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Disability compensation benefit for a spouse after I die

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Don1965

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Welcome to hadit.  

The answer to your question, as always with VA is complicated.  

Short answer:  No, she does not get your benefits.  But wait!  

She can get DIC, (Dependendents Indemnity Compensation) "Provided that" you and her meet certain criteria. (As always).  

 

First, if possible, you need to apply for an increase and get to 100 percent P and T (best).  

 

Read over these rules:

https://www.va.gov/disability/dependency-indemnity-compensation/

 

I have no idea if you and your spouse meet the criteria.  

Short version:  Get to 100 percent P and T "and then" you need to either die of a service connected condition ora any condition if you have been P and T for 10 years or more.  Critical:  If you have not been P and T for 10 years, then she will need to document your cause of death is a service connected condition and this may involve an autopsy.  (For her to get DIC if you have not been p and t for 10 years, then she must document your cause of death to be from a service connected condition).  

But, dont take my word for it, again, I have no idea how long you have been married, and whether or not you otherwise meet the criteria, so carefully read the rules "and" make sure your wife knows especially these 2 things:

1.  If you apply for 100 percent (an increase) and it has not yet been awarded, your wife needs to know she needs to file a substitution of claimant, and needs to do this within the time frames included in this:

https://www.vba.va.gov/pubs/forms/VBA-21P-0847-ARE.pdf

     This would mean your spouse could get back pay, even after you are deceased, if you eventually win your claim for increase (probably likely) 

2.  She needs to file for DIC also.  I think the link above will send you to how to apply.  

     I have instructed my wife "in writing" in a document near my will to go to the local Veterans service office and file for DIC.  My wife is eligible, I have over 10 years..

     I have also explained to her that "some Veterans service officers" have no clue of what is going on with DIC, and to disregard their advice if the advice conflicts with what is posted in the regulations in the links.  

Dic is currently "at least" $1562 per month, and there are many add ons where she could receive much more, possibly 3000 per month or more, in the example in this link:

https://www.va.gov/disability/survivor-dic-rates/#surviving-spouse-rates-if-the-

    You should go over this post with your spouse, especially the links I have provided.  Let me know if one or more of the links are not valid for some reason.  

     Understanding this dic and substitution of claimant, with accrued benefits, can easily mean the difference between your spouse living in poverty on social security alone, or having much more than social security so she can visit grandchildren and not be a financial burden to your family.  

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