increased rating, your effective date is the date you first became eligible for an increase. If more than one year has passed, the effective date for your increase is the date the VA receives your appeal.

Do You Believe the VA Assigned You an Incorrect Effective Date? Call Us Today

Incorrect effective dates are not uncommon and can cost you thousands in retroactive disability benefits. If you believe the VA assigned you the wrong effective date, we may be able to help. As a client of CCK, we will investigate your claim and determine the correct effective date. If we find the VA made a mistake, we will help you appeal the decision and receive the correct date.

Call Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick LTD for a free consultation today: 800-544-9144.


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  • I thought I could go it alone. I filed several disability claims through the VA only to be denied over and over again. I knew I needed help. I found that help with the law firm of Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick. They filed for me and won. Read More » Gene W., July 2017
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  • I was fighting for my VA disability compensation for 10 years. I was ready to give up and then CCK took my case. I immediately felt at ease because they kept me informed every step of the way and there was so much less stress for me. Read More » Raul B., March 2017
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