I am pretty sure I understand what an inferred claim is but always wanting to learn more. At first I thought because my husband became a patient at the VAMC for his heart condition in 2004, the VA was aware he had IHD so that would be a protected date. Not so, there is a difference in being a patient and a claimant. If he had filed a claim in the past for ANYTHING and in that claim there was evidence, he also had IHD. An earlier effective date could be assigned to a newly filed claim for IHD. He actually filed a claim in 2006, so that is his protected Nehmer date.