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Ao Awards, Reps And Chapter 35 (Dea)


Berta

Question

Veteran's claims under the new AO presumptives are just about finished,leaving the survivor AO claims.

A post this AM in Claims Research prompted me to remind everyone here that

an award of 100 % P & T under the new presumptives can trigger DEA (Chapter 35) educational benefits for the veteran's dependents.

An award of a service connected death due to one f the new presumptives would also award that benefit (Chapter 35) as well as potential REPS benefits in some cases to the survivors of the veteran. REPs can be searched at hadit and googled for more info on that.

For survivors, of AO vets, even if the VA had previously awarded Chapter 35 benefits ,under a 100% P % T award, the eligibility date could be changed to a much more favorable delimiting date with an award of direct SC death due to the AO presumptives -if any one of them caused or substantially contributed to the veteran's death.

I will use my case as example.

My Chapter 35 eligibility was over in 2004 and I paid the rest of my AMU tuition myself until graduation.

When I was awarded the AO death award, the VA changed my eligibility date for Chapter 35, giving me many more years of eligibility.(actually they asked me to pick a date time frame and sent me a new Certificate of Eligibility so I picked the best dates I could anticipating I might return to AMU.)

Also with proof of the out of pocket tuition I had paid under the older award, they refunded to me about 6 thousand dollars of my Chap 35 stipend ,under the new AO award letter.

These two programs, REPS and Chapter 35 DEA could be influenced by a favorable decision on the new AO presumptives either as DEA benefits to the dependents of a living veteran as well as DIC and other ancillary benefits to their survivors if AO caused their death.

Va is pretty good about informing one of Chapter 35 DEA eligibility but the formal DEA application must be made to start that process.

REPs is a different matter.

When the VA failed to process my REPs application after my SC death award was established and when they ignored for months my IRIS inquiry and formal letter to them on REPS, an 800 # rep told me the PC said not to send me a REPS application.

Apparently even with an old application in a C file they do require submitting a new one and should have sent me one.

I contacted REPS myself and probably would have never received this benefit ,waiting on the VA, as the VA never sent the new application to me.

I have some contact info for anyone with a REPs question.

In my case I had to dig out SSA documents that were almost 2 decades old.

Although REPS in ST Louis needs to confirm SSA award letters, by faxing St Louis REPS division the documents myself saved some time for SSA to confirm them.

I feel many survivors who might be eligible for REPs are never sent the application by the VA and their vet rep might not even have a clue on this program.

Even if the application is with the formal DIC 21-534, it might be decades old and then VA should send them a new application but I wouldn't depend on VA to do that.

http://www.vba.va.gov/pubs/forms/VBA-21-8924-ARE.pdf

This application explains the REPs program and defines the survivors who are potentially eligible for it.

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