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Survivor Info -Reps Benefit

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Berta

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This benefit is misunderstood by vet reps as well as the VA itself.

Recently one of our members asked for info on REPS and I am glad she did.

I have bumped up this topic in our AO forum yet it needs to be here too and in the DIC forum.

This benefit can involve a substantial retroactive award to certain survivors

therefore why would VA advise application even when the evidence warrants it. :angry:

There is discussion here:

and here:

in our AO forum and I will bump the info up in DIC forum as soon as I get time.

Sorry for my griping in those posts- I want all survivors and all vets to know how capricious and arbitrary the VA can be regarding widows in the way they can avoid issues that involve cash.

Then again they don't discriminate – they just treat some of us as bad as they treat many veterans.

It pays to get your spouses involved NOW in the claims process for at least some understanding of what they will have to deal with in the event of your death.

If there is no living spouse but adult children,and one of the new AOs could cause your demise-

it is time to inform your adult children of this site as well as where your paperwork will be found, if you should die while your AO claim is in process.

REPS only involved a mere 4-8 applications per month when I sent the my award letter and SSA info to them last year.It is the SSA status that determines the eligibility as well as SC death.

But that amount of REPS applicants can surely grow in time due to the thousands of critically disabled veterans with young families who have incurred injury in the Iraq/Afganistan war.

I found out what REPS was in 1991 when I purchased my first VBM. I never though it would apply to me but it did.

I have never met any vet rep yet who understood this benefit.

Worse then that is the VA often doesn't understand it either.

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These benefits are also available to certain college students ,as children of deceased veterans, and when I get time I will post that info too.

Most of the BVA decisions under REPS involve the children of veterans.

That concerns me as I think it rvelas many survivors are denied for REPS and do not appeal the decision.

I posted a few BVA cases at our AO forum under REPS to show how ridiculous and erroneous some of these denials are.

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Thank YOU Maureen because your posts have helped or certainly will help others.

I will try to dig out the REPS file I have for any contact info I used (that might have changed)and post it here.

I sure don't want any other widow to go through what I did with REPS.

I had the SSA letters advising me of the loss of the "Mother's" Benefit and also I had the benefits amounts.

I even still have the school thing that stated when my daughter graduated.When I faxed this in to the first REPS man I dealt with,and my award letter for SC death -he immediately said I was eligible and the check would only take about 3 weeks to arrive.He even made a good guess on the amount I would receive.I got a little more then his estimate.

In your case =I hope the Nehmer claim doesn't hold up the REPS application.

It shouldn't -but hard to know.

The 800# might have a status on your REPS application on their PC if you call them.

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Maureen-I went back to your older posts and still am confused about the claim.

You DO receive DIC- as I understand those posts-under the 10 year 100% P & T regulations.

So- is your VA claim for direct service connected death and possible accrued SMC under direct SC

and also claimed under 1151 from what I gathered from the older posts?

I am glad the REPS man helped you.

Reason I ask is that I used to get Section 1151 DIC ( VA malpractice death award)

but I was not eligible for REPS until I proved direct SC death.

Since it appears you get DIC under the Ten Year Rule- and REPS is not an ancillary benefit for either 1151 deaths or ten year rule deaths,

then with IHD causing or contributing to your husband's death and his Vietnam service- they SHOULD award direct SC death and even SMC potentially too as an accrued benefit.

If the SMC isn't raised by the VA, from what I see here- if they make direct SC death award it is an issue they should infer.

I sure hope your vet rep is on the ball with this stuff.

Another thing- you indicated your husband's autopsy is what revealed the CAD/IHD and he had never been diagnosed before?

Maybe I got that part wrong but if this was the case and he was a VA patient , this was gross negligence on their part.

In that respect you AO claim is just like mne. They avce to give me a posthumous rating for 6 years of proven negligence due to my husband's fatal IHD.

This should probably all be in the DIC forum but then again-

it shows that widows are not always eligible for all ancillary benefits for 1151 or Ten Year rule awards.They should always try to prove direct service connected death.

The dopes (ooops the VA) stated to me in my award letter that my new award of SC death was the same as my 1151 award and the ancillary benefits were the same.

There is NO regulation whatsoever that says that.The rater made it up.

I raised such a ruckus I got a new award letter right away .This is why I pursued my ancillary benefits by bypassing my RO.

That should not be the avenue of resolve for any widow.

The 'new' award letter still was wrong and I nodded it. My AO decision might render all of that moot.

I saved these award letters for some testimony I intend to submit to the H VAC in the near future.

VA will do all they can in many cases, to prevent a veteran's survivor from attaining their proper benefits.

NOW is the time for vets here to give their spouses some information as to what they might have to deal with in the future

if they should die due to any SC condition that causes or contributes to their death.

In that respect I feel this post is in the right forum where more can read it.

Of course we have the DIC forum as well that doesnt get as many hits as this forum does.

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Berta -

My claim IS for direct service connected death. Yes I do receive DIC because of the 10yr P & T regulation. My husband was a VA patient and we did not know he had CAD until the autopsy (so no diagnosis from the VA that I know of). My claim is for service connected death, extended burial allowances and REPS. Didn't think I was entitled to anything else because he did not have any claims with the VA for me to get accrued benefits. (hope I'm explaining all this correctly, I'm still learning). SMC, new to me, what is it?

My VSO is not on top of all this, that is why I am asking all these questions. I found out about REPS from this forum and submitted the claim myself, I did not even tell him. My husband was a VA patient and at the time I guess I was too devastated to realize negligence, so I never did anything about it.

Maureen

Edited by Maureenjls
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