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Berta

DIC claimants- a 'Read First'

Question

We have gotten here, from time to time, some difficult and often convoluted DIC claims.

And even some 1151 DIC claims, which are often difficult to succeed in as well.

There are some things it pays to clear up with the very first post regarding these types of claims.

When did the veteran die?

When was the DIC application filed?

Was an accrued claim filed (only needed if the veteran died with a claim pending at death) and when?

Was a substitution form sent to the VA, to substitute as the claimant for the deceased?

What is the next of kin's legal  standing for the substituted claimant? (Usually the spouse)

What was the Primary cause of death as well as the secondary cause on the death certificate?

What was the veteran service connected for in their lifetime?

Was an autopsy done and if so, did it differ from the cause of death on the death certificate?

A few DIC claims we have received here over the years involved too much rhetoric. Va won’;t read all that and the advocates here don’t have time to read it either.The VA knows survivors  are sad and probably in a severe financial situation if we depended on the veteran’s SSA and/or compensation checks.

 But filing for DIC should not involve anything but the facts of the claim.

I know it is horrible to even have to file a DIC claim, because it means a spouse has died. Maybe they left a death file of their hadit password, and other info in it that the survivor will need- birth certificates of any minor children, proof of marriage , even if the VA already knows there is a spouse, a raised seal copy of the death certificate, a copy of any autopsy that might have been done, copies of the DD214 and DD215 if applicable…..and, if I forgot anything here, the VA will advise what else they need.

The survivor will need to obtain a copy of the deceased veteran’s VA medical records, and/or any private records as well as the veteran’s C file copy.The VAMC which treated him/her should have the medical records available and most if not all VAMCs have a Records Access Officer who can provide a brief form to fill out for them.The regional office , if a claim was pending at death, should have the C file that you can request a copy of. If they do not have the C File, they will advise you where to send the request to, as sometimes , they can ‘retire ‘ a file to St Louis.

All of the ways to attain DIC are here in this forum, but something maybe not here is contested DIC claims.

This would be a claim by a wife/husband  of a divorced veteran whose minor children might be with their mother.

Of course there have been DIC claims by two spouses at the same time.

The VA determines from evidence who is the actual legal surviving spouse is.

Veteran's same sex marriage survivors are also eligible for DIC, if the medical evidence warrants that, and all other  VA survivor benefits,as long as they were  legally married and were married for at least one year prior to the veteran's death,and can prove a successful DIC claim.

 

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Bumping this up and adding this to the initial post:

If you have had a DIC or accrued denial or even if you have an award that you question, as to the DIC EED or something else, please take the time to scan and attach the decision here, with your question, as a new thread in this topic, as to the VA's Rationale for the decision , and the Evidence List they included with the decisions.

Cover your C file # ,name, address, prior to scanning it.

It is the verbatim wording of any decision that shapes our responses.

Without seeing the decision, we are completely in the dark, and cannot really give any meaningful advice.

The questions in the first post here are important as well:

"We have gotten here, from time to time, some difficult and often convoluted DIC claims.

And even some 1151 DIC claims, which are often difficult to succeed in as well.

There are some things it pays to clear up with the very first post regarding these types of claims.

When did the veteran die?

When was the DIC application filed?

Was an accrued claim filed (only needed if the veteran died with a claim pending at death) and when?

Was a substitution form sent to the VA, to substitute as the claimant for the deceased?

What is the next of kin's legal  standing for the substituted claimant? (Usually the spouse)

What was the Primary cause of death as well as the secondary cause on the death certificate?

What was the veteran service connected for in their lifetime?

Was an autopsy done and if so, did it differ from the cause of death on the death certificate?

A few DIC claims we have received here over the years involved too much rhetoric. Va won’t read all that and the advocates here don’t have time to read it either."

These are a few basic questions that any Vet rep, VSO, agent, or lawyer would ask you,( a lawyer- depending on whether a timely NOD was filed-if you sought a lawyer) and there are often more questions we ask, as well.

But If a decision was made already by the VA on the DIC claim, we need to see that , as the decision should hold many of the answers to the above questions.

If you are a Blue Water Navy widow, check the July 2019 VA AO ship's list, to see if and when your husband's ship was exposed to AO.

Many BWN veterans , not on the list have proven, with their Deck Logs, that their ship was exposed to AO during the Vietnam War.

You will need your spouses deck logs, proof of their AO presumptive disability, and you will need to find, in their C file, any past denials ,due to 'no boots on ground" of any AO presumptive they were denied for, in the past.

As an AO widow myself I believe I had to provide some Surrogate information to the VARO who handled my Nehmer claim,under the 2010 AO regulations. Something that proved I was the surviving spouse ( even though VA knew that already)because the Nehmer decision is a class action law suit.

Adult children whose parents are both deceased, and whose veteran parent was found to be within the 12 mile limit, ( per HR 299 criteria) and died of an AO disability, or death was due to this AO disability contributing to their death,

are eligible , in lieu of their deceased veteran's spouse, for an award under Nehmer.

This is very minimal information and there is much more to BWN AO  vets here already in the AO forum and will be added to, as I get it.

 

 

 

 

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Also, since the claims process changed- there are new forms for surviving spouses. If a widow had a claim in process under the older claims process the VA will send them the new forms they need,  these claims are being centralized, a far different way as in the past.

They are also available at the VA web site. Maybe a good idea to put them into your files now- 

I have accrued claims with the VA,under CUE.

That form for accrued is 21P-601

Accrued benefit are explained here:

https://www.benefits.va.gov/BENEFITS/factsheets/general/accrued.pdf

Accrued under a Nehmer award are different- I have all that info under the Nehmer info of 2010 searchable here.

Recently here someone mentioned this form is what a widow member should file:

https://www.va.gov/vaforms/form_detail.asp?FormNo=20-0995

This explains the form is for a supplemental claim.

https://www.va.gov/decision-reviews/supplemental-claim/

The new DIC form is 21-534EZ.

 

 

 

Edited by Berta
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