When your VA disability benefits claim is finally approved, your award will consist of both ongoing monthly disability benefits and retroactive benefits. Retroactive benefits are benefits received for the period beginning on the effective date of your claim up through the date your claim is approved and you begin receiving your monthly benefit.
The reason why the VA awards retroactive benefits is simple: If you were disabled from a service-related condition on the effective date of your claim, you should not lose out on those benefits just because the VA took a few months (or longer) to approve your claim.
Like any other part of your disability award, you should review the retroactive benefits portion carefully. Just because the VA routinely awards them does not mean that the amount you receive is what you deserve.
Common Reasons Why Your Retroactive Benefits May Be Incorrect
Reach out and speak to a VA disability benefits appeal lawyer if you do not believe your retroactive benefits amount is accurate. The amount awarded to you may not be correct because:
The VA Used the Incorrect Effective Date
In the majority of cases, your effective date will be the date you filed your claim for disability benefits with the VA. However, there may be certain circumstances where your effective date is different than the date of filing. Your award letter should clearly indicate what effective date the VA used, so if it is incorrect, speak with an attorney about your options.
The VA Assigned an Incorrect Disability Rating
Your retroactive benefits award amount depends not only on the effective date of your claim. It also takes into account how disabled the VA finds you to be on the effective date. This is called your disability rating, and an incorrect rating can mean you lose out on thousands of dollars in benefits.
The VA may assign an incorrect disability rating if your condition improved between the time you filed your claim and the time your claim was approved. They may also have disregarded important evidence about the impact of your disability. In either case, having a skilled lawyer investigate the matter is advisable.
The VA Used an Incorrect Pay Scale
The amount of benefits you receive each year changes as Congress authorizes cost-of-living increases. If the date between your effective date and the date your claim is approved spans two or more years, it is possible that the VA did not use the correct pay scales in force during this period of pendency when calculating your claim.
Take Action If You Believe There is a Mistake
If you have any questions about your award letter, or if something about your retroactive or future benefits just does not seem right, seek help from the Ohio veterans law lawyers at Veterans Law Attorneys. You only have a limited time period to appeal an incorrect decision, and we can help you make the most of your appeal. C
Contact Veterans Law Attorneys by telephone at 833-753-5168, or request a consultation with us online.