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Berta

Getting A Dic Claim Status

Question

I used to use IRIS for a status of any pending claims.

However, some of my IRISes went unanswered.

Still it is often a good way to get a status of a DIC claim.

Unfortunately widows.widowers cannot use ebenefits but if you call 1-800-827-1000 and click on the #1 first when prompted and then click on # 7 for ebenefits, -if you actually get a person, tell them you are a widow and cannot use ebenefits and they can give you a status on your claim.

The 800# is often very busy to include the # 7 access to ebenefits but -if you call 'after hours' as the VA 800# robot says, at the # 7 ebenefits thing, you can acquire an appointment time in which hopefully VA will call you back during their regular working hours.

I cannot comprehend why widows or widowers cannot use the ebenefits feature but that is the way it is.

Last year every time VA said they would call me back, they did.

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To me spouses are just like veterans and should be treated as such. Spouses should not be second class claimants. I think of the situation my wife will face if she lives longer than I do. It does not fill me with confidence. Her income from SSA, civil service and the VA will be more than cut in half. I was main breadwinner. She quit her job to stay home with me and take me to appointments when I was too stoned to make it, not to mention cooking and cleaning. Her job paid few benefits anyway with no decent pension or retirement medical benefits. Life in a "Right to Work" state.

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I had no idea as to find out about how my DIC was going, if it was even going. I filed the end of October 2012 and it was received on 11/02/12. They received the application two months after Rockman passed away. The state veterans guy keeps calling me saying that he is returning my call- even though I have not called him. I went thru my county VSO to file the claim and I am so glad that I did. The only thing that the state people have was the form I filled out letting them be able to check on the status of my DIC. I will use the 800# when I want to check on things. It will be easier than leaving a call and getting it returned 3-4 weeks later.

The state guy kept insisting that since the claim was not received until the November 2nd, I would miss out on November completely and the effective date would not begin until December. He would not even listen that since I filed within one year from death ( and actually it was two months), that it would go back to the date of death. He said that in his 5 years, he has never seen it paid like this. Maybe he has been hiding under some type of "rock". I was also told not to even expect any money to maybe May. What do widows do in the meantime?? Now you can see why I went with my local VSO and he is also a dear friend.

Yes, spouses should be able to check the status of things just like the veteran could!!

If I am confused about the DIC and the correct effective date, just jump in and tell me.

Celia

Mrs. Rockman

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I hope MANY vets out there take the time to read posts in this forum and make sure their spouses get up to speed on the internet and know how to use this site ,as they might need it in time for -regarding DIC.

Although I am sure many VSOs and vet reps understand DIC , there are obviously plenty out there who still don't.

The state rep gave this widow completely ridiculous information that in no way complies with basic VA 101 and the DIC regs.

“The state guy kept insisting that since the claim was not received until the November 2nd, I would miss out on November completely and the effective date would not begin until December. He would not even listen that since I filed within one year from death ( and actually it was two months), that it would go back to the date of death. He said that in his 5 years, he has never seen it paid like this. “

My representation from a state veteran's organization was so poor years ago that I reported them to the General Counsel.

You are correct.

The 'state guy '(I had to edit what I first called him here) seems to have DIC completely confused with regular SC compensation claims.

"If the death of a veteran after separation from service occurred before October 1, 1982, then the effective date for original awards of death compensation, pension, and Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) is the


  • first day of the month in which the veteran died for claims that are filed within one year after the date of death, or

  • date the claim was received for claims that are not filed within one year after the date of death.

  • Source: M21-1MR, Part IV, Subpart iii, Chapter 3, Section B 3-B-5 ."

The Nehmer regulations on EED for Agent Orange deaths under the 2010 AO regulations are diferent but I a assuming this is not a Nehmer death claim.

Once a survivor establishes the earliest effective date for DIC (by filing the 21-534 within the first year after death, that EED is preserved forever.

What I mean is I filed for DIC within one year of my husband's death under both direct SC and 1151 DIC.

The 1151 DIC was awarded about 3 years later.

The direct SC death was awarded 15 years later under AO DMII.

Then my 2012 AO Nehmer award again reestablished that my EED for DIC was the month my husband had died, 18 years ago, due not only to DMII, but also due to IHD from AO as direct cause of death.

Accrued benefits as well (except for Nehmer claims) depend on the 21-534 being filed within one year after death.

This significant fact garnered me a retro accrued SMC award ,under my CUE claim,18 years posthumously ,based on medical evidence in VA's possession at time of my husband's death that VA misapplied SMC regs to, thus the CUE, because my accrued benefits claim was filed within the original 21-534 application and part of the accrued ( 3 years PTSD at 100% ) was resolved about 2 years after filing the 21-534 and prior to the DIC award.

DIC regulations are often complex ,depending on the circumstances, and none of my former vet reps understood them at all and never showed the slightest bit of support or any of my claims.

The BVA is full of years of DIC claims- denied at a regional level, that,in my opinion, in many cases ,were messed up by incompetent vet reps as well as by the VA itself.

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Mrs Rockman, I think I might have implied the "after hours" call back request would go smoothly.

It has been almost a year since I used 800# to call VA.

I made the "after hour" request by calling 1-800-827-1000,on Saturday and the robot said they would call me back between 12:15 and 12: 30 today.

At 12:29 the phone rang to confirm the VA appointment and I had to wait maybe a minute or 2 for the VA operator to answer.

She asked me for my C file number, and my name, the veteran's name, and branch of service. Sometimes they ask for the deceased vets SSA # too. And then she told me the VA computers had been down almost all day and had just gone down again and told me to call back to the 800# when the computers are running again.(Like I would know when that would be.)

&%^#$%#$%

I think I will use IRIS instead.I dont expect any real status ,I just want to know if jurisdiction was determined yet on one of the claims as NVLSP told me to send one of the claims to both the Phila and Buffalo ROs.

The good part about IRIS is that if you request a email or snail mail response, you then have documented evidence of whatever they say.

I hope your rep has told you to expect a VCAA letter. In most cases, even if the evidence has been sent in already with any type of claim (DIC or SC comp etc) it is imperative for VA to send this letter to the claimant as it spells out exactly what they VA needs.

Also the VA must refer to Hupp V Principi for all DIC claims.

If they fail to mention the Hupp decision and do anything else prejudicial to a survivors rights in a RO decision and then deny the claim, the BVA, seeing the prejudicial error, will have to remand the claim back to the VARO,if the decision is appealed with the BVA.

DIC claims are part of the regular claims workload at ROs.They can sometimes take as long as any type of claim takes, regardless of the evidence.

I hope you don't have a long wait for your DIC but it is impossible to predict how long any claim will take these days.

Edited by Berta

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Mrs Rockman, I seemed to imply that the “after hour” telephone request works smoothly but I haven't called the VA 800# in about a year and spoke too soon.

I made the 'after hours' call to 800# on Saturday and the VA robot gave me a call back time from 12:15 to 12: 30 today.

At 12:29 today the call came from the VA and I had to wait only about 1 or 2 minutes before a live VA person came on the line.

She asked me for my C file number, the veterans full name, branch of service, etc and then told me the VA computers had been down all day and I would have to call back to make another phone appointment.

I said, cant you call me back when the PCs are up again and she said no, you need to call us back at the 800# when the computers are running again. ( like I know when that would be )

I think I might use Iris instead.But I guess IRIS PCS are down too. I filed the claim in question in October so there is probably no status at all but NVLSP told me to file it with both the Phila RO as well as Buffalo VARO so I just wanted to determine if jurisdiction has been determined yet for any future submissions of evidence, if needed.

I also wanted to see if they lost my September 1151 claim yet as well as they had lost my original AO IHD claim in 2010 and only by using IRIS did I know that and I sent it all in again. I dont expect VCAA letters on my claims but you will surely get a VCAA letter that must contain information regarding the Hupp V Principi decision on your DIC claim.

These VCAA letters are our duty to Assist rights and they are extremely important.I have seen many widows claims denied at the RO and then set for the long BVA wait only to be remanded by the BVA back to the RO because the lack of the Hupp criteria ,in the VCAA letter ,which in many cases, prejudiced the surviving spouses rights.

What gets me is VA intends to go entirely paperless but if their claims computers go down a lot what good is a paperless VA? And who knows how many medical records will get screwed up via their computers?

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