Applying for Veterans Administration (VA) benefits can be complex, as you likely already know too well. One of the many confusing aspects of VA benefits is a matter known as the VA effective date. This is typically the date your application was received by the VA. This seems straightforward on the surface, but it can often lead to confusion and frustration.
How the VA Effective Date Typically Works
Let’s say you are a veteran who applied for benefits on September 22, 2015, but you were not awarded benefits until February 1, 2016. You would actually be due benefits stretching back to October 1, 2015. The reason is that it can take the VA an extremely long time to decide on an application. The process usually takes months but can sometimes stretch for years.
The VA effective date can get even more confusing. Generally, if you are a first-time applicant for service-related disability compensation, the effective date will usually be the date you were either entitled to the benefit or when the VA received your application, whichever is later. The entitlement date is the day the VA determined you satisfied all the requirements needed to qualify for disability compensation. It is usually the first date there was medical evidence of your disability.
In some instances, the VA will fail to render a decision on an application. If this happens to you and you re-file, there is a chance your VA effective date could be the date you originally applied.
However, this just scratches the surface of the complexities that can be associated with the VA effective date. If you have questions or are having trouble obtaining the benefits you believe you are entitled to, KBG Injury Law might be able to help. Contact us online or call 717-848-3838 to learn more.