Effective date of injury


My husband filed a claim on December 12, 2018, for a Vietnam presumed illness, Ischemic Heart Disease with congestive chronic heart failure after a 24 day hospitalization for stroke starting June 20, 2018 with an additional two months of extensive skilled and rehabilitation therapy. What does the following paragraph I copied from the VA mean as far as his effective date:  “If we get a claim within 1 year after the date the Veteran suffered an injury, or their existing injury got worse, the effective date is the date the injury happened or when it began to get worse.“   He was unable to file a claim before December because of the complexity of issues with the stroke. I actually had to get guardianship of him during that time. Your thoughts?  Thank you for the helpful information you provide to veterans.

Jim's Reply:

I'm sorry to tell you that I'm not sure that he is eligible for an ischemic heart disease (IHD) benefit. The IHD benefit refers pointedly to coronary artery disease and excludes carotid artery disease (the source of many strokes) as well as electrical disturbances of the heart and some other issues that can lead to CHF. Since you don't mention a heart attack, I question the IHD claim. In any case, benefits are awarded to the date the claim is filed and very rarely any earlier than that. If he is awarded service connection only then would it be time to appeal and argue for an earlier effective date.