How Does the Department of Veterans Affairs Determine the Effective Date of your Disability Claim?

One of the most contested issues in VA disability claims revolves around the effective date of a disability. Many veterans believe that because their current disability is directly caused by an in-service event or occurrence, the effective date of their disability claim should be the day after they leave the service. Unfortunately, many are disappointed when they learn that in most instances, the effective date of their disability compensation benefits will be a later date. The General Rule The

How to Reopen a Previously Denied Claim

Some veterans are unaware that they may reopen a disability compensation claim that has been denied by the Department of Veteran Affairs. In this blog post, I will explain to you what you need to reopen a previously denied claim. What is the Difference Between a New Claim and a Reopened Claim? At the outset, it is important to understand the difference between a new claim and a reopened claim. Generally, a new claim is one that has never been

Is Your Disability Entitled to Secondary Service Connection?

Many veterans know that they are entitled to service connection for disabilities due to injuries incurred while they were in service. What some may not know, is that it’s possible to receive service connection for additional disabilities that are either caused or proximately due to their service connected disabilities. The important thing to remember is that VA disability compensation is a monthly payment designed to compensate veterans for any impairment in earning capacity. Thus, any additional conditions resulting from your service connected disabilities or

Cost of Living Adjustment for Service-Connected VA Benefits

On February 15, the VA published a COLA adjustment notice in the Federal Register. The VA is required to notify Veterans of COLA adjustments by the Veterans’ Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2017, P.L. 115–75. The law requires an increase in rates when the Social Security Administration increases benefit amounts payable under title II of the Social Security Act. The Social Security Administration announced a two-percent cost-of-living increase in benefits for 2018. The following rates for VA’s compensation program became

Getting a Higher Schedular Rating for Your VA Benefits

In a recent decision, King v. Shulkin, the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (CAVC) ruled that the Board of Veterans Claims (Board) cannot deny a veteran an extraschedular rating simply because there are higher schedular ratings available for more severe symptoms. The CAVC decision involved a Vietnam War Veteran who was granted a noncompensable rating for hearing loss in 2009. The VA examiner found “significant effects” on the Veteran’s occupation and noted poor social interactions and hearing difficulty. The veteran

VA’s Rapid Appeals Modernization (RAMP) Program

Should you participate in the Department of Veterans Affairs’ new Rapid Appeals Modernization  Program (RAMP)? In August 2017, the President signed into law, a new decision review process that proposes to provide a more “streamlined” review ofVA disability claim decisions. The VA has recently began sending out selected veterans invitations to participate in the new Rapid Appeals Modernization Program (RAMP) program. What is Rapid Appeals Modernization Program (RAMP)? There is not a lot of information about the Rapid Appeals Modernization Program since