Technically, there’s not a statute of limitations for applying for VA disability benefits. However, it’s a good idea to apply for benefits as soon as possible because it can take months for the VA to approve your claim.
To help with the costs of health care the VA will backdate your payments to the date of your original application, request for re-open or request for an increase for your service-connected disability. Here’s how it works: when you get approved for VA benefits, the VA will check to see when you first sent in your application or request, then they will give you a lump sum for the amount you would have received had you been receiving benefits since your application or request date. Keep in mind, not every claim will date back to the application or your request. The evidence in your particular claim will ultimately determine your retroactive payment.
Unlike applying for VA benefits, appealing a rating decision does have a one year statute of limitations. You can appeal a denial of benefits, a low rating and the effective date of benefits if you feel the VA is incorrect. All three of these appeals will have the one year statute of limitations.
The clock starts ticking when you receive the letter from the VA. Once you get the letter you have one year to file a Notice of Disagreement with the VA. This is a firm deadline and no extensions will be given.
There are other types of decision notices that you may receive throughout your claim for VA disability benefits that have short appeal periods. Knowing what your time frame is for applying or appealing is vital to getting approved by the VA. If you have any questions about how or when to apply or appeal, call the trusted VA benefits lawyers at Jan Dils Attorneys at Law.