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  • 14 Questions about VA Disability Compensation Benefits Claims

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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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Berta

Restored Entitlement Progran

Question

NVLSP has made the point many times in the VBM that many survivors of veterans deceased due to SC could be el;igible for this program but not realise it.

The REPS form is part of every 21-534 DIC form but still- I filed the REPS application with my 534 in 1995 and they VA has never acknowledged that form since my award for SC death and even has a note in my C file not to send me the new REPS application as the form has changed a little in the last decade.

I knew I was eligible and contacted REPS directly a few months ago and provided them with the SSA info they needed,the award letter, and the new REPS form.The only thing they needed was the formal rating decision which they received a few days ago.They already told me I had been approbved and that I could expect one check (they put it all in one check) and that the REPS checks are generated the first week in every month.

I asked if claimants get full appellate rights through the VA if denied REPS and he said that although this is technically a SSA program, they can appeal via VA any negative determinations.

The amount can be as high as 2 full years of SSA survivors benefits reduced by any earned income during those years for which SSA taxes were paid on.

I found an old post I made here on REPS and also have added the regulations.

"REPS Restored Entitlement Program-Survivors.

In 1981 the Omnibus Reconciliation Act altered SSA death benefits for parents of a child who received SSA on their deceased parent's record.

It meant that prior to that a surviving parent received SSA up to age 18 of the child and even longer if child still in school under the SSA Survivors benefits.Also certain children of SC deceased veterans are eligible as students if they are unmarried and between ages of 18 and 22.

Pres Reagan stopped it all-

when most widows/widowers with children needed this benefit the most-as college age approached these children-which was paid for by the deceased worker's wages in their lifetime.

Upon any award of direct SC death in these cases-the VA must send the REPS part of the 534 form to REPS office (technically a SSA program) and the survivor will receive those two years of SSA that Omnibus Reconciliation Act took away.

My reps didnt even have a single clue on this program. I just hope they advised widows or widowers with small children to make sure they filled out the form and sent it with the 534.

NVLSP makes the point that thousands could potentially be eligible for REPS if they fit the criteria:

Direct SC death and cut off of parent's SSA survivor benefit when child reached 16. "

Under the provisions of section 156 of Public Law 97-377 and 38 C.F.R. § 3.812 (1992), a special allowance is payable to certain surviving spouses and children of individuals who died on active duty prior to August 13, 1981, or who died as a result of a service connected disability which was incurred or aggravated prior to August 13, 1981. This allowance, known as REPS benefits, was a replacement for certain social security benefits which were either reduced or terminated by the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1981. Pub. L. No. 97-33, § 2205, 95 Stat. 837 (l98l). Among those who are potentially eligible for REPS benefits are unmarried children of the veteran between the ages of 18 and 22 who are attending a post-secondary school on a full- time basis. Retroactive benefits, that is, benefits for a period of time prior to the date of the claim for such benefits, may only be paid under certain circumstances which are set forth in 38 C.F.R. § 3.812(f). With respect to any claim which is received more than one year after May 23, 1984, but within six months following the month in which the claimant first became eligible for special allowance payable under Section 156 of Public Law 97-377 (REPS), benefits shall be payable for all periods beginning on or after the first day of the month that the claimant first became eligible for this special allowance. See 58 Fed Reg. 34524-5 (l993).

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