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  • 14 Questions about VA Disability Compensation Benefits Claims

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Question

This denial came from Nashville. They said I was denied for Month of Death Payment because the evidence shows that the veteran was not receiving benefits at the time of death..........

What a bunch of illiterate poor performing baffoons!

They said they used the Veteran's claim information to make their decision...they must have read it with their eyes closed, as he was 50% SC for PTSD at the time of his death.

I really did not think they would waste everybody's time with a denial of this issue when the truth is in the pudding and the C-file.

Anybody else lately gotten a denial for Month of Death compensation?

Can you tell I am a bit fired up~

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That sucks another case of not reading the info they already have. Go get them.

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I think it applies to surviving spouse due to any % the vet had.

The point the Pres op makes has me baffled as top my own situation too-

I dont know if I should request ths benefit or not- I think I will because then whatever they say might help others.

It seems to depend on the accrued amount sent to the widow.

An accrued amount would (or should) contain payment for the last month comp.

In my case Rod was at 30% SC when he died. The VA withdrew hs check a week after his death from the checking account.

Then 3 years later they awarded me accrued benefits- 2 years was the max at that time. the dates were Oct 1991 to Oct 1994 increase in his 30 to 100% P & T for PTSD.

It appeared with the amount of the check (a little over 37,000 in accrued) that they had used the two years from 1991 to 1993 (the cheapest years for them to pay- thus the last accrued check in 1994 was never paid-the last check for month of his death.

AK widow -check the historic rate chart at the VA web site and see how much they owed the vet less the amount of comp he got prior to his death- against the amount of accrued they sent you-to see if they failed to pay you properly for that last month.

I guess I am realizing if VA paid me his comp as accrued for 1991 to 1993-2 years- then they did not pay me his last month of comp-as the accrued laws today mean ALL accrued.

When I filed the claim in 1995 the law was only one year, but they farted around so long with the claim that the new reg for years had to be applied to me- but they picked the two years that were lower than the actual 2 years prior to death.

Then again I think maybe this reg only applies to deaths after 2003 (Bonny V Principi)

In that case they dont owe me cash but it seems they would owe akwidow the last comp amount.

How did they word the denial as to their rationale?

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They said they denied me because the 'vet was not receiving compensation at the time of his death' - which is completely false. I included copies of his rating decision, and his entitlement letter which even had a cola increase on the first page.

I know for a fact that month of death was not included in the DIC retro I received...I did the math

when the check came in and they were spot on accurate in their compilations at St. Paul, MN.

Because these folks have proved to me they cannot read what is in the C-file, I included our marriage license, his death certificate, and a copy of their denial as well. I had already sent all of this stuff in numerous times, but you know how it goes.

I PDF'ed all of it along with my NOD onto a CD in one file which I will include with the paper copies. That way if they get one page they get them all.

I always keep a copy of the CD as well for myself. Having that CD in the rollodex of CD's makes it easy for future reference, and gives me an instant view of what was sent in for what. If I need a copy of a document that was sent earlier, I can pull the CD and easily go to it for another copy of any page for another purpose.

I wonder if they will try to deny me for burial benefits too....

BTW, I am mailing the NOD back to Nashville, where the denial was written from. I got the denial yesterday, and am mailing my NOD back today. Should I send a copy to my local VARO as well? I originated this claim at least twice, and I know I started at my local VARO....but the denial came out of Nashville. Our local VARO is having issues with itself over poor porformance which have made local media news. I believe my local VARO incompetence is what caused the claim to be adjudicated at another VARO, but that is a supposition I made from observations...

The precedent opinion talks a lot about whether a surviving spouse is alive or dead, but I did not see anything about what percentage a vet has to be disabled in order to qualify for month of death payment. The thing that confused me was their mention of 'death benefit'. Are they referring to DIC?

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Just something a little interesting........

Regarding month of death. Is everyone aware that the VA pay a month behind.

We have received a letter stating payments for Jan to present will be paid in February.

Which means that upon death, say if the veterans died on the 15th of march. The payment he received on the 1st was for the month of February when the vet was still alive. So the April payment would be 50% of the regular amount and THIS would be the month of death payment. I know a few widow that pointed this out and used the original payment awards letter to determine this. They had the payment of the 1st of March taken back because the vet died in March, but that's not right.

This is something not many people understand.

If you can find the letter that states when his disability payments started and what the first payment covered you could really get them in trouble for taking the money back.

Good luck with this.

p.s. The "death benefit" is roughly $200 that is given to the surviving spouse or next of kin.

p.p.s.

38 CFR 3.20 states:

(2) A payment issued to a deceased veteran as compensation or pension for the month in which death occurred shall be treated as payable to that veteran's surviving spouse, if the surviving spouse is not entitled to death compensation, dependency and indemnity compensation or death pension for that month and, if negotiated or deposited, shall be considered to be the benefit to which the surviving spouse is entitled under paragraph ©(1) of this section. However, if such payment is in an amount less than the amount of the benefit under paragraph ©(1) of this section, the unpaid difference shall be treated in the same manner as an accrued benefit under 3.1000 of this part.

Read more: http://cfr.vlex.com/vid/surviving-spouse-m...0#ixzz0lycpyLps

Remember that the payment on the 1st of the month following you husbands death may well be the payment for the month of death, depending on how the first payment was issued.

Edited by hawkfire27

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