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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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  • Most Common VA Disabilities Claimed for Compensation:   

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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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Question

I am confused.  A few days ago I spoke to a person at a VARO who said if I die from something other than service-connected my husband gets zero, zilch, squat.  Hmmmmmm, it seems the rules change willy-nilly...I have been rated 100% P & T for over 10 years, MS is static, and I am 56 years of age.

Can a fellow Veteran shed a light on this?

Thank you.

Edited by Holllie Greene
changed R to P
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yeah, that is why an autopsy is key to connecting the veterans death to their service connected disability. 

Here's the info from VA

Dependency and Indemnity Compensation

Source: https://benefits.va.gov/COMPENSATION/types-dependency_and_indemnity.asp

Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) is a tax free monetary benefit paid to eligible survivors of military Servicemembers who died in the line of duty or eligible survivors of Veterans whose death resulted from a service-related injury or disease.

Eligibility (Surviving Spouse)

To qualify for DIC, a surviving spouse must meet the requirements below.

The surviving spouse was:

  • Married to a Servicemember who died on active duty, active duty for training, or inactive duty training, OR
  • Validly married the Veteran before January 1, 1957, OR
  • Married the Veteran within 15 years of discharge from the period of military service in which the disease or injury that caused the Veteran's death began or was aggravated, OR
  • Was married to the Veteran for at least one year, OR
  • Had a child with the Veteran, AND
  • Cohabited with the Veteran continuously until the Veteran's death or, if separated, was not at fault for the separation, AND
  • Is not currently remarried

Note: A surviving spouse who remarries on or after December 16, 2003, and on or after attaining age 57, is entitled to continue to receive DIC.

Eligibility (Surviving Child)

  • Not included on the surviving spouse's DIC, AND
  • Unmarried, AND
  • Under age 18, or between the ages of 18 and 23 and attending school.

Note: A child adopted out of the Veteran’s family may be eligible for DIC if all other eligibility criteria are met.

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

How to Apply

For more information on how to apply and for tips on making sure your claim is ready to be processed by VA, visit our How to Apply page.

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Sure, Ms. Greene.  If you and your husband have been married for over a year, then he qualifies legally. I do mean married with a genuine marriage license-not a common law affair. Now, if you have had your Chapter 35 DEA benefits (P&T) for over ten years, then your husband is entitled to DIC (Dependents Indemnity Compensation) after you pass away. After you have been rated for over twenty years, VA cannot reduce any ratings- assuming, arguendo, no fraud was involved in attaining those ratings. DIC is currently $1283.11 per month tax free.

Add $272.46 per month if at the time of the veteran's death, the veteran was in receipt of or entitled to receive compensation for a service-connected disability rated totally disabling (including a rating based on individual unemployability) for a continuous period of at least 8 years immediately preceding death AND the surviving spouse was married to the veteran for those same 8 years. (38 U.S.C. 1311(a)(2). This added sum equals $1,555.57 per month (tax free).

Add the following allowance for a dependent child under age 18:  $317.87 per child per monthIf the surviving spouse is entitled to A&A, add $317.87 per month;If the surviving spouse is entitled to Housebound, add $148.91 per month; If the surviving spouse has one or more children under the age 18 on the award, add the 2-year transitional benefit of $270.00 per month (tax free).

Does that answer your dilemma? VSOs are purposefully not trained in the law. They are trained on how to fill out VAFs 21-4138, 21-526EZ, 21-0958, 9 and VA 646s (Terms of Surrender).  Their Congressional Charter states they "will help the VA adjudicate a Veteran's claim(s)". That means they lick the envelope and put the stamp on it for you. 

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As Tbird and Asknod pointed out, come to HADIT and get your answers, since we are not employed or paid by the VA.

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just a question that pops to mind from the answers..

what if your 100% rated but none of your conditions are stated p & t ???

also what if you get tdiu instead of regular ratings way and its only been a few years ?

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@paulcolrain I haven't seen anything that states it must be permanent but others can jump in if they know different. Based on what I read on the VA site it doesn't state that unless I missed it.

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      I am confused.  A few days ago I spoke to a person at a VARO who said if I die from something other than service-connected my husband gets zero, zilch, squat.  Hmmmmmm, it seems the rules change willy-nilly...I have been rated 100% P & T for over 10 years, MS is static, and I am 56 years of age.

      Can a fellow Veteran shed a light on this?

      Thank you.
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