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  • 14 Questions about VA Disability Compensation Benefits Claims


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  • Can a 100 percent Disabled Veteran Work and Earn an Income?

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Jim 501st

D,i,c Need Advice



A friend of mine recently died from service connected leukemia. He had only been service connected two months and a twenty year retired seabee.

His wife of 45 years is eligible for DIC. Any advice on who can assist her in the process of filing a claim would be beneficial. We plan to go the American Legion tomorrow. I know she needs to take her marriage certificate, DD214 form and death certificate. (Death certificate states cause of death is leukemia)

Does anyone with any experience dealing with DIC know what else we should take in order to file a claim..

Jim 501st

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You are indeed a good friend for helping your friend's wife. Berta is the hadit DIC expert so I hope she sees your post as I know she will give you her best advice.

Good luck

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I am very sorry to hear of this loss and glad you are helping her.

Since he was retired military , did he pay into the SBP?

SBP payments, I understand, go much faster then VA DIC claims.

But she would need to be aware of the SBP offset to DIC,. That info is here under a search.

With the cause of death as Leukemia ( his SC disability) there should be no problem getting DIC.

I assume she is on TRICARE, so she would not need CHAMPVA.

Did he have a claim pending for anything else when he died?

If so she can substitute herself on that claimant and pursue it.

The AL will have the 21-534 form and the substitution form as well ,if needed.

I assume this might have been Hairy Cell B, or chronic lymphocyte leukemia , and this might have been awarded as an Agent Orange disability?

If so, had he ever filed a claim for this before and was denied?

Or this could certainly have been something that began in service or within his first year after discharge.

I will find SBP info and add the link here.

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SBP Info:
"The Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP), Reserve Component Survivor Benefit Plan (RC-SBP) and Retired Serviceman's Family Protection Plan (RSFPP) provide eligible beneficiaries with a form of benefit called an "annuity." An annuity is a monthly payment for the lifetime of the beneficiary. The amount of the benefit is a percentage of your retirement benefit based on your election."

and info at

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The key thing that the VA needs to see in a DIC application is that the service-connected condition was a contributing factor in the Veteran's cause of death.

It is important to note that the service-connected condition does NOT need to be the SOLE or the PRIMARY cause of death...it only needs to be a contributing factor.

The cleanest way to do this is to make sure that the death certificate identifies the service-connected condition as a primary or contributing factor in the cause of death.

In some cases, we have had a Death Certificate amended to add a service-connected condition as a contributory cause of death - but be aware, the VA will challenge the credibility of an amended death certificate - seek the advice of an accredited VA attorney if you plan to have the death certificate amended.

If the death certificate does not clearly show that a primary or contributing cause of death was the service-connected condition, then you will likely need a medical opinion that shows that the service-connected condition contributed to the cause of death.

Here is some other helpful information about DIC Claims:

What Survivors need to Know about DIC claims.

The VA has a Duty to Assist Survivors in a DIC Claim.

Don't forget to include an Accrued Benefits claim when filing for DIC.

Don't forget these "Magic Words" in a medical "nexus" opinion.

Hope the posts help.


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thats good information. everyone should share this with thier spouse as I had no idea this was the case .

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