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14 Questions about Veterans Disability Compensation Benefits Claims 

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 when it comes to filing VA Disability Claims.









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Berta

Survivors- a Must read

Question

If you are new to hadit and have DIC questions it would help us tremendously if you can answer the following questions right away in your first post.

What was the Primary Cause of Death (# 1) as listed on your spouse’s death certificate?

What,if anything, was listed as a contributing cause under # 2?

Was an autopsy done and if so do you have a complete copy of it?

 It can be obtained through the Medical Examiner’s office in your locale.

What was the deceased veteran service connected for in his/her lifetime?

Did they have a claim pending at death and if so what for?

If they died from anything on the Agent Orange Presumptive list ( available here under a search) when did they serve and where? If outside of Vietnam, what was their MOS and also if they served onboard a ship in the South Pacific what ship were they on and when? Also did they have any major  physical  contact with C 123s during the Vietnam War?

And how soon after their death was the DIC form filed…if filed within one year of death, the date of death will be the EED for DIC and also satisfy the accrued regulation criteria.

Many years ago I tried to find a widow’s past  posts here, as she had returned to hadit with more questions on her DIC claim..

I googled -DIC Berta hadit and her name- and many links popped up, some from VBN (YUKU) where a widow has complained at YUKU that she got no help from me because I asked her too many questions at hadit.

Fortunately some VBN members advised her that I understand DIC in and out and I asked probably the same questions any VSO or vet rep would. And maybe  asked some the vet reps didn’t even think of.

DIC can become a very complex issue , and only by asking questions  ,can we possibly direct any survivor as to what they should do.

By “we” I mean others here as well as me  because all vets with a spouse need to get up to speed on DIC.

Others will get a chance , with the  two issues on the board today One is DIC,  and one might become DIC at some point but that vet is still alive.

Many DIC claims fall under 100% SC P & T for ten continuous years.....easy to succeed in

A few are Section 1151 death issues. Difficult but not impossible to win.

The rest usually involve proving that a SC disability caused or contributed significantly to death,....not impossible but difficult too sometimes.

And if the DIC claims are not based on the ten year DIC regs, the survivor may also definitely need a strong IMO.

 

 

 

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Bumping this up.

We have had widow's claims here over the years that became VERY convoluted.

Two fairly recent ones involved the widow's idea as to what VA did to the vet, that caused his death.

These  widows here in the past few months  might have had Section 1151 basis if not direct SC death but I saw, in their posts, that both of them focused on the wrong medical info...as to a potential 1151 issue.

But I added to my lay 1151 opinion that I am not a doctor ( yet a 1151/FTCA survivor) and they would need a complete review by an independent doctor ,of all of the veteran's Medical care, to determine if malpractice had occurred. I didnt have an IMO doc for my wrongful death claim but since then the internet has made it fairly easy these days to find one.

Sometimes the BVA will even state an IMO doctor's name , for 1151 issues and that could be the doctor the widow would need to contact.

Years after my FTCA./1151 awards I re opened my claim (VA refused to re open it at first because it was a new death claim and I already got a DIC award.I persisted, and got 2 IMOs from Dr Bash. The BVA awarded under direct SC- it then became the most important claim I ever had.(DMII AO)

It was technically a malpractice claim but I worded it as a direct SC claim.My RO refused to read my IMos (I had 3 by time of BVA docket) and the BVA awarded....so, in some cases, Dr Bash could definitely support a 1151 claim and probably might have some 1151 wins at his web site.

I don't advise anyone with a potential 1151 death issue to do the medical work themselves  unless the 1151 issue is a prime facie one, like my local Vietnam vet friend had.He didnt get the negligence issue at all  but I did and I prepared a very short claim for him under 1151. They awarded in mere months.

"Prime facie" is a legal term meaning 'on it's face' or 'at first look'...

something that is obvious to anyone,based on the legal and/or medical facts.

 

Edited by Berta

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I agree with Berta.  I do remember being a newbie, and I wanted specific answers, and did not want to do things like order my cfile or medical records.  We newbies are looking for a short cut.  It was disappointing to find out I needed to order my records, even worse to discover that at least part of the reasons my claim took so long were my fault.  

In summary, if people want specifc help, then the need to give specifics.  If they Just want "general" help, then they can read others posts or  can give general advice, but we can not give specific advice without specific questions answered first.  In other words:  General advice takes no "questions" but is not as helpful.  Specifc advice, however, requires specific details.  

You can just apply for DIC, and take a short cut, but all those question will need to be answered eventually, or, will be answered eventually by an appealate denial.  

You can answer all Berta's questions one way or the other...you can look up the answers, or you can wait until you get denied, .  Berta is not wasting your time..she is trying to save you a lot of hassle doing it wrong.  

Quote

If you dont have time to do it right the first time, then when will you have time to do it over??

 

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Thanks for that support Broncovet.

And we ALL can make mistakes on our claims issues.My first DIC claim was when my Army husband died.

I didn't have a clue on how to respond to the VA., and was too grief stricken to even care.

By the time that my USMC husband died, we had both been on the Prodigy Vets BBS on line (1900s) and a former BVA lawyer was giving us all good claims advice.

You will think I am nuts but I have actually wondered if the VA was trying to 'catfish' us a few times here with a few claims-particularly widows claims....because 2 or 3 of them here were so strange- and held info that seemed bizarre to me...and worse of all , the info they gave us was very conflicting.

That is one of the worse mistakes any claimant can make sometimes.....because VA will hone in onto any conflicting statements.....and I have seen BVA use the term "unreliable historian" when they doubt what a claimants says:

such as.....

"His story is conflicting."). These inconsistencies indicate the Veteran is not a reliable historian."

https://www.va.gov/vetapp15/files4/1532033.txt

The Veteran admitted in a sworn statement that his account of one of his claimed military stressors, witnessing a plane crash on the flight deck of the USS Midway in 1965, was not true. 3. The Veteran is not a credible historian. 4. The claimed in-service stressful experiences as described by the Veteran have not been corroborated; while a plane crash on board the USS Hancock was confirmed, the Veteran's recitation of the incident as involving a fire and death of the pilot was not.

https://www.va.gov/vetapp12/files6/1243286.txt

and quite a few more at the BVA site....denied because of inconsistencies and no real proof of the inservice event.

 

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To update this thread- if you are the unmarried partner of a deceased veteran, in some states common law will regulate the claim. This goes for all same sex partners as well, and also

if the veteran had any children the mother (or perhaps father in some cases of adoption etc)

that person is the legal valid claimant for any VA benefits and explained in the recent topic I posted here on that above.

They must file on behalf of the child or children - who has to be a minor.

VA will check the evidence they have or will request, to determine the valid claimant's legal status.

The Retroactive proceeds are for the children's daily care and needs, , not the for the parent.

Edited by Berta

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When you die, regardless of any probate ,custody , estate, etc  the VA is quite clear on who they will consider as your legal 

beneficiary s for VA purposes, such as accrued benefits or DIC award,.

38 U.S.C.A. § 101(4)(A); 38 C.F.R. §§ 3.57, 3.1000(d)(2).

www.va.gov/vetapp08/files5/0839433.txt

https://www.va.gov/vetapp15/files6/1547007.txt

https://www.va.gov/vetapp17/files2/1710211.txt

If you have children, but were not married to the mother, the child still have legal rights to become the recipient of any VA benefits due to your death.

The mother has the right, even if not married to the veteran, to file for DIC and accrued on behalf of the deceased veteran's child. Grandparents, even with legal custody of a dead veterans children, as in one of the cases above, still have to be deemed as the legal claimant  and the grandparents lost their case with BVA , as above.Because the VA criteria for DIC and accrued is not dependent on a estate matter nor on a custody finding.

VA case law is cited well in the above decisions on that.

Make sure all of your minor children are claimed on your 21-526 form and make sure the legal claimant has this information.

And if you Do have minor children, please copy this thread and put it in your death file.

I feel that I have posted in this topic everything I know about DIC...but I only know it because I have studied VA case law and I  have cited over the years numerous cases that cover every aspect of DIC and accrued situations.

I suggest that the next time a DIC or accrued situation comes to us, that some one should  here direct them to the DIC forum right away. I will not reply to DIC /accrued issues anymore. This gives others here a chance to learn about these types of claims. And to put the DIC topic link in their death files.

 

 

 

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bumping it up again

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