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  • 14 Questions about VA Disability Compensation Benefits Claims


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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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Effective Award Date of Disability Compensation


I created a claim using eBenefits on July 20, 2015 which established the notice of intent to submit a claim.  I have the email from the VA stating that I created the claim for disability compensation.  I officially submitted the claim July 12, 2016 and also have the confirmation email from the VA to prove it.  My claim was processed which increased my compensation amount.  I had assumed that I would receive back pay from July 20, 2015 to the award date, however, when I spoke with the VA they informed me that I only received back pay to August 2016.  I have no idea where the August date came from and when I requested additional information, I was told that I need to submit a NOD for the effective award date.  This is almost 16 months of back pay that I would not receive so it's not a small amount.  

My question is shouldn’t the award date be based on when the claim was initiated in eBenefits and not when the claim was was submitted? 

Thanks for your assistance.

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If you filed a formal "intent to file" ( VA form 21-0966) than I feel you are correct.

I am not familiar with this site but it states:


“Using an "Intent to File" to establish an Effective Date before the claimant has sufficiently prepared his or her application will allow the claimant to receive a larger lump sum retroactive payment than he or she otherwise would have. For instance:

In February, a qualifying 79 year old surviving spouse of a veteran wishes to apply for VA Death Pension but cannot find her husband's DD 214 nor has she scheduled an appointment with her physician to complete the VBA Form 21-2680. Locating the DD 214 and visiting her doctor will likely take her 5 - 8 weeks to accomplish. February is about to end and she does not want to lose the opportunity to establish an effective date. Therefore, she sends an "Intent to File" VBA Form 21-0966 to the VA. Finally, in April, after obtaining the DD 214, visiting her physician, and completing the rest of her application, she files a claim for Death Pension, which is subsequently awarded in November. The VA will begin paying her in December and grant a lump sum retroactive payment for the months of March through November.

In the situation above, had the surviving spouse not submitted VBA Form 21-0966, her Effective Date would have been April rather than February (she would have missed the retroactive payments for the months of March and April). Remember, VA will not make any kind of payment in the month in which the claim, or in this case the "Intent to File", was received.” http://www.veteransaidbenefit.org/informal_claim_effective_date.htm

I am surprised they said to file a NOD , then again they dont want vets to know that a CUE claim on a decision within the appeal period can also be filed with often much faster results,if they have made a legal error on the decision.

You might want to search M21-1MR on line to see what VA is supposed to do ( as in the above case) so that you have a printout from M21-MR to validate the CUE claim.



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to add:

"a.       Intent to File a Claim (ITF)— Effective March 24, 2015, the “Intent to File a Claim” officially replaces what was known as an informal claim. The Intent to File establishes an effective date for some formal claims (i.e. 21-526ez) filed within one year of VA’s receipt of the ITF."

       https://www.calvet.ca.gov/VetServices/Documents/CH 04 - Duty to Assist, VA Claims Process, and Filling Out Forms.pdf


The form itself , under Section II states ,however that the VA may not be able to establish the EED based on the form if the boxes are not checked properly.


Have you received the actual award letter yet? That would show why they did not use the EED intent to file date.

If the VA commited a CUE ( we need to see the decision to determine if they did) it will be a easy CUE to write...if they did, in fact, make a legal error.

I didnt see any BVA cases that were filed for wrong EEDS in reference to VA's receipt of the 21-0966 but I will search some more because the legal error has to be identified via 38 CFR and/or M21-1MR.

Do you have a vet rep?


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Hi Berta,

Thanks for the information.  I verified that the 21-526EZ that was submitted online contains the Application Submitted date of 7/12/2016 at 8:50 AM.  I have yet to receive the official notification decision in the mail so all I can go off of is what's in eBenefits, the back pay deposit that the VA made, and my phone conversation with the VA today.  I'll let you know what the decision says once I receive it. 

I do have a vet rep and am waiting to hear back from them, but figured I'd throw it out it here too.  

Thanks again for the info. 

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If the decision does hold a legal error, I will write the CUE and you can give the rep a copy of it, and stress to them that I have been successful filing CUEs within the appeal period.(they can google me to find that out or come here to hadit...)

.with much faster results that via the NOD route ( although a NOD has to still be filed within that first year after the decision if the CUE route does not work within that year)

When we get a new VA Secretary ( and Trump is official Pres) I will see if I can get this maneuver made into a regulation because I bet 99.9 % of all vet reps have never heard of the potential of CUEing a recent decision. I was thinking of that when I woke up this AM...because I emailed the Trump transition team and told them they would be hearing from me soon via snail mail on this.

I have multiple CUE awards and the decisions that initially held them to prove my point to the new administration. Unfortunately the documentation I have from VA clearly shows that we claimants have our claims handled sometimes by incompetent ,or illiterate federal employees.Even the first denial I ever received was horrendous and showed the callous way VA tries to get out of wrongful death claims.And I will send them a copy of my H VAC testimony on line as well, to prove how they are willing to ignore our most probative evidence, in order to deny claims, because that is easier to do for the VA than to actually read and assess our evidence.(which is what they get paid to do)



I said 99.9 % of the vet reps because I do know a vet rep did this for one of our members here, as I understood their post. I wrote the claim here for him to give to his rep.

This is one small way to reduce the backlog.

If a legal error is made in an initial decision (whether award or denial) and a NOD is filed, that claim could take many years.But a CUE could go very fast.

If a legal error is made but never challenged, it could follow the vets claims for years.

A CUE is outcome determinative , meaning their error cost the claimant $$$$.I think many CUEs are deliberate, hoping we will not challenge them.

If you can scan and attach the decision here, as to their reasons and basis and the Evidence list (cover C file, name, address prior to scanning it) we can see whether a CUE is in order.

I bet they make more CUEs  than we will ever know.

The VA IG has caught errors they make,during periodic OIG inspections,  but I dont know if the veterans are ever informed of the error or if  the RO is ordered to re do the claim.???








Edited by Berta

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Right on Ms Berta!

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