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How Does VA Disability Back Pay Work?


BACK PAY - Back pay, or what the VA calls retroactive benefits, is the lump sum payment for benefits that have been accruing since filing a granted claim. The retro benefits come in a lump sum – paid all at once — after the grant of benefits. The effective date is the start date that the VA uses to begin payments. There are two basic ways that the VA sets an effective date: when it received a veteran's claim or when a veteran was diagnosed with the condition that they are claiming (i.e., when the entitlement arose).


Generally, the VA will assign the latter of these two dates to a claim. Importantly, unless you apply for VA disability benefits within a year of separation from active service, the VA will not grant benefits to the date of discharge. The VA also does not consider the date that a veteran received an injury or illness to be an effective date for purposes of disability benefits. Instead, it looks to the day that the entitlement arose — when a veteran was diagnosed with the condition that they are claiming as a disability.

How Much Back Pay Will I Get?

The amount of back pay that you will receive after being granted disability benefits from the VA will depend on two factors: your effective date and disability rating. The earlier the effective date and the higher the disability rating, the more back pay the VA will owe you. The VA uses a compensation rate table to determine pay based on veterans' disability ratings. If a veteran is owed back payments over a period of years, the VA will utilize its historical compensation rate tables to determine the appropriate payment for each year. For example, a single veteran with no kids and a 40% disability rating would receive $600.90 per month in 2017 and $589.12 in 2016.


Advocates Notes:

If you started a claim in 2005 and you were denied, but you failed to appeal your denied claim within a year of your denial, the decision will become final. This caused you to lose your claim effective date, costing you any potential back pay. Most, unfortunately, you'll have to start over again with new medical evidence. If you didn't appeal your claim within a year, you have lost all your potential back pay.

The VA Disability Advocates Main Office is Located in Las Vegas, NV. We Represent Veterans throughout the United States. 702-992-4883 

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