Am I Receiving All the VA Benefits I Should?

I want to talk to you today about something that I’ve touched on in some other articles in the past.  But, I feel like it is so important to so many veterans and so many claims that it deserves a full discussion.

Are you getting the full amount of VA benefits that you should be getting?

Recently, we won a claim on appeal for a veteran and received the decision.  We reviewed the code sheet and the ratings decision.  Both indicated that this was a “full grant” of the benefits to the veteran.

The first thing I do is question that assertion. Is it really a full grant of benefits?

Worried man and woman reading letter at home What does a “full grant” of VA benefits really mean?

A full grant of VA benefits is nothing short of everything that you are seeking or that you are entitled to under the law. A full grant is not what the VA thinks you should receive.

I see way too many times where VA tells the veteran that it is a full grant of benefits when it really is not.  But, more importantly, how do you know if this is a full grant or it is something that is only a partial grant that you should appeal?

What types of things should you be looking for in the decision from VA?

One of the things I always look at is the effective date for the rating.  Effective date can be easy if there is a clear date for the application for benefits.

How can the effective date be wrong?

Suppose you applied on August 1, 2013 for a 50% rating for your disability.  Then, VA issues a decision granting a 50% rating with an effective date of August 1, 2013.  That would be a full grant of benefits.

But, what if the VA only awarded you 30% as of August 1, 2013 and increased it to 50% as of August 1, 2016? That is what we call a staged rating.  You get one rating for a certain period and a different rating for another period.

If you feel you were entitled to the 50% rating all the way back to the date of your application, you need to appeal that issue.  You should not accept the statement from VA or except their statement that it is a full grant of benefits.

Another way VA can mess up the effective date is to award you a single rating but not go all the way back.  Take the following example:

  • You apply for benefits for a 50% rating going back to September 1, 2014.
  • VA grants your 50% rating but only awards you benefits going back to September 1, 2015.

You received the rating percentage for which you applied.  But, VA did not award you benefits for the whole time for which you applied.  You probably need to file a notice of disagreement and appeal in this situation.

Can the rating itself be wrong as well?

Another main point is the actual rating itself.  Most veterans focus on this.  However, it is not always as easy as it seems to notice when VA makes a mistake.

Judge writing on paper VA’s ratings are complex.  Each condition has its own rating rules.  I have written a number of articles about how VA rates different medical conditions such as the following:

In reviewing the rating, you need to determine if VA granted the right rating based on your current condition.  Even after you do that, you may have to deal with the staged rating situation I mentioned earlier.  If VA said you were 30% for two years and then 50% after that, you will need to determine whether VA is right.

Many times, VA is not right.  If you should have received a 50% rating for the whole time, you will need to file an appeal.  So, be sure and examine the ratings carefully.

What if I am not sure whether I received a full grant of benefits?

I know that VA decisions can be difficult to understand.  In fact, the whole VA claims process can be very confusing.

If you are uncertain whether you received all the benefits you should, I would recommend you talk to an attorney.  Our firm provides free veterans disability benefit consultations.  Many veterans find that this process helps clear up their questions about a VA decision.

Setting up a free consultation only takes a couple of minutes.  You can do it in one of two ways:

  1. Call us at (770) 214-8885
  2. Complete and submit the consultation request form on this page

Please let us know if we can be of assistance.

Travis Studdard is an attorney who focuses on representing veterans in VA disability compensation claims.  He regularly writes about issues that are important to veterans and their families.

You can subscribe to his Veterans Disability channel on YouTube.

I could not have asked for a better lawyer to represent my worker comp. case. Any questions I had during the process was always answered in a timely manner. Mr. Perkins really cared about insuring that I wasn't being taken advantage of during this process and helped us reach a settlement that I feel comfortable with. I would recommend this firm to my parents or children.syndel Laber
I'm so thankful and grateful for all the hard work Jason, Tina and Liz did for me. They went above and beyond to get the best outcome for me. They took the to explain everything that was going on with my case again I'm so thankful grateful and happy with the outcome of my workers comp case.Adrian Adams
First off, I must say thank you again to the office of Perkins Studdard. I appreciate all the hard work and dedication your office has shown to achieve a successful and happy outcome. You have forever changed my family’s life! Also, I wanted to give a special shoutout to Jessica Hyatt for her excellent attitude, advice, and overall professionalism throughout every step of this process. This journey has finally been complete after more than a decade of being denied and almost giving up. However, two of my old coworkers advised me that the office of Perkins Studdard had also successfully helped them achieve their proper rating too. Needless to say, this has been one of my best decisions in life. I can now sleep a little better and stress free knowing I finally got what I deserved all along. Once again, thank you for everything! And shoutout to Travis Studdard, “we did it.” Respectfully, Jonathon FloresJonathon Flores
My family and I are so grateful for Jason Perkins and his team. Jason explains thing's to detail and walks you through every step of your case. I would highly recommend Perkins Studdard for your legal needs. Thank you so much Jason and Tina!Chapin & Lea Anne Warner
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Thank you so much ! I received excellent representation from the entire Perkins Studdard Law firm, my VA claim was resolved and granted in a timely manner, they were hands on with me during the entire process. I would definitely recommend the firm to any veteran deciding to file a VA claim.Darrell Lynn
I would like to thank the law firm of Perkins-Studdard (Travis) and his team, for performing such an outstanding job, at every possible level, during my recent situation with the VA Disability Claims . From the first time I called and spoke with Mr Studdard with an overview of my situation, until the final settlement was executed (successfully I may add), I always felt that I was in good hands with this firm. Everyone in the office, Jessica, and April were responsive, approachable, knowledgeable, good listeners, and extremely professional. Mr. Studdard was realistic of the circumstances and of the potential difficult process that would lay ahead, should I proceed. I can’t say enough about Travis, and I will always be thankful to him. Travis was committed, and he instilled a real sense of confidence during both the highs and the lows. He ultimately prevailed and the outcome was very much in my favor. Of course, each case is different on its own merits and one can never predict how things ultimately will turn out. All I know is that the settlement far exceeded my expectation. Mr. Studdard has been a blessing to me. I strongly recommend that anyone who would find themselves in a similar legal situation with the VA to contact Law Offices of Perkins Studdard for a consultation. It was a very positive experience given the circumstances. Thank you again, I shall forever be in your debt.Concetta Hogg
Mr. Perkins, I cannot express enough how thankful I am for your exceptional representation. Your hard work, expertise, and unwavering commitment to my case have left an indelible mark. Thanks to you, I can now move forward with my life, confident that justice has been served.Esli Roque
Travis and his team have been a blessing for me and my family. They have done an amazing job in helping me navigate the VA appeals process. They kept their eye on the ball all the way through the long, difficult and confusing process. I highly recommend Travis and his team because thanks to their professionalism and know how, I got the benefits I deserve.Daniel patriot

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