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    When a Veteran starts considering whether or not to file a VA Disability Claim, there are a lot of questions that he or she tends to ask. Over the last 10 years, the following are the 14 most common basic questions I am asked about ...
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  • Can a 100 percent Disabled Veteran Work and Earn an Income?

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    You’ve just been rated 100% disabled by the Veterans Affairs. After the excitement of finally having the rating you deserve wears off, you start asking questions. One of the first questions that you might ask is this: It’s a legitimate question – rare is the Veteran that finds themselves sitting on the couch eating bon-bons … Continue reading

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Deceased Veteran Pension & A&a & Housebound Question


my husband passed away october 2009 and he was a sgt in the usmc and i filed for widow's pension, a&a, dic, housebound. i went to see a veteran rep at the local va office and was told to file for all these benefits.

i submitted to the va rep the following: 21-534, 21-4138 (financial hardship to expedite), 21-2680, medical source statements (2 of them stating because of severe medical issues i can not work any longer), copy of marriage license, copy of death certificate. all these things were faxed to the va on december 22, 2009. i am so confused trying to keep all this straight.

my question, would the information i had faxed to the va put my claim in the expedited catagory or is there any other information i should send to them? if a claim is expedited, what is the basic working time for such a claim?

thank you for your help.


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It is impossible to determine how long your claim will take.

Did he die inservice as a Sgt? or do you mean he died after service?

The VA considers all 21-534s as claim for Death Pension as well as DIC.

The death pension is income limited and they will consider medical bills in some cases to offset the income of the survivor.This type of pension is for survivors of wartime veterans.

DIC however is a determination that a SC disability caused or contributed to death or the veteran had a continuous 100% T & P rating for 10 years prior to death.There are other forms of DIC and that link is here in this forum.

If you are an OIF OEF vet's widow -they are trying to expedite those claims.

Are you on SSA disability or , if you are over 60 years old have you appl;ied for Survivors Benefits from the SSA?

What was his SC disability? Is it listed in hs death certifcate as contributng to his death?

Was autopsy done?

The VA will send you a VCAA letter within a few months to ask for any info that could help determine whether thy could grant DIC or if they need anything else for the Pension application.

DIC is the better benefit as it does not get limited by additional income and is more money then the death pension.

Did you get copies of all evidence that was faxed to the VA to include the 21-4138?

Edited by Berta

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he passed last october 2009-after being discharged, was enlisted in 1971 and honorably discharged in 1979 from being severely wounded (25% disability). he received either a pension from the va or retirement from the marines, i am not sure which one it was. it was over $800 a month.

what is a OIF OEF vet? i am sorry to be so dumb at this.

He had major surgery for his injury and received blood products. he passed away from ruptured esophageal varices and hepatic cirrhosis and had hep c.

no autopsy was done. i had my leg removed due to diabetic complecations on october 4, 2009 and was still in the hospital and his immediate realtive took this opportunity to have him


i received a vcaa letter on january 4, 2010 and sent to the dav office all these documents to fax to st paul, mn - pension mgmt (where i was instructed to send them by the va):

the vcaa letter, all his personal doctor records from 1993 until last october (documenting hep c), vcaa notice response (checked i have enclosed all remaining information that will support my claim), his honorable discharged record, the form 21-2680 they requested (completed by my doctor stating i am housebound and need daily help), the information on the va and hep c (part of the document is pasted below this posting). they already acknowledged they have the 21-534, his death certificate, our marriage license, 2 medical source statments (from 2 different doctors stating i can not work any more due to diabetic complications), form 21-4138 (financial hardship-stating he was my sole source of income), copies of my shutoff notices for utility bills and the agencies that have helped me pay the bills since october and the places i have went for groceries), also stating i am out of my diabetic medications and a copy of my bank statement showing a little over $4.00 in the bank.

i keep the originials of all things faxed.

i am just looking for guidance as it is getting very tough and i am out of help places to go to.

at the end of this posting is informationi found regarding hep c and the va.

thank you very much for your help.


"The virus was first isolated in 1989 and reliable tests to screen for the virus were not available until 1992. Therefore, those who received blood or blood products prior to the implementation of screening the blood supply for HCV may have been exposed to the virus. Blood products include clotting factors (taken by hemophiliacs), immunoglobulin, Rhogam, platelets, and plasma.

Vietnam veterans are the group directly affected by this problem today. Many veterans who contracted hepatitis C 25 to 30 years ago would only now be exhibiting symptoms of severe liver disease. When they were first infected, HCV had not been distinguished from other forms of hepatitis. In 85 percent of the cases, there would have been no acute symptoms at the time of infection.

Detecting hepatitis C infection at the time of discharge was also impossible. Many of today's HCV-infected veterans were discharged from the military before tests for hepatitis C existed. Even today, when there are reliable tests for hepatitis C, the military does not conduct HCV tests as part of the discharge physical."

"Hepatitis C has particular importance for the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) because of its prevalence in VA's service population. Recent studies indicate that one in every 10 US veterans is infected with HCV, a rate five times greater than the 1.8% infection rate of the general population. Since mid-1998, Hepatitis C has been identified as the single most important emerging pathogen in the VA healthcare system with an estimated HCV prevalence range between 10 to 20 percent in patients currently treated by the VA. It is likely that as many as 280,000-350,000 veterans are HCV seropositive. HCV accounts for nearly 55% of liver transplantations performed in the VA (Kiser, 1998:1). Today, the VA is treating over 80,000 veterans with Hepatitis C."

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It certainly sounds to me like they will expedite your pension claim. You are dealing with a lot and did a good job getting together what they said they needed.

It would help if you could find a good vet rep from VVA, DAV, AL or any well known vet org who will hopefully be able to track the claim and get assurance that they will expedite.

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PS there is a link here to the new VA Office for Survivors.

They cannot help with the intricacies or evidence etc involved in survivors claims but could possible be able to oversee that it is expeditiously handled.

Maybe you should contact them.

My claim for DIC was awarded in April but the VA didnt prepare the retro money or even mention it in their award letter.

Long story but I contacted this office for survivors and they are monitoring my claim.

I had to take many additional steps to get the claim resolved so they are monitoring actions that occurred since hearing from me-and there is no need for them to get more involved at this point.

Maybe they should be contacted by you.

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