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    When a Veteran starts considering whether or not to file a VA Disability Claim, there are a lot of questions that he or she tends to ask. Over the last 10 years, the following are the 14 most common basic questions I am asked about ...
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  • Can a 100 percent Disabled Veteran Work and Earn an Income?

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    You’ve just been rated 100% disabled by the Veterans Affairs. After the excitement of finally having the rating you deserve wears off, you start asking questions. One of the first questions that you might ask is this: It’s a legitimate question – rare is the Veteran that finds themselves sitting on the couch eating bon-bons … Continue reading

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Cavtrooper088

Va Retro Pay

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I retired from active following Desert Storm with 21 years of active duty, and was approved for VA disability (90%)on 1 Feb 2006. However, my first check did not arrive until 1 April 2007. Am I eligible to received all monies accrued between the original award date (1 Feb 06), and the date (1 Apr 07) that I finally started to receiving my VA disability check? I am specifically wondering if the fact that I was already drawing my military pension will preclude me from drawing the money that was withheld.

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If you were approved (effective date of award) 1 Feb of 06, you should be in receipt of VA disability starting 01Mar06. CRDP allows retired military personnel (with 50% or more disability) to receive both retired pay and va disability with a 10 year phase-in program. So you should receive your 90% from VA with a % VA offset in your military retired pay for the phase in. I believe we are in the 5th year of the 10 year phase in, but it was up to about 80% for 06 and higher in 07, 08, 09. An example is, I receive 80% from the VA which with my spouse is $1547. My retirement pay shows a VA offset of 180.99. So they take $180.99 out of my gross retirement pay. That changes each year until the phase-in is complete. Then we will receive full VA and retirement pay. When I first retired (1999), the only thing that VA compenstation did was make it non taxable income. So if you were 80% like me and got the $1547 from VA, your military retired pay was reduced by that $1547. CRDP was a great things for vets, but they should have given us the full payment and not phased it in over 10 years. They whined about how much it would have cost, but the bail-outs these past years of 700 billion or more show that they could have easily started it immediately. We will lose thousands of dollars over those 10 years.

To get back to your claim, when did you file your initial claim with the VA? If you filed within a year of your retirement and it took them that long to decide, you should get retro back to the date you filed or the month after you retired.

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If you were approved (effective date of award) 1 Feb of 06, you should be in receipt of VA disability starting 01Mar06. CRDP allows retired military personnel (with 50% or more disability) to receive both retired pay and va disability with a 10 year phase-in program. So you should receive your 90% from VA with a % VA offset in your military retired pay for the phase in. I believe we are in the 5th year of the 10 year phase in, but it was up to about 80% for 06 and higher in 07, 08, 09. An example is, I receive 80% from the VA which with my spouse is $1547. My retirement pay shows a VA offset of 180.99. So they take $180.99 out of my gross retirement pay. That changes each year until the phase-in is complete. Then we will receive full VA and retirement pay. When I first retired (1999), the only thing that VA compenstation did was make it non taxable income. So if you were 80% like me and got the $1547 from VA, your military retired pay was reduced by that $1547. CRDP was a great things for vets, but they should have given us the full payment and not phased it in over 10 years. They whined about how much it would have cost, but the bail-outs these past years of 700 billion or more show that they could have easily started it immediately. We will lose thousands of dollars over those 10 years.

To get back to your claim, when did you file your initial claim with the VA? If you filed within a year of your retirement and it took them that long to decide, you should get retro back to the date you filed or the month after you retired.

Thanks for the good information Mags. My initial packet (dtd 3 Apr 07) from VA says that they received my claim 24 Jan 06 and that my payment amount start date was 1 Feb 06. However, I didn't receive my first payment until 1 Apr 07. Is it possible that I will receive back pay from Feb 06 to 1 Apr 07 which was the time that I actually started receiving a VA check?

I'm one of the dumb ones who went years avoiding VA and thinking that there was nothing wrong with me that I couldn't fix myself. After a fellow vet died, his widow and my wife of 39 years finally convinced me that I should go see VA and pretty much hand carried me to the local county VA rep and told him I had issues. I thought it was normal to go crazy, get in fights and get fired for anger management problems. VA counseling and PTSD counseling has helped me a lot the past couple of years.

I'm 70% PTSD, 20% DM2, and several 10%' ers (back, neck, tinnitus, scars, neuropathy legs) for a combined 90%. Finally figured out that I'll never get to the 100% by hitting 10-20% at a time so looks like I'll stay at 90%

Thanks for your help brother.

Cavtrooper088

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Don't "assume" you will get that missing money. Submit an IRIS inquiry (never call the 1-800 #) and describe your situation as you have here and see what kind of response you get...ask for your response in writing (either e-mail or ltr).

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Cavtrooper088:

You should have been paid retro from 1 Feb 06. You need to write your VA regional office. You should confer with your VSO to see what you should say in your letter. It should be easy for them to trace back to see when they started paying you. Your letter just needs to contain the info you explained here. The date the letter states you should start receiving VA comp and tell them the actual date you received monthly comp. With 70% PTSD, you should be able to get TDIU if you are not working. If you are not working, I would definitely pursue TDIU and SSDI. Good luck!

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