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How do you determine the effective date of a disability award?

You look at two factors. First, you must consider the date the last claim was received by the regional office, and second, the date the disability in question first manifested or became symptomatic. The later of the two dates should be the effective date of the service-connected disability award. See 38 U.S.C. § 5110(a); McGrath v. Gober, 14 Vet.App. 28 (2000).