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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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meljon

Does divorce change my disability compensation?

Question

I read that if you are have one spouse and one child you get a certain amount of VA disability compensation (perhaps $256). I currently have 60% disability rating. If and when I get divorced will my VA disability compensation be reduced? ...and if yes, by how much? If I then should remarry will it then increase again by the same amount? Also, do the children have to live with me in order to claim them? ...or is paying child support sufficient. Thank you in advance. 

update - 

I am already receiving a monthly VA disability compensation. My question is: will I receive the same amount of disability once and if I should remarry in the future? ... and will I still be able to claim my kids although they don't live with me the majority of the time, and pay child support? Thanks.

Edited by meljon
additional information for clarification to the question

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4 hours ago, meljon said:

I read that if you are have one spouse and one child you get a certain amount of VA disability compensation (perhaps $256). I currently have 60% disability rating. If and when I get divorced will my VA disability compensation be reduced? ...and if yes, by how much? If I then should remarry will it then increase again by the same amount? Also, do the children have to live with me in order to claim them? ...or is paying child support sufficient. Thank you in advance. 

Welcome to Hadit!

http://www.benefits.va.gov/compensation/resources_comp01.asp

30% - 60% With Children

Dependent Status 30% 40% 50% 60%
Veteran with Spouse and Child  $492.97 $702.12  $978.64 $1,230.27
Veteran with Child Only  $440.97  $632.12  $892.64  $1,127.27

Please note that this does not include rates for additional children, but you can find that on the above link.

 

Regarding children living with you and or paying support, it may depend on how things are spelled out in the divorce decree, your state laws, etc...

Either way, just be sure to submit the documents to the VA as soon as you are divorced and/or remarried. I personally recommend using ebenefits to do it because mailing or faxing copies may tend to take forever to get processed. If they overpay your dependency money, they will want it back, so don't put it on the back burner.

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Should help your MH problems, if nothing else. Then again, probably depends on how bad you get or got spanked, by your X's Attorney and the Judge.

Semper Fi

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Yes.  You need to report to VA when you have a change is number of dependents, such as a divorce or remarriage.  Of course, wait until the divorce/marriage is final.  

If you fail to report the divorce, you could likely get a way with it for a while, then you would owe VA money for overpayment.  

When I got a divorce, I sent VA a notice within a month.  They kept on sending me the same amount for 2 years. 

Finally they said I owed them money.  So I appealed the debt.  I explained.  Look, I told you about the dependent change 2 years ago, and you sat on it and did nothing.  I spent the money and it would be a hardship for me to pay it back.  

 

They forgave the debt.  I did what I was supposed to do (reported the change) and its not my fault it took them over 2 years to fix it.   They sent me money and I assumed it was mine.  

However, if you dont tell them, things wont likely go well.  They will collect that money and you wont get a paycheck, or a small one, until its paid back.  

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Hi broncovet,

thank you for the info. Looking back I should have chosen a different title. It seems misleading. Notifying the VA of my dependents change is not trivial and definitely something I will do when the time comes. I was however wondering if after my divorce, if I should ever remarry, will my disability compensation be increased again to what I was getting before I got divorced the first time. Thanks again. 

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Yes, and you CAN keep your stepchildren on your award. There's a byzantine process to do so.

Essentially you have to send in a statement saying:

1) how much you are paying for support of each child

2) the total amount to support each, individual stepchild

3) and other info

Number one must be more than 50% of number two.

M21-1MR, Part III, Subpart iii, Chapter 5, Section G

42. Establishing a Stepchild as a Veteran’s Child for VA Purposes

h. Action to Take When a Stepchild’s Biological or Adoptive Parent Dies or Separates From or Terminates His/Her Marriage With the Veteran

Did the Veteran provide

 

  • the date the stepchild stopped being a member of the Veteran’s household, and

  • a statement as to whether or not the Veteran continues to support the stepchild and, if so,

  • the total cost of supporting the stepchild, and

  • the stepchild’s current mailing address and the name of the stepchild’s custodian, and

  • the amount of support the Veteran provides to/for the stepchild?

 

  • If yes, proceed to Step 14.

   

The sequence is messed up here, but essentially goes on to say that the support must be greater than 50%

i. Handling a Veteran’s Response to the Notice of Proposed Adverse Action
  • the stepchild lives apart from the Veteran, but

  • the Veteran provides at least one-half of the stepchild’s support

  • leave the child on the Veteran’s award

  • notify the Veteran of

  • the reason why he/she remains entitled to additional benefits for the stepchild, and

  • his/her responsibility to notify VA of any change in the percentage of the child’s support that he/she provides, and

  • clear the pending EP.

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