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Is It Too Late To File For Va Disability

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Cavc Appeal To The Federal Circuit 60 Days

Is it too late to file for my VA Disability Claim?

Most cases made at the CAVC will be final decisions, for all practical purposes. On the very rare occasion that a decision is appealable further, the Veteran may appeal his claim to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Either the Veteran or the VA may appeal to the Federal Circuit so even if you win at the CAVC, the VA may decide to fight it. If the claim is again denied by the Federal Circuit, the Veteran has 90 days to petition the U.S. Supreme Court, asking their permission to consider the claim.

Va Disability Benefits Years After Service

You may be eligible for VA disability benefits if you have a current physical or mental condition and meet the following requirements, even if it is years after service:

  • Served on active duty, active duty for training, or inactive duty training, and
  • Have a disability rating for your service-connected condition and
  • Became sick or injured while serving in the military and can link this condition to your illness or injury or
  • Had an illness or injury before you joined the military and it worsened while you served or
  • Have a disability related to your active-duty service that did not appear until after you ended your service.

Veterans can pursue VA disability benefits in a number of ways following a veterans discharge.

Va Disability Compensation Targets Disabling Illnesses Or Injuries And Anything Less Will Be Denied


I was an Aircraft Technician in the Marines from 1988 to 1992. In 1992 I started a downward slide in my health and now have the following medical issues:

· 1992: Asthma, and other issues· 2001: Large lipoma removed from submandibular gland in neck· 2001: Psoriasis· 2010: Diagnosed with Psoriatic Arthritis symptoms started much earlier than 2010· etc

During my time in the Marines I used trichloroethylene and PD680 on a regular basis to degrease parts on aircraft and after researching the chemical I have determined that it could very well have been the trigger to all or some of my problems. Do you have any insight on how to address this to the VA? Is it too late to file a disability claim?


It’s never too late to file a claim for any disability. If you reasonably believe that a condition you suffer today was caused by or aggravated by military service you should seek disability compensation.

You can try going to and following the instructions and hints there. By doing that you can see how past decisions were made for these conditions you want to claim.

The problem you face is pretty routine. Using TCE and PD680 was something a great many of us experienced. TCE in particular was everywhere that Cosmoline was and that was everywhere. I used TCE to clean autoclaves in the surgery suites I worked in.

I don’t recall any cases that would service connect a benign lipoma or any of the other conditions you claim to chemical exposure.

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Mistake #: Waiting To File Your Va Disability Claim

On many occasions, veterans will wait to file their VA disability claims until they have obtained all the evidence they want to submit or until their condition has reached a certain level of severity. While these factors are important, it is also important to recognize that waiting to file can delay your effective date.

An effective date is the date that a benefit became effective and it used by VA as a start date for the payment of disability benefits for a claim. Importantly, the effective date of a claim determines the amount of retroactive benefits a veteran will receive. Generally speaking, the earlier the effective date, the more back pay a veteran will receive.

VA allows veterans to file a claim and then supplement that claim later on with additional evidence. Veterans may also submit legal arguments after the claim has been filed. Therefore, filing a claim as early as possible will result in an earlier effective date than if the veteran waits until they have collected all the evidence they wish to submit.

Potential Impact Of The Brave Act On Di

How Do I Increase My VA Disability Rating?

Our findings definitively show that the BRAVE Act would increase DI program costs by allowing benefits to be paid to disabled veterans with VA ratings of 100% or IU whose impairments do not meet SSA’s current disability standards. The BRAVE Act could create a bifurcated DI program by establishing different medical eligibility standards for disabled veterans and the general population. The allowance rate for veterans with a total-disability rating would increase from its current level of 69 percent to 100 percent. Moreover, if disabled veterans with a VA rating of 100% or IU were automatically eligible for DI, an induced entry effect would likely ensue. That is, some disabled veterans who have not applied for DI would be encouraged to do so, and all of those new applications filed by insured workers not engaging in SGA would result in entitlement to DI benefits. Of the disabled veterans with a VA rating of 100% or IU, the 47 percent who had never before been entitled to DI would now be entitled if they were insured for disability at the point of disability onset and were not working above the SGA level.

The BRAVE Act could also affect the VA disability compensation program. Automatic entitlement to DI disabled-worker benefits could induce more veterans to file an initial benefit claim with VA or to seek a higher disability rating, increasing VA administrative and program costs.

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Claims Are Often Denied For Gulf War Syndrome

There are certain illnesses the VA designates as presumptive if they occurred during service. This means the illness occurred, or an existing illness was aggravated, during service. For veterans who served in the Persian Gulf War, chronic symptoms that exist for six months or more are considered presumptive if a soldier experienced them while serving in the Southwest Asia theater of military operations or through the end of 2016, and the symptoms are at least 10 percent disabling. Illnesses include fibromyalgia, gastrointestinal problems, chronic fatigue syndrome, and other undiagnosed/unexplained medical conditions. If you served in the Gulf War and are applying for VA disability, you may not have to prove a service-related connection for symptoms associated with these types of illnesses.

However, its important to know that in 2015, the VA denied over 80 percentor four out of fiveof those claims filed by veterans of the Gulf War with two primary presumptive conditions: chronic multi-symptom illness and undiagnosed illness. This denial rate increased approximately four percent from 2011. A reported 38 percent of claims for Gulf War Syndrome were denied completely, both for these illnesses and other conditions.

Yet, over half of those veterans whose claims were denied for Gulf War Syndrome were approved for other conditions. Some researchers believe this may show a bias on the part of the VA against approving Gulf War veterans claims for unexplained illnesses.

Financial Education And Asset Building

Our partners recognize that financial education and asset building starts with ensuring individuals and families receive all the benefits to which they are entitled. These include the Earned Income Tax Credit and other tax credits, nutrition assistance, health insurance, heating/cooling allowance support and other national and local benefit programs. Many SPEC partners have incorporated financial education and asset building programs and services such as income support, debt and credit counseling, financial education training, banking education, home ownership and small business management into their free tax return preparation activities.

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Its Too Late To File A Disability Claim I Left Active Duty Years Ago


There is no timeline to file a disability claim for a service-connected disability. However, its much easier to file a claim shortly after leaving the military. This is because you need to establish a connection to your illness or injury and your military service. This is easier when done shortly after leaving the military. However, some illnesses and injuries dont occur until years after leaving military service. This is something that has received national attention in recent years as many veterans from the Korean and Vietnam War eras have been diagnosed with cancers and other medical conditions associated with Agent Orange exposure or related chemicals, or exposure to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune. Other exposure hazards include mustard gas, asbestos, ionizing radiation, Project 112/SHAD , and Radiogenic Risk Activities. You can learn more about these chemical exposures. In these cases, it can take years or even decades before symptoms occur. Remember, there is no time limit to file a claim! Here is an article from a veteran who filed VA disability claims several years after separating from active duty.

Mistake #: Not Filing For Secondary Conditions

Is It Too Late to File for TDIU?

A secondary service-connected disability is a disability that resulted from a condition that is already service connected. There are several ways that a primary disability can cause a secondary disability. Some diseases lead to other health complications that could become serious enough to be considered a secondary disability. Common examples of secondary service-connected conditions include peripheral neuropathy due to diabetes mellitus and depression due to orthopedic conditions.

It is important for veterans to file for secondary conditions at the same time that they file for primary conditions for several reasons. First, it is likely that the evidence in support of the primary condition will also pertain to the secondary conditions. This allows VA to clearly see that the two conditions are related to one another and should therefore be granted benefits together. Second, the effective date for the secondary service-connected conditions may match that of the already service-connected condition, again resulting in a larger retroactive award.

Explaining to VA, clearly, what conditions were caused by an already service-connected condition, or a primary condition that the veteran is seeking service connection for, can help outline the veterans eligibility for secondary service connection disability benefits.

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What If My Rating Is Too Low

If you are given a disability rating by the VA that you feel is too low, you can dispute the decision through an appeal. Rejection of your claim isnt the only VA decision that you can appeal a rating that you feel is too low can be disputed as well. An experienced attorney can team up with you to help you make a strong case to the VA to raise your disability rating.

Getting the right disability rating from the VA can make a huge difference in your financial stability. Since VA disability ratings correspond to certain levels of monthly benefits, an increased rating can mean you have the means to support yourself and your family.

Mistake #: Filling Out Forms Incorrectly

In order to receive disability benefits, veterans must first file a claim with the Department of Veterans Affairs. VA allows veterans to file initial claims for disability benefits in a number of ways, including:

  • Online, using VAs eBenefits platform
  • By completing VA Form 21-526EZ: Application for Disability Compensation and Related Compensation Benefits and mailing it to the Evidence Intake Center or sending it by fax
  • With a legal representative, such as a Veterans Service Organization or accredited attorney or agent or
  • At a VA Regional Office with help of an employee.

Regardless of how veterans choose to file their VA disability claim, it is important that they do so correctly. If not, their claim may be denied or the process may be delayed.

VA Form 21-526EZ is comprised of eleven sections in total, several of which are very important for veterans to complete in full. The sections address several categories, including information regarding the veteran, the veterans service, and the veterans condition. For more information regarding VA forms, visit our blog on the most important VA forms and how to use them.

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Va Disability Percentages For Presumptive Disorders

A presumptive disorder is one that the VA presumes to be service-connected, even if theres no specific evidence or chain of causation that they normally require to form a nexus with military service. A presumptive disorder is a term that the VA uses to describe medical conditions that were so common among veterans in certain situations that they are considered undoubtedly to be due to active duty, exposure or service.

Three Criteria Required For Va Disability Approval

Va Disability Payment Late 2020

To win your VA disability compensation claim, you must demonstrate three things:

  • a medical diagnosis,
  • a connection to active duty military service , and
  • medical evidence of recurring or persistent symptoms.

If you dont score on each of these criteria, you wont get approved for VA disability or compensation benefits.

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Mistake #: Submitting Evidence That Is Not Relevant To The Claimed Condition

When filing for VA benefits, veterans may be tempted to send all their service and medical records to VA. In doing so, veterans might send too much paperwork, making it difficult for VA to locate the pertinent evidence that is most relevant to the claimed condition.

In submitting records to VA, the veteran should be certain that the records are pertinent to the conditions for which they are seeking service connection. Submitting extraneous medical information regarding non-service-connected claims could weaken the veterans case or prolong a decision from VA.

It is important to include evidence with VA disability claims, but veterans must make sure the evidence is necessary to get benefits. Otherwise, it will likely cause undue delays and VA rating authorities might overlook what is actually important.

Tips For Filing A Disability Claim

Filing a claim for compensation can be a very tedious task indeed. Even if you do complete the online version of the claim at VAâs VETS.GOV website you may find that it takes at least 30 minutes just to fill in all the blanks, gathering the required supporting documentation and submitting it to the VA can take much longer and be an exercise in frustration.

Here are a few pointers on how to make the process easier, and how to make sure you get everything right the first time, so you wonât have to do it all over again.

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Filing Va Disability Claims For Ptsd

The first step to getting disability benefits for treatment is to be diagnosed with service-connected PTSD. This typically requires that you first be diagnosed with PTSD, and that the symptoms are consistent with your service experiences. Its possible if you experienced a traumatic event before service, and your military service made it worse, that you can qualify for benefits this requires that a doctor affirms that the condition didnt just worsen due to the natural progress of the disorder, but was aggravated by military service.

After filing a claim, and being diagnosed, you will be measured for the level of impairment, from 0% 100%, depending on how much the condition interferes with normal life functions. VA compensation payments begin at 10% and increase at each rating level.

PTSD symptoms can appear throughout a veterans life. They might show up soon after returning from active duty or they could be triggered in vets 15 20 years later. They can still appear in Vietnam vets and those aging vets who served in Korea.

Many Veterans Service Organizations provide free services to help veterans apply for disability benefits. Groups such as the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Disabled American Veterans, and American Legion maintain offices at the regional benefit centers with accredited officers trained to help you file your claims. They help you navigate the process and can increase the chance that you successfully document your PTSD claim.

Better Not to Delay Treatment

Earned Income Tax Credit

Too Late To File for VA PTSD Benefits?

Many Veterans are eligible for various tax credits including the Earned Income Tax Credit, a refundable federal income tax credit for low- to moderate-income workers and their families. Roughly two million Veterans and military households receive the EITC, the refundable component of the Child Tax Credit or both, according to Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. The credits provide a tax break for eligible service members, allowing them to keep more of what they’ve earned and build a financial cushion for unexpected emergencies. The Tax Credits for Working Families organization produced a video sharing how tax credits are a vital resource for many who have served our country.

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Effective Dates & Increased Ratings

One final note regarding claims for increased ratingsthe VA regulations only allow VA to assign an effective date for the increase as far back as one year prior to filing the claim. In other words, once the veteran files the claim for increase, VA can look back at the evidence for the year prior to the claim to determine when the disability worsened and pay the veteran for that time. Dont wait to file your claim, as you could be losing valuable benefits to which you are entitled.

Musculoskeletal Conditions And Va Disability Rating Percentages

These include strains, sprains, arthritis, reduced flexion, and reduced functionality in arms, legs, back, and neck. Most former infantry will not be surprised to learn that knee and ankle injuries were among the most commonly-approved claims.

To be considered for disability benefits for a musculoskeletal disorder or injury, youll want to be able to show some persistent and recurring symptoms. Common symptoms of musculoskeletal injuries or disorders include:

  • painful motion
  • limitation of flexion or reduced range of motion
  • weakness/fatigue in the extremity
  • Depression
  • Injuries in other areas of the body .

If you are rated for any of these issues as a primary medical condition, you may be able to put in a VA disability application for a musculoskeletal issue. Depending on the circumstances, this could get you another 10% to 20% added to your disability rating.

Unfortunately, the vast majority of these claims receive a VA disability rating of 20% or less.

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