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Confused-Dic And Figuring Out My Net Worth Portion

mrs rockman (widow of vet)


I understand that you have to list all monies in cash, bank accounts,CD's, retirement plans, stocks, bonds etc.

Then this is what we can deduct to get the net worth:

I was told that I needed to get the following:

Itemize a list of both of our medical expenses from 09/29/11 (date Rockman was considered 100% P&T) to one year from that date.

Health Insurance premiums

Also the VSO said that they would deduct the amount that our house was appraised at. This does not seem to be correct.

On page 5 of the 21-534, it has this:

"VA cannot pay you pension if your net worth is sizeable. Net worth is the market value of all interest and rights you have in any kind of property less any mortgages or other claims against your property. However, net worth does not include the house you live in or a reasonable area of land it sits on.

I am so confused. It looks like at one place I list my house ( value or mortgage balance) and then it looks like that my house should not be included.

I AM SO CONFUSED. I was thinking about transferring the money to pay off what little mortgage I have, so I could "exist" some. I am afraid that if I pay it off, it may hurt the bottom line as far as net worth is concerned.

Can anyone give me some advice. I am having a hard time concentrating, but I do want to get it done correctly, so VA does not mess me over!!


Mrs. Rockman

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I know it hard to keep focused and you are wanting to

file it right the first time trying to avoid all the pit falls.

p. 5

33e. Real property (not your home)

Also, at this point I WOULD NOT pay off the mortgage

and if you plan to stay in that home until you are gone,

please, please, please - do not re-fi and suck all the equity out

of it and end up with a new big mortgage.

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The only reason that I wanted to pay off the mortgage is that right now I am drawing 'ZERO" amount per month, not yet with DIC and not with Social Security. I just turned 62 in May. All I owe on the house is (after the payment that will come out tomorrow) will be only $15,950.00. The only other bill will be the car Rockman bought me last December. We have knocked almost half off of it. He wanted me to have a reliable car. If I pay the house off and some on the car, then I may be able to make it for several several months on the amount that I have tucked back( without relying on DIC), for I know it takes awhile to even get it.

As of 09/29/11, David was 100% service connected for his heart. On his death certificate it has:

a. Cardiac arrest-something something,I cannot read, and then /CHF

b. Systolic Heart Failure

c. Pulmonary Hypertension

d. Severe Pulmonary Fibrosis

Even though he died of a service connected disease, can they decide to not grant me the DIC if I have assets? These assets are what will keep me going until I die. The VSO guy said that they can decide not to grant me DIC and would want me to spend my money first. If you are considering a lifetime, my amounts are really not so great, if you divide them up into a yearly amounts.

I wonder why he said that I would deduct the amount of the house to get the net worth? It does seem crazy!

I hate to go on and on, but I have to make sure I have all my i's dotted and t's crossed. After all we are dealing with the US Government and then you add the mighty VA onto it, and there you have it!

Any additional help you can give me will be very much appreciated.

I have found more medical bills and tomorrow I will get the total from our chiropractor that David went to every other week.

God Bless and have a good night (or actually it is already morning!).


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  • HadIt.com Elder

The mortgage balance is a negative value, like the house value. It's money you owe, even though the house value is not part of your assets for VA purposes.

So the appraised value of the house gets deducted from/is not part of the VA net worth, along with the outstanding loan amounts, and any bills due/not paid etc..

In theory, since your husband died due to service connected conditions, the DIC is applicable, and not dependent upon net worth. However, if the VA tries to weasel out, and your assets and income are low enough, you would likely get a "Death Pension" anyway.

A "Death Pension" is based upon VA net worth.

Edited by Chuck75 (see edit history)
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  • HadIt.com Elder

Your net worth has no bearing on your DIC and you should not have to fill that part out, unless you are looking for a widow's death pension. If he was 100% for his heart you should get DIC easily and within a few months of his death, provided you've applied. You should be eligible for his SS. If I recall correctly, you can get it at 60yo. You should call them today.


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Your net worth has no bearing on your DIC and you should not have to fill that part out, unless you are looking for a widow's death pension. If he was 100% for his heart you should get DIC easily and within a few months of his death, provided you've applied. You should be eligible for his SS. If I recall correctly, you can get it at 60yo. You should call them today.



Thanks buddy - we could really use your help in this forum (DIC).

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I really did not think that net worth paid any part in this equation, but was just going by what someone said. I know, I know,"what someone said". You know I thought that the DIC was a benefit that I was entitled to since he died from a 100% service connected condition.

Since David was drawing his SSDI and his VA disability, I was, and I was, going to wait until I turned 66. This way I would have received 100% of his disability. I have been to the Social Security office and they gave me a print out of what I would receive off of Rockman's VA month by month. I am looking at when I do want to start drawing his.

Let me know if I am wrong, but I thought that a widow's death pension was only for if you made only a certain amount each year and then this yearly pension would be much less than the DIC. You cannot collect both,can you? The VSO may, and I use this tern loosely, may have been trying to talk about the Death Pension.

Do I have this correct?

I really do appreciate all of you helping me with this. This whole thing is beginning to "sink in" that I really an a widow and to be honest it stinks. I do have to go on and will honor Rockman in any way and every way can!!

Now all I have to do is to be able to get his Vietnam medals for the service.

God Bless you all!


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  • HadIt.com Elder

PR is correct as he usually is DIC is not Income based its just the pension same as War Time Pensions a few Vets get.

However this is an example many years ago my Father in Law entered a nursing home and his home did not count in pension calculations and his social security was offset he used that to pay primary cost of nursing home and his pension paid the difference. He was able to offset money he spent on medical and that included his Nursing home costs.

Many Veterans and spouses miss out by not knowing that they may be entitled. When I belonged to DAV in Dallas they surveyed all the residents and found that 80% that lived there were missing some kind of VA benefits that they had an entitlement. Including pension and A&A as well as Meds from VA.

Even knowing that many would not apply for benefits as they mistakenly felt it was welfare. Today the nursing homes help residents find these benefits which I think is a good thing.

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I hate to be ignorant, but when you fill out the 21-534 form for benefits, is this to see if you qualify for both the DIC and the Death Pension? Since the DIC is not income based, then it appears to me, the income information you list is to just see if you qualify for the death pension.

I know my mother-in-law received the Death Pension, for her income was very little.

Still lost in the south,


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Hello to all,

I do want to apologize for being so "thick headed' when it comes to figuring out the whole DIC thing. I just could not make my ity bity brain to begin to function, thus making it very difficult for those who wanted to help me, help me! I thank you all for your patience with me.

Yes, you were all right about DIC not being income based, but I did misunderstood my VSO when he needed the income part! Now, I see, this was just to check to see if I would qualify for the Death Pension, which I did not. I am glad that I did stick with my local VSO, for he is such a dear friend and I felt comfortable with him doing the paperwork. I stayed up until three this morning and had just about everything done to turn into him.

Now, All I need to do is hurry up and wait and wait... I am so very very glad that I got this part done and I can now move on to other things.

Again, I do want to say that I am truly sorry for me just not getting the message and understanding what you were trying to tell me!!!!

God Bless you all and I am so thankful for this site. Without Hadit and the members, I would have not gotten this far.


Mrs. Rockman

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  • HadIt.com Elder

My aunt was in a nursing home. She had DIC, a pension and SSA. She also had considerable income and assets. She was able to deduct her nursing home expense from her taxes, so she paid no tax even though she had pretty good income from stocks. She had DIC since before WWII.

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Your aunt didn't have the pension from the VA did she? It is good that she could use those expenses to be able to deduct from her total income, thus not having to pay Uncle Sam his unfair share.

When you fill out the VA 21-534, that I guess is to let VA know if you would qualify for the death pension or now. You know if you qualify for that, but still fall under the qualification of getting the DIC, then you should be able to get both. I believe that they should be viewed as two entirely separate types of benefits.

With drawing the VA, which is non-taxable and then drawing on David's SSDI, I still may not have to pay any taxes. I will be drawing from David's SSDI just as soon as things settle down.

I went to the Social Security Office and they did a month by month print out on me and then one on David from now through when I would turn 66 to see what my income would be.


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