Having your VA disability claim denied can be a disheartening experience. Different personalities will react to this unfortunate news in different ways. Some may become angry or indignant and commit themselves to obtain the favorable decision they seek by any means necessary. These “other means” may include, in their minds, redoubling their efforts, starting over, and refiling their veterans’ disability claim, and starting over.
Other veterans denied benefits may do just the opposite, and conclude that continuing to pursue their disability benefits claim is a fool’s errand. So they may allow their appellate rights to lapse and fail to file a new claim until some time in the future.
Both of these courses of action, though, can do significant harm to your rights and your VA disability benefits claim. In most cases, you are better served by appealing an adverse decision as opposed to starting over with a new claim.
The Importance of Your Effective Date
The date on which you file your VA disability benefits claim is incredibly important, as the VA can use this date as your effective date for benefits. This would be the date on which your benefits would commence and you would begin to accrue payments.
For example, suppose you file for VA disability benefits on January 1, 2023. Your claim is approved on June 1, 2023, and the VA sets your effective date at January 1, 2023. Your initial payment would include back pay for the time period between January 1, 2023 – your effective date – and the time you receive your first payment.
An appeal is a continuation of your claim and maintains your filing date. Continuing the above example, suppose your claim is denied on June 1, 2023 and you appeal. Your appeal is favorably decided June 1, 2024. Your effective date would remain January 1, 2023, and you would be entitled to back pay for the period between your effective date and the date you actually begin receiving payments.
You Lose Benefits When You Fail to Appeal an Adverse Decision
If you were to abandon any appeal following your denial and choose instead to file a new claim, then the filing date of your new claim could become your effective date. The date on which you filed your failed claim would, in this case, be irrelevant to the date from which you would begin receiving benefits.
Get Experienced and Sound Advice from Veterans Law Attorneys
While most denials should be appealed, there may be a few situations where it is better to start the claims process over with a new claim. Veterans Law Attorneys can give you the insight you need to make an informed decision about appealing an adverse claim decision. Where an appeal ought to be filed, our trained staff and attorneys can effortlessly complete the necessary steps and ensure your claim is timely and effectively appealed.
For experienced and knowledgeable help with your VA disability claim appeal, call Veterans Law Attorneys at (866) 894-9773. You can also request a case consultation using our online form.