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Accrued Benefits For Survivors Disbursement


ericpalmsprings
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I have been working wiht the VA to secure my mother's benefits for Aid and Attendent care--I originally applied for the benefits in 12/08. Through various delays, claim denials and mistakes made by the incompetent regional VA office, I was forced to contact my Congress person. Benefis for my mother were finally approved in March of this year, however they also declared her incompetent so I had to go through the fiduciary assignment that was finally approved a week before she passed away. The VA owes us over $16K in accrued benefits. Looking into the accrued benefits claim it states that, "When the deceased benficiary is a surviving spouse, accrued is payable in equal shares to the veteran's children.".

I am one of three siblings in my family. My brother has been estranged from our family for many years and was also disinherited. He made a single visit to his mother during her 3 year battle with her illness. And now, according to the VA, he is going to get 1/3 of this benefit! This makes me sick to my stomach as this would have gone against my mother's wishes and certainly is an insult to injury for me as her primary caregiver who paid for many things out of my own pocket.

Has anyone on these boards experienced any situation like this? Is there any way around it?

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I have been working wiht the VA to secure my mother's benefits for Aid and Attendent care--I originally applied for the benefits in 12/08. Through various delays, claim denials and mistakes made by the incompetent regional VA office, I was forced to contact my Congress person. Benefis for my mother were finally approved in March of this year, however they also declared her incompetent so I had to go through the fiduciary assignment that was finally approved a week before she passed away. The VA owes us over $16K in accrued benefits. Looking into the accrued benefits claim it states that, "When the deceased benficiary is a surviving spouse, accrued is payable in equal shares to the veteran's children.".

I am one of three siblings in my family. My brother has been estranged from our family for many years and was also disinherited. He made a single visit to his mother during her 3 year battle with her illness. And now, according to the VA, he is going to get 1/3 of this benefit! This makes me sick to my stomach as this would have gone against my mother's wishes and certainly is an insult to injury for me as her primary caregiver who paid for many things out of my own pocket.

Has anyone on these boards experienced any situation like this? Is there any way around it?

you might want to get a VSO and see if a will is the over riding factor here.

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Gulfvet is right-

Did she die intestate or was there a will?

State Estate laws might well come into play here.

That is enough accrued money to consider getting advice from an attorney with expertise in these matters.

I went through something like this many years ago.

I was threatened by a relative to give up my part of an inheritance.

But that didn't work and I got my money so this can work both ways.

I would hold onto any receipts you have for any expenses you incurred in taking care of your mother in case there is someway an estate account could refund these amounts to you.

Lawyers should handle this type of stuff.I got a lawyer right away when I had inheritance problem and am glad I did.

State law controlled my situation.

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Question:

Has the VA fully recognized you and/or any other siblings as proper next of kin for any potential accrued benefits yet?

http://www4.va.gov/vetapp10/files1/1010159.txt

In part:

“The law specifies, under 38 C.F.R. § 3.1000(a)(2), that

accrued benefits can be paid upon the death of a surviving

spouse or remarried surviving spouse, to the Veteran's

children. However, under 38 C.F.R. § 3.57, a "child" of

the Veteran means an unmarried person who is a legitimate

child and (i) is under the age of 18 years, (ii) became

permanently incapable of self-support before reaching 18

years, or (iii) is pursuing a course of instruction at a VA

approved educational institution and is between the ages of

18 and 23 years. The record indicates that the appellant is

not a "child" who can receive benefits as it is defined by

the applicable laws and regulations. Although no copy of the

appellant's birth certificate is of record, the appellant's

mother indicated in her April 2008 claim that she did not

have a child fitting the criteria for a dependent "child."

Furthermore, the Board notes that the Veteran died in

September 1974 and that the appellant's mother has reported

that she had a child with the Veteran and that she did not

remarry following his death. There is no indication that

Veteran's spouse had any other children outside of marriage

subsequent to the Veteran's death. Thus, the record

indicates that assuming the appellant is the child of the

Veteran and the spouse, she is over 23 years of age, the

maximum possible age to be considered a "child," unless she

was permanently incapable of self-support. No evidence of

record indicates that the appellant is permanently incapable

of self-support and she has not made such a claim. The

record thus indicates that the appellant does not qualify for

accrued benefits as she is not a "child" as defined by

applicable regulations.”

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Hi Berta and Gulf--thanks for your responses. I have a call into my attorney on this, so I'm trying to see if there is any way around it. My brother is legally my brother, so there's no way around that. As to my mother's will--there is no longer a will as there was no money left in her estate. A special needs trust was set up in her name and I am the trustee--all of her bills were paid out of that trust. I asked my attorney if the trust could claim title to the benefits as a 'creditor'. I can come up with documentation for money paid out of my pocket that I also might be able to reduce my brother's share. I will follow-up when I hear back from my attorney.

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