For the first time, eligible veterans who file fully developed claims (FDCs) will be entitled to retroactive benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs for a service-connected disability, for up to one year. The change is due to provisions of a new law that went into effect on August 6, 2013 and will be in effect until August 5, 2015. Public Law 112-154 is a comprehensive package of legislation that was passed by Congress and signed into law on August 6, 2012 by President Obama.
Veterans’ advocates said that the new legislation is all the more reason for disabled veterans to submit fully developed claims, which are claims that do not need any further documentation. In addition to the retroactive benefits, FDCs move through the VA’s system much more quickly. The current average time for traditional disability claims to be processed and decided is approximately 260 days, while the average for FDCs is approximately 114 days.
Disability claims can be filed electronically using eBenefits, an online portal jointly operated by the VA and the Department of Defense. While submitting an FDC will decrease the processing time for any claim, only veterans submitting their first claim are eligible for retroactive benefits.
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