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  • Content Curator/HadIt.com Elder

@treysnonna I am so sorry to hear about your husband's passing. Deepest condolences from myself and all of the other fellow Hadit members.

Although I do not know how to approach this, I am pretty certain that others will comment and offer their recommendations. I remember reading something about spouses being able to file on their dearly departed's behalf, something like spousal substitution. I think there is some form that needs to be submitted. Additionally, explore any potential for dependency and indemnity compensation which can provide you with a stipend depending on the circumstances. Again, others know more about those things than I do. Your VSO might be able to also assist if you have one.

Although I was on active duty back in 1992, I did finish my enlistment and leave the service in 1995. Many years later, I always felt something was not quite right with the initial rating decisions I had received in 2000 (yes, it took 5 years). However, after a near-death heart attack in 2019, I was out of work for months recovering. I had requested copies of my VA claims folder, plus all service and medical records to go along with it. The CD came in the mail over a year later and I thoroughly read every page to look for anything I had originally claimed. After careful examination, I found two issues which looked like they had lower ratings than they should have received. The big challenge was looking online for copies of the Federal Register to see exactly what the rating criteria was at the time I filed and from then until when the decision was made. I had identified two cases where the VA had not properly followed the laws and regs which were in effect at the time. I filed Clear and Unmistakable Error (CUE) claims. After a lot of confusion on the VA side, supplemental, and HLR's, the VA granted one claim, but denied the other which I promptly appealed to the BVA. The claim which was granted had boosted my combined rating % just enough to go from 40% to 50% and yielded 13 years of retro. The other pending BVA decision could bring my initial combined rating from 50% to 60% and also produce another 13 years of retro. Because I had filed for increases in those years later, winning an increased rating would also increase the earlier effective date and allow them to be protected under the 20 year rule. However, that kind of change would not help your husband's case. Don't discount the potential that you can right some of the wrongs in the VA's past. When I got initial SC, my VSO told me not to rock the boat because they felt it was right. Honestly, I was just happy that I had won anything initially. However, I did not have the knowledge I have learned here at Hadit. If I had that information on how the system works, I would have pursued ever claim to the correct and proper conclusion.

Again, prayers to you and your family. I really wish you the best.

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  • Moderator

Im sorry about your husband.  

Yes, there are benefits available to you, but there is always the fine print.  

First you need to file a substitution of claimant, because your late husband wont be filing any more papers, but you can, on his behalf:




This is for benefits your husband should have gotten, such as if he had a claim in appeals, or pending. 


ALSO, you may be eligible for DIC.  Its around 1500 or so per month for the rest of your life:

In sum, you should get DIC if either of these things are true:

1.  Your husband died from a service connected condition.  This "may" require an autopsy. (recommended for future benefits)

2.  Your husband died from ANY condition more than 10 years AFTER his effective date of 100 percent.  

     SOME VSO's can help widows, while other's have no clue about widows benefits.  Ask here if in doubt, some VSO's have no clue and will give you wrong information, which could cost you thousands of dollars.  


Also:  if he was an organ donor, (with documentation on his drivers license or from the state they live in) or even if the wife gets a call from the Organ Bank in her state- she can donate his organs () she might be able a get a free autopsy ( her state would have the regulations on that.  

My brother donated his body to science, and I sure they autopsied it...no charge for burial.  

Edited by broncovet
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  • HadIt.com Elder

We had a poster her named Berta Simmons whose husband died under VA care.  She not only got  DIC but used VA tools to prove the VA caused his death.  I wish she was still around because she might be able to help.  What Bronco is saying is absolutely true.  I would sure get that autopsy if possible. If you can show your husband died from a service connected cause you should be able to at least get DIC.  You say VA sent him home to die and he died within days?  That sounds pretty bad to me.  It sounds like they washed their hands of him and took the easy way out.  It sounds fishy to me.  They did not want him to die under their care.  Why?

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I am sorry for your loss.

This is what I located on www.va.gov 

I only added an excerpt that I thought might apply to you based on the information you provided.

If the Veteran’s eligibility was due to a rating of totally disabling, they must have had this rating:

  • For at least 10 years before their death, or
  • Since their release from active duty and for at least 5 years immediately before their death, or
  • For at least 1 year before their death if they were a former prisoner of war who died after September 30, 1999


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i just wanted to say i am so sorry for your loss and sorry to loose a brother. 
the advice above is well said and laid out and i cant add anything but i wanted to say something in honor of your husband. 

i wish you peace

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