VA benefits can be paid for enrollments up to one year before the date VA receives a students application. The date stamp put on the students application determines the one-year date. If a student asks to be certified retroactively for enrollment periods you haven't certified previously, certify the previous periods the student asks you to certify. VA will determine the date of eligibility and the beginning date from which benefits can be paid.
Chapter 35 retroactive benefits may be handled differently and may exceed one year. If the chapter 35 eligibility date is more than one year before the date VA makes the eligibility decision, then the eligibility date may be considered to be the application date if the individual applies for chapter 35 within one year of the eligibility decision. Under this circumstance, retroactive benefits may be more than one year.