You’ve worked in service for some years and sustained lifetime disabilities while at work. After making VA disability claims, you expect nothing but the best in return. However, you must understand your eligibility for service-related compensation per the VA codes and regulations. Your effective date often determines the amount of back pay and other benefits you’ll receive. If you know less about VA disability effective dates and their importance, keep reading this guide for more insights.
What’s a Veteran Effective Date?
Before diving into details of VA effective dates and their constituents, you must understand them clearly. In simple terms, a veteran effective date is when the VA receives and approves a veteran’s disability claim and renders the respective vet eligible to receive all the attached benefits. This date is vital in compensation because a wrongful effective date may result in years of lost benefits. Therefore, you must learn more about having an issue with effective dates and how to appeal for adjustment.
Difference Between Effective Date and Payment Date
Although the two terms have closer meanings, they differ. In contrast, the effective date signifies a veteran’s eligibility to receive military-related disability compensation. On the other hand, the claim payment date is the day the VA releases these benefits after evaluation and calculation. The amounts, however, depend on various factors the VA sets and follows in determining the accrued veteran gains.
Determining the Accurate Veteran Effective Date
Settling on an accurate, effective date seems like a walk in the park to the veteran applicants. More than often, most veterans assume that the date they present their application translates automatically into their effective dates. For most military members, the date is preferably the day they make their first VA disability claim. However, this date depends on various dynamics.
If the claim takes long before it gets to the VA, there’ll be a considerable time difference between the veterans’ presumption and the effective date. Also, the VA can set the date according to the date you sustained military-related disabilities, injuries, or illnesses. In addition, it’s worth noting that some disabilities have definite effective dates per state regulations. Lastly, if the veteran dies, the effective date is set when the beneficiaries file a dependency and indemnity compensation (DIC) claim.
What is Back Pay?
Sometimes, the VA may take months or even years to approve your veteran disability claims and appeals. In such a situation, you should expect to receive a lump sum of the monetary benefits the VA should have paid you between application and approval. Here, you need to prove that you had disabilities at the time of the claim application. The amount you receive for the lost benefits is called back pay.
Is Veteran Disability Effective Date Important?
As mentioned in this guide, the effective date has its setting guide and importance, like the expected compensation. It’s when the benefits start accumulating for the veterans or their beneficiaries in cases of death. While the effective date determines the amounts you receive, it also determines the waiting period before you start enjoying the payout. This correlation means the earlier the effective date, the better. If the VA sets your dates wrongly, you can appeal for a rightful date until they grant what you deserve.
As a veteran, you must receive the compensation that the VA owes you or your survivors. VA disability effective dates should be accurate, free from erroneous mistakes that could deter you from receiving the benefits that reflect your unfavorable sacrifices during military service. Now that you understand what effective VA dates are and how vital their accuracy is, you can make your claim or appeal for date correction.