5.1. Retroactive Benefits
The term "periodic monetary benefits" in section 5121(a) excludes one-time lump-sum payments, such as a payment for specially adapted housing. See Pappalardo v. Brown, 6 Vet. App. 63, 65 (1993) (holding that payments for specially adapted housing are not "periodic monetary benefits" because such benefits may be paid only once). "Periodic monetary benefits" also do not include benefits that may be paid more than once, but are not paid at regular intervals, such as automobile purchase payments. See Gillis v. West, 11 Vet. App. 441, 442-43 (1998) (holding that automobile purchase payments cannot be claimed under section 5121 because, although such benefits may be paid more than once, payment is not made periodically, meaning at regular intervals). However, retroactive awards of disability compensation benefits are considered "periodic monetary benefits," even though the actual payment of retroactive benefits is made in a one-time lump-sum payment, because the benefits that the claimant had been entitled to receive during his or her lifetime would have been paid monthly. Wilkes v. Principi, 16 Vet. App. 237, 241-42 (2002); Nolan v. Nicholson, 20 Vet. App. 340, 347-48 (2006). Additionally, VA regulation § 3.114(a) provides:
(a) Effective date of award. Where pension, compensation, [or DIC], ... is awarded or increased pursuant to a liberalizing law, or a liberalizing VA issue approved by the Secretary or by the Secretary's direction, the effective date of such award or increase shall be fixed in accordance with the facts found, but shall not be earlier than the effective date of the act or administrative issue. Where pension, compensation, [or DIC], ... is awarded or increased pursuant to a liberalizing law or VA issue which became effective on or after the date of its enactment or issuance, in order for a claimant to be eligible for retroactive payment under the provisions of this paragraph the evidence must show that the claimant met all eligibility criteria for the liberalized benefit on the effective date of the liberalizing law or VA issue and that such eligibility existed continuously from that date to the date of claim or administrative determination of entitlement.
(1) If a claim is reviewed on the initiative of VA within 1 year from the effective date of the law or VA issue, or at the request of a claimant received within 1 year from that date, benefits may be authorized from the effective date of the law or VA issue.
(2) If a claim is reviewed on the initiative of VA more than 1 year after the effective date of the law or VA issue, benefits may be authorized for a period of 1 year prior to the date of administrative determination of entitlement.
(3) If a claim is reviewed at the request of the claimant more than 1 year after the effective date of the law or VA issue, benefits may be authorized for a period of 1 year prior to the date of receipt of such request.
38 C.F.R. §§ 3.114(a)(1), (a)(2), (a)(3); Bonner v. Nicholson, 19 Vet. App. 188, 192-93 (2005) aff'd, 497 F.3d 1323 (Fed. Cir. 2007).
38 U.S.C. section 1114 sets forth the compensation rates for all awards of disability compensation, whether based on a new claim or a claim retroactively granted on the basis of CUE in a prior VA decision. Nothing in the statute provides for payment of a higher rate when the payments are retroactive, and the Court cannot find any intent for payment at the higher rate without a clear, explicit waiver of the Government's sovereign immunity from the payment of interest. 38 U.S.C § 1114; see also Smith v. Principi, 281 F.3d 1384, 1387 (Fed. Cir. 2002) ("waiver of the no-interest rule must be express"). Further, the suggestion that section 1114 requires that an award of retroactive benefits must be calculated at the rate in effect at the time of payment was expressly rejected by the Federal Circuit in Sandstrom v. Principi, 358 F.3d 1376, 1380 (Fed. Cir. 2004).