Accessing VA benefits can be a lengthy process that takes months in some cases.

When that happens and payments of VA disability benefits start long after a veteran’s eligibility date, they are entitled to back pay or retroactive benefits.

Read here to learn how eligibility for back pay is determined and how veterans can claim any back pay they are entitled to.

What Is VA Disability Back Pay?

Retroactive VA benefits are back pay that a disabled veteran may be entitled to receive if they filed for disability benefits but had a long wait for approval.

Considering there are hundreds of thousands of VA disability benefits claims in the queue, processing these claims can be a long, months-long process.

In cases where a veteran’s disability claim is approved, retroactive benefits provide back pay for all the time that the veteran waited to have their claim approved and a disability rating assigned.

What Is The Effective Date for Receiving VA Disability Benefits?

The effective date for receiving VA benefits is, in most cases, the date on which the veteran filed their claim for benefits.

Yet there are some instances when a veteran may be entitled to back pay for time prior to their filing if they meet certain requirements:

  • A veteran who filed for VA disability benefits within a year of being discharged due to their service-connected condition may qualify for back pay with an effective date being their date of discharge.
  • When the VA acknowledges that a “clear and unmistakable error” (CUE) has been made in the handling of a disability claim, that veteran may be entitled to back pay based on an earlier effective date. Similarly, if the veteran should have had a service connection for a disability that developed or worsened over time, they may also be entitled to retroactive compensation according to the existence of that discovered service connection.
  • When a veteran’s condition worsens or they experience a secondary condition and file for a disability ratings increase, they may be eligible for back pay starting from when their condition worsened or the secondary condition became apparent.

How Are Back Pay VA Benefits Calculated?

When a veteran is entitled to receive retroactive VA benefits, they are paid according to the applicable disability rating during that period of time and the Cost of Living Adjustment rate for the year in which back pay is owed.

In other words, if a veteran’s VA disability benefits are approved six months after they filed, back pay will be calculated monthly based on the VA payment rate for the specific year each of those months falls within.

The veteran’s VA disability benefits rating at that time will also apply.

This frequently means that retroactive VA benefits are issued at a lower rate than that of the veteran’s current rate.

What Happens When A VA Disability Benefits Claim Is Rejected?

Any time a veteran’s disability claim is rejected, they have the ability to file an appeal to have their case re-evaluated.

After going through the appeal process and VA disability benefits are then approved, that veteran is entitled to back pay starting from the date that their initial claim was made.

Contact A VA Benefits Expert to Discuss Back Pay Eligibility and Issues

Veterans who wait months or longer to have VA benefits claims approved are entitled to back pay starting from the date they filed their claim or perhaps even before that.

Veterans who are already receiving VA disability benefits may also be entitled to retroactive benefits if their service-connected condition worsens, a new condition is discovered, an appealed claim is approved, or the VA has acknowledged a CUE during the processing of their disability claim.

In any of these cases, veterans can ensure they have received all of the benefits they are entitled to by discussing their claim with a knowledgeable VA disability benefits expert.

Confused About Retroactive VA Disability Benefits in Texas?

True Vet Solutions Can Help With VA Benefits Issues Related to Back Pay and Effective Dates!

Call 888-802-1549 To Speak to A Representative Today!


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