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Finally Awarded Dic And Accrued Benefits -- Now I Will Need To Figure Out What To Do Next


free_spirit_etc
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Question

I got my decision from my September 2013 hearing. I was awarded DIC AND accrued benefits.

I think I will still need to file for service connected burial benefits. I got non-service connected benefits - $600 - once the RO quit losing the burial claim and I adequately convinced them that I buried my husband. But I also appealed that long ago -- on the basis that whether his death was service connected had not been finally decided.

I know I should also be entitled to DEA educational benefits.

I have Tri-Care, so I don't think I qualify for any medical, unless it would be medical that Tri-Care doesn't cover.

Actually, it has been nice just sitting around waiting and not dealing with the VA for awhile.

But with that being said, I want to thank Berta and all the vets and widows who have supported me, educated me, and encouraged me along the way.

And I want to reach out to other widows and tell them NEVER GIVE UP!!!

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Congratulations and enjoy the holidays.

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"I know I should also be entitled to DEA educational benefits."

They usually send the DEA Chapter 35 app with the DIC award and get the burial benefits straightened out at the same time...???.

"I have Tri-Care, so I don't think I qualify for any medical, unless it would be medical that Tri-Care doesn't cover."

I think you keep the TriCar but CHAMPVA here would know if the CHAMPVA is possible instead. CHAMPVA is a great benefit.

"Actually, it has been nice just sitting around waiting and not dealing with the VA for awhile."

I felt like that too whenever I ended a battle (and had many ) but then again, if is wasnt for my daughter I would have never reoppened my DIC claim in 2003. I didnt even want to be a VA claimant again.

Since then however I had multiple other issues and I have 3 claims pending now,

Free Spirit, as you and other widows here know, VA can put us through quite a rigamorale.

I have decisions here that were absolutely ludicrous and caused more time to get the proper awards.

I thought I was done when VA under Nehmer in 2012 awarded posthumously for my husband's IHD.They also awarded 2 CUE claims I had filed in 2004.

Two of the claims I have pending were filed with all the evidence they needed, The third claim, I dont get it at all..

They keep saying it is for DIC. I get DIC under 3 separate awards.1151, DMII AO, and AO IHD.

One check but in my last 2 decisions for DMII and IHD they said my DIC amount would remain unchanged.It was never an issue until VA made it one.

Wdiows need all the help they can get and now is the time for veterans to make sure their spouses are up to speed on using the internet, that their hadit password is with their DD 214s and other important documents, in a place where the spuse can find it all,and they need to understand the medical picture their spouse's disability presents.

Jerrel Cook, our radio show producer ,called me last night and mentioned a widow who he learned, that the DAV had said, the claim died with th veteran,regarding the veteran's claim pending at death.I was very uopset to hear that DAV reps are still pulling that BS.

Those dopes at the DAV told me the same thing in 1995, and when I rattled off the accrued benefit regulations and reminded them the claim could be resurrected, the rep seemed surprised that I even knew this regulation.

My other former reps and their director (I reported them to the OGC many years ago ) did all they could to impede my DMII AO death claim.

They all have other occupations now. I emailed their state org's lawyer when I won the claim they said would never succeed. And the SMC CUE claim that my rep had told me not to NOD a decision on, in 1998 . It bothered me for 5 years so I filed CUE and the CUE award retro was a 5 figure award.

There is something wrong with the whole picture when veterans and widows alike cannot depend on vet reps.

And when the VA itself thinks we are stupid or so grief stricken that we won't fight back.

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I forgot to post the CHAMPVA link:

http://www.va.gov/hac/forbeneficiaries/champva/champva.asp

The VA made errors in every single thing I ever got from them.

Your DIC decision might well be wrong....

Then again was it a 10 year 1318 award? Or a direct SC death award?

Acrtually my Chapter 35 DEA award was proper and I used it at AMU with very few problems.

But they buggered my daughter's DEA up..gave her only one month... even though they had her DD 214.

They fixed that right away when I wrote the NOD (she says I used CUE too)

The month had passed and she was by then 26 years old but they reversed right away and awarded her 7 years of Chap 35 because this time they read her DD 214 ( 7 Years HD USAF Intel) and they read the DEA regulations I sent them.

How dumb can they be....

Edited by Berta
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Thanks PR and georgiapapa!

Thanks Berta!

Berta -- My claim was granted for direct service connection. The judge actually gave more weight to my IMOs than the VA opinions. My death claim was even granted as "likely." The accrued benefits claim was considered more in equipoise, with the benefit of the doubt given. Since my husband's death was in 2007, I was limited to proving that claim with the evidence that was in the file as of the date of death. We didn't have the two IMOs at that time. But they gave consideration to the doctor's statement that stated the standard doubling time of adenocarcinoma, and gave consideration to the articles from medical journals we submitted.

They did not really consider anything except for the cancer. I had addressed other issues for increased ratings, etc. -- and asked that those be remanded to the RO, as they had not decided them in the first instance. The BVA handled that pretty much the same as the RO did -- by not mentioning it.

But I got the main claim, which is the best part. I was not sure if I would get the accrued benefits, because of them having to go by the record on the date of death. But I think I built a strong case.

And yes, I have had VSOs tell me the claim dies with the veteran. I also had them tell me that I was not eligible for benefits unless my husband's cancer was diagnosed in service. Plenty of people told me that.

I should write the attorney who would not take my claim (and indeed told me I was not eligible) and thank him for saving me his share of the retro.

Oh... and the AL rep that I fired right after the hearing -- the Legion's name isn't listed on my decision.

To follow up on that -- Besides being totally rude to me and calling my IMOs theories written by people who had not met my husband then telling me that he had submitted everything on my case, but that he didn't have to send me a copy

I sent a letter to the BVA asking for a copy of what he submitted. They sent me everything that had been added to my file since the hearing. He had not submitted anything.

That is why he wouldn't send me a copy. He had not submitted anything. He just said that he did.

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