Discussion in 'Veterans Disability Commission' started by wolfgheist, May 1, 2007.
You apply for disability compensation by filling out and signing VA Form 21-526. You should attach a certified copy of your DD 214 (this will help speed up your claim by VA not having to verify your service with the service department in question), any treatment records of your claimed disabilities since discharge, and SMR's if you hve them. If you don't have your SMR's, the VA will obtain them from St. Louis. You don't need to have your SMR's before you can apply for disability benefits.
As far as your back pay goes, if you're rated over 50%, then your retirement is phased in over a ten year period. Without getting into the specifics, just go to military.com. They have a section there where it is explained pretty well.
Why do you think you'll be rated at the 50% rate or higher, just curious?
Wolf, are you talking about backpay in the traditional sense? or as a retiree drawing CRDP? If you're talking about the traditional sense, the VA has an obligation to pay a claim from when they first became or should have become aware of it. As an example consider the following: Suppose you file a claim on 1 Jan 2007 but it takes the VA until 1 Jan 2009 to approve the claim. Usually your monthly payment will start 1 Feb 2009 .BUT. the VA will owe you back pay between 1 Jan 07 and 1 Feb 09. For that you'll get a lump sum to cover the "backpay". It's more complex than that but that's the gist of it.
The TAPS folks weren't entirely wrong. Some conditions are presumptive of service in the year after discharge and an award can be made. Some cases are not .AND. if you failed to have continuing medical treatment, you might not be eligible for an award. If there is no evidence of a condition in service and it isn't presumptive, you are not eligible. Each case needs to be evaluated on its own merits. It is not a simple cut and dried situation.
You don't absolutely have to submit your SMR's. The VA will get them for you but I would certainly go to the NARA site and request my SMR's and my personnel record before the VA does. That way you will have a complete copy. You can request them from the VA later but they usually make a mess of them.
The 'intent to file' as your refered to is called an "Informal Claim." This is some type of comunication to the VA stating you intend to file for such and such a disablity. This is just a simple letter to your Regional Office as there isn't any specific form. Just make sure you be specific as to what disability(ies) you are intending to claim. Once you submit your "informal" claim, you have one year from the date of your Informal claim to submit your "Formal" claim, which is the the VA Form 21-526. If your claim for disability benefits are approved and you submit your Formal claim within one year of your Informal claim, the effective date would be the date of your Informal claim.
Make sure you send the Informal claim per certified Mail with return receipt. Once the VA receives your Informal claim, you'll probably receive a letter from your regional office acknowledging the receipt of the Informal claim and a VA form 21-526 should also be enclosed.
Hope this helps!
My name is Dave, just joined this site, hello to all
here is my question, I was rated at 80% and received an letter stating what my pay would be from OCT-DEC then Jan -Jun. I received my first payment today for only the month of Jun. Will I get the rest of the pay?
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