Legal Question in Veterans Law in California

Service-connected low back pain

Retired from USMC in 1995 after 20 years service. Applied at VA for service-connection of low back pain diagnosed by military physician in 1992 as degenerative disc disease. In 1995 it was denied by the VA as ''not well founded''. But in 2005 I asked again and they granted me 10% service-connected! Am I entitled to back-dated payment to my 1995 claim?

Asked on 3/31/09, 12:40 am

2 Answers from Attorneys

Michael Eisenberg Law Office of Michael D.J. Eisenberg, Attorney and Counselor at Law

Re: Service-connected low back pain

There really is no simple answer to a question like this. It depends in part on the medical evidence available at the time of the two decisions, 1995 and 2005 and the analysis of the decisions.

I do offer initial consultations free of charge. If we can agree upon a time, I'd be happy to initiate the call in order to save you in long-distance charges.

Read more
Answered on 3/31/09, 7:22 am
Jill Mitchell-Thein Heard & Smith, LLP

Re: Service-connected low back pain

From what you say here, and without seeing anything else, the short answer is (more than likely) no. For one thing, the requirement for well-groundedness that existed in 1995 was no longer in place by the time of your next claim. You can't go back in time and apply new law to an old case. However, if the 1995 decision contained a clear and unmistakable error of fact or law, you may have a (long)shot. If the doctor in 1992 said the problem was service connected, then it probably should have been granted, but if all you had was a diagnosis with no medical linking it to service, you had a piece missing back then. Feel free to email me directly with any more questions.


Read more
Answered on 3/31/09, 7:25 am

Related Questions & Answers

More Veterans Law questions and answers in California