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Help with Effective Date of Disability Appeal-related Back Pay


Hi to All, 

In full disclosure, let me begin by saying that I am not the veteran in question...I am the 22-year wife of a veteran with Schizoeffective disorder. He served his country with distinction in both he Army and the Air Force. To make a long story short (I hope), he was so traumatized when he left the military (they gave him a psych discharge; he served in Desert Storm and had a breakdown over there) until he did not want to deal with anything military or veteran related for a long time. I bring this up because he waited until 2008 (when his condition had gotten unbearable, we were in financial dire straights, etc.) to even begin to look at getting benefits again. As luck would have it, at that time, the VA had just finished deducting from the benefits they WOULD HAVE given him had he been receiving a month check to pay them back for a large lump sum ($20,000 or so, I think) when he separated from the military (My apologies; I am a civilian; I do not know all the formal terms, etc.). Prior to 2008,they awarded him only 10%. In May 2008, that was increased to 30%. Ladies and gentlemen, this is where it gets all fuzzy for me...I had cancer during this time, we had a son with autism, my husband had highs and lows...I really do not remember all of what transpired because it took so long for anything to happen. The bottom line is we got a thick court case-looking document in the mail last month saying in the Conclusion of Law section the following: "For the entire period on appeal, the criteria for a disability rating of 70 percent, but no higher, for schizoaffective disorder are met." My question (finally) is...What is "the entire period on appeal"? I see a line in here that says, "In the June 2010 substantive appeal..." Is this the appeal on which this ruling is based? Then there were 2014 dates, too. It is all so confusing. Any help  you can give will be greatly appreciated.

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If we could see the final decision with all personal info it would help us to pin point what went on with their reasoning.

I'm gonna give it a blind shot. In 2010 they did make changes to phsyc disability policies.

What I'm reading is where they possibly gave different ratings based on the medical evidence for that time period. It's really difficult to be certain without reading decision.

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1 hour ago, R3dneck said:

If we could see the final decision with all personal info it would help us to pin point what went on with their reasoning.

I'm gonna give it a blind shot. In 2010 they did make changes to phsyc disability policies.

What I'm reading is where they possibly gave different ratings based on the medical evidence for that time period. It's really difficult to be certain without reading decision.

Thank you! I would have to scan this nearly 20 page document for show it to you all (I think). I will see what I can do. I called the DAV to ask; I could be wrong, but I felt like they were just telling me something to rush me off of the phone :) . 

Thanks so much for responding.

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Apparently, either your husband or his representative appealed an earlier VARO denial.  

I agree, however, simply based upon your statement regarding the "2010 Substantive appeal" that your effective date will be prior to 2010.  But there is more. 

You see, when you get a VARO decision, you file a NOD if you dispute it.  Some time later, the VA files a "STATEMENT OF THE CASE", and you must file a form I9 substantive appeal.   SOMEBODY did that, probably your representative.  So, "the entire period upon appeal" is likely before 2010, probably at least a year or so before that.  We dont know, tho, you will have to read up on that to find out.  Nowadays, it takes a couple years after you file the NOD, for the VA to file the SOC.  Nobody knows how long it will take, you can probably read the cfile and find out how long it DID take.  

Bottom line:

Congratulations, you should be getting back pay for AT LEAST 7 years, and probably closer to 10 years for 70%, based on what you posted.  

Now, the VARO will have to implement this BVA (or CAVC decision, whichever it is).  Still, within the next few months, maybe less, you should get a monster check from VA.  Currently, 70% married Vets get $1451 per month.    If you have more dependents, it will be more.  

Now, while we would like to do this, you can not simply multiply 1451 times 12 times 7 years, because it was less and has been increased most years prior to Obama.  (We did not get a raise for about 3 years during Obama administration so it stayed the same).   You have to figure it again each year.  However, I will "guess" you will average about 1300 per month this 84 plus months or about a check for $109,000.  Its probably actually gonna be more, because it was likely a couple more years for you to get the SOC and file the 2010 substantive appeal.  

However, before you go spending the money, the VA will deduct any you have already received.  That is, if you were NSC pension, or 40 percent or whatever...any or all of this will be deducted from the 109,000.  

Edited by broncovet
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Thank you so much, @broncovet, for an educated guess :) . 

Below is a screenshot of a list of "somethings" I found in ebenefits. Yes, I recall now that it was a mess. We filed "something"....then we tried to make an appointment to see the Board....they waited right up until the week before to cancel (after we had been waiting a couple of years, I think). Then, we tried again...but my husband got sick and could not go. Finally, we got to go. I still cannot find the original date when we started this process. 


Appeal Info.JPG

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