I have to start with giving thanks for this web site, the administrators who run it and supply all the helpful information, and the members who post all of their questions, experiences and insights. Without all of you, I could have never done any of this! Now on to the best news. We received the Award package today for the highest amount for a single veteran with no dependents. To say that we are thrilled would be an understatement. We submitted an Intent to File on August 1, the day my father-in-law moved into an assisted living facility. He will turn 91 in May. For this reason we filed his claim as "expedited" and the claim was officially received on August 11. I put all the information together myself, with the assistance of this site, and met with a Vet rep who submitted electronically, after "stamping" parts of the submission as certified. We received form letters approximately every other month indicating the claim was still being processed. In February, the vet rep called for a claim status and was told it was a fully developed claim and was in process. She told me to call back in a few weeks if we had not heard anything because it had been 7 months. In March, having not heard anything, the VA rep called again. She called me back to report that somehow my father-in-law's claim had been closed because he was in fact deceased! He, of course, was not but they said they had a death certificate with his name on it. (Later we discovered that there was in fact a veteran with the same name who had passed away in August whose records had been mixed with my FIL) The VA rep cleared this up and they indicated that the file would now be active again. Monday, the rep called and said that the claim had been "adjudicated" and if I did not hear anything in the next 2 weeks to call her again. Today (Friday) the Award package arrived! There was no fiduciary request with the package (His physician said, and he is, competent on the claim) so we are unsure what will happen with regards to that, and that represents a significant amount of money, since it goes back to September. The wording on the letter is "Your payment begins the first day of the month following your effective date. You will receive a payment covering the initial amount due under this award, minus any withholdings, in approximately 15 days. Payment will then be made at the beginning of each month for the prior month." So my question is- does this sound like the back pay is coming as the "Original Award"? Let me know if anyone has had this experience. Once again- gratitude to all of you- this is a long, arduous process and the support and kind words have gotten me through it all!