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  • 14 Questions about VA Disability Compensation Benefits Claims

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    When a Veteran starts considering whether or not to file a VA Disability Claim, there are a lot of questions that he or she tends to ask. Over the last 10 years, the following are the 14 most common basic questions I am asked about ...
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  • Can a 100 percent Disabled Veteran Work and Earn an Income?

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    You’ve just been rated 100% disabled by the Veterans Affairs. After the excitement of finally having the rating you deserve wears off, you start asking questions. One of the first questions that you might ask is this: It’s a legitimate question – rare is the Veteran that finds themselves sitting on the couch eating bon-bons … Continue reading

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    • How to get your questions answered...


      All VA Claims questions should be posted on our forums. Read the forums without registering, to post you must register it’s free. Register for a free account.

      Tips on posting on the forums.

      Post a clear title like ‘Need help preparing PTSD claim’ or “VA med center won’t schedule my surgery” instead of ‘I have a question’.


      Knowledgable people who don’t have time to read all posts may skip yours if your need isn’t clear in the title. I don’t read all posts every login and will gravitate towards those I have more info on.


      Use paragraphs instead of one huge, rambling introduction or story. Again – You want to make it easy for others to help. If your question is buried in a monster paragraph there are fewer who will investigate to dig it out.


      Leading to:

      Post clear questions and then give background info on them.

      Examples:

      A. I was previously denied for apnea – Should I refile a claim?


      I was diagnosed with apnea in service and received a CPAP machine but claim was denied in 2008. Should I refile?



      B. I may have PTSD- how can I be sure?

      I was involved in traumatic incident on base in 1974 and have had nightmares ever since, but I did not go to mental health while enlisted. How can I get help?



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Question

I have a question that I have been unable to definitively find an answer here and elsewhere. 

I have an FDC for a couple of afflictions. If, for some unforeseen reason I die of an unrelated issue, will my wife receive the compensation and for how long? Would the answer change if my death were related to my afflictions?

I understand that this question assumes I will be awarded disability compensation.

iI apologize if this has been answered before, perhaps many times. I'm still working on my "find" skills here on  Hadit. 

No hurry, I have the rest of my life.

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The criteria for DIC benefits to your survivors is here:

http://benefits.va.gov/compensation/types-dependency_and_indemnity.asp

If a surviving spouse is not eligible for the DIC benefit, the VA will consider them for a wartime death pension.

There is considerable info on DIC in our DIC forum.

Also wartime  pension info is here somewhere under a search.

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Thanks for the quick response Berta, this says it all...especially the Evidence Required para. I assume that if a veteran is not totally disabled and dies of an unrelated cause, the spouse would receive pay to the time of death and retroactive to the date he/she Initiated the claim.

Edited by EODCMC
Omission

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Additionally, if I misplaced my question, you are welcome to reassign it to the DIC forum.

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"I assume that if a veteran is not totally disabled and dies of an unrelated cause, the spouse would receive pay to the time of death and retroactive to the date he/she Initiated the claim."

I think that needs to be clarified, with the link info:

"Evidence Required

Listed below are the evidence requirements for this benefit:

  • The Servicemember died while on active duty, active duty for training, or inactive duty training, OR
  • The Veteran died from an injury or disease deemed to be related to military service, OR
  • The Veteran died from a non service-related injury or disease, but was receiving, OR was entitled to receive, VA Compensation for service-connected disability that was rated as totally disabling
    • For at least 10 years immediately before death, OR
    • Since the Veteran's release from active duty and for at least five years immediately preceding death, OR
    • For at least one year before death if the Veteran was a former prisoner of war who died after September 30, 1999

"The Servicemember died while on active duty, active duty for training, or inactive duty training"- obviously the spouse would get DIC.

"The Veteran died from an injury or disease deemed to be related to military service," regardless of the SC percentage they had,  if the death certificate (and autopsy if performed) indicate the veteran's SC disability caused or directly substantially contributed to their death, then the spouse would get DIC. 

"The Veteran died from a non service-related injury or disease, but was receiving, OR was entitled to receive, VA Compensation for service-connected disability that was rated as totally disabling"

For at least 10 years immediately before death, "(was entitled to receive would mean that the veteran's spouse substituted themselves as the claimant and continued the claim that the veteran had filed and could prove they should have been totally disabled  for at least ten years prior to their death." (These can be VERY difficult claims.).

But many veterans however have been totally disabled due to SC for ten years or more via the regular claims process.In that case, the spouse should apply for DIC with no need to prove cause of death or contribution of any SC disability. 

"Since the Veteran's release from active duty and for at least five years immediately preceding death,"

we had a very difficult situation here whereby the widow did not understand the regulation means,

the veteran was totally disabled , when released from active duty, and stayed totally disabled for at least 5 years prior to death. In that case the VA would award DIC

"For at least one year before death if the Veteran was a former prisoner of war who died after September 30, 1999"  the For again comes after the statement of 'totally disabled.'

 

There are other nuances to DIC as well. We have done some radio shows on DIC,in our archives here for blog radio.

 

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Wow, that really is an eye full. I am not particularly smart. I have come to realize that your input is always helpful, but I need time to read this a couple of times. Thank you.

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