Matthew Hill: Hello, I’m Matthew Hill, here with Carol Ponton for the Hill and Ponton video blog. Today we want to talk to you about what it means, the difference between asking for service connection, asking for increased rating, and asking for effective date, and errors we see with veterans as far as not knowing the difference between this, Carol.
Carol Ponton: Right. One of the problems I’m seeing is, when we get a veterans case, we’ll see that they applied, say for PTSD or tinnitus, and then it looks like they wanted either a higher rating or they wanted the rating to go back farther in time. But instead of appealing that, what they would say on their appeal is, “I want service connection for PTSD or for tinnitus.” They already had that, and then what the problem is, they’re waiving these other issues that is what they really want, a higher rating or to go back farther in time.
Matthew Hill: Right. I always try to tell veterans that, “You’re not applying for service connection, you’re applying for service-connected compensation, so you’re applying for monetary benefits.” And as Carol said, once you’re service-connected, there’s then two more parts to that. There’s the rating, are they giving you enough money? And then on top of that, did they go back to the proper date?
Carol Ponton: Right, and that’s the one that I see left out all the time. The veterans almost never appeal. They seem to appeal and get service-connected for something, then they get the rating they want by appealing, and then they look and say, “Oh, I really wanted them to go back father.” They’ve already waived their appeal.
Matthew Hill: Right.
Carol Ponton: So now they come to us, it’s three or four years later and that appeal is gone, that claim is gone.
Matthew Hill: That claim is gone. It’s important to know that there’s no such thing as a claim for earlier effective date, unless it’s a CUE claim, which is very, very difficult to win. Whereas there is a claim for service connection, there is a claim for increased rating, but not for an earlier effective date when you were assigned service connection. So, as Carol said, it’s important to do all three of those at the same time.
Carol Ponton: Right, so when you’re awarded, service-connected for anything, you need to make sure that the date they give you is correct. If it’s not, you want an earlier effective date. You want to ask on the form, you say, I want service connection back to whatever date you think you should have been granted that. Okay?
Matthew Hill: Well, thank you so much for joining us today.