Frequently Asked Questions
Q. How do I get an earlier effective date for my disability?
A. VA assigns an effective date as the date on which the granted claim was filed. There are some important exceptions to this rule. If a claim for service connection has been denied for years and is then granted when new unit records are discovered, the regulations require that the VA consider an effective date back to the time when the first claim was filed.
Q. Can I reopen an old claim?
A. Veterans' disability claims, once decided and not appealed, become final and binding. There are two basic ways a finally decided claim determination may be challenged. The first is by a Clear & Unmistakalbe Error. The other process is the presentation of New and Material Evidence. Generally, the vet is trying to reopen a denial of a service connection for the claimed disability.
Q. How do I file a claim for benefits?
A. Complete and mail VA Form 21-526, Veterans Application for Compensation and/or Pension, to your local VA Regional Offce. You may request the form be sent to you ba calling 1-800-827-1000 or you may online at the VA website, www.VA.com.
Q. How long will my case take?
A. The VA and Court have a substantial backlog of cases. It could take over a year for a decision. Our goal is to keep your case on track and get your appeal to VA for correction of errors and press for a favorable decision.
Q. Are my service-connected disability payments taxable?
A. These payments are tax free.
Q. How can I find out about other benefits that may be available to me and/or my family?
A. Contact your local VA Regional Office 1-800-827-1000 or by logging onto www.VA.gov.
Q. What is CUE-Clear Unmistakable Error?
A. CUE is a legal argument made by the veteran that alleges the VA decision is incorrect based solely on the facts as originally presented. If a CUE claim is sucessful, benefits are paid all the way back to when the original claim was filed.
Q. What will my appeal cost me?
A. There is no upfront fee for our services. Only if we obtain a retroactive award for you will we receive compensation as a percentage of your award (20%).
Q. What is your success rate?
A. The vast majority of the claims we take we win. That win may be a remand or a reversal of the RO's prior decision. But the ultimate goal is an award of future and retroactive benefits for you.
Q. How much is my case worth?
A. Vets can receive retroactive awards ranging from hundreds to thousands of dollars. These awards are tax free. The value of your case depends on the facts in your specific case.
Q. How do I hire Vet Benefits Help Centers?
A. Email or call immediately and an accredited representative will assist you.