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Hello, I was talking to a VSO regarding my husband and the benefits he will receive should I pass away first (I am the 100% P&T veteran). The VSO said my husband will receive no monthly amount of money, no commisary, no PX priviledges if I die of something other than the S/C disabilities. If I die crossing the street, hubby gets zilch. However, if I die from peripheral neuropathy and/or the other disabilities from multiple sclerosis, my husband will receive some benefits---and he will need to apply for them for the VA to approve or disaprove. Any thoughts on this? Please help. Many thanks, HG

I am not a military retiree, I was medically discharged with asthma at 10% in 1987.

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Guest jangrin


I'm fairly confident this is how it is, but someone else correct me if I'm wrong.

If you die from a SC condition. Your husband is eligible for DIC. Yes he will have to apply for it. If it is not SC'd, he as you said will get zilch, unless you were retired military.

If you die he will be able to draw SS under your account if the benefit is more than if he was to draw on his own account, there are some age requirements on the SS.

I'm sure Berta will chime in here as she knows all the forms and time alloted for spouse reply following SC death.


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Jangrin-you are right on the ball about the DIC awarded due to Service connected disability contributing to or causing death-

But that doesn't mean this type of claim is always easy- even if there is an obvious connection between SC and death.The surviving still has to prove the service connected death.

If the SC disability is listed on the death certificate as contributory or direct cause of death-that is easy DIC award.

Other situations can become more complex and I always think families should agree way before the fact that the veteran will be autopsied.

This medical evidence-the autopsy-is by far more definitive than a death certificate.

A coroner could list a few of the deceased's medical problems but omit a service connected one that could ultimately be the actual cause of death.

Harris V Derwinski- vet died due to heart disease (NSC) vet had SC rating for severe hearing loss- SC-

The hearing loss was not on death certificate-

did the veteran died with a SC disabiltiy contributing?

Yes- after about 6-7 years the CAVC (COVA) -based on medicsal evidence from the widow-found the vet's SC hearing loss contributed to his death.

Also if a veteran in the 10 years preceding death was "entitled to receive " 100% P & T in his or her ,lifetime-

yet had not been awarded 100% P & T for 10 years by the VA- in that case the widow(er) could request the DIC under 1318 but would have to prove that the veteran should have been 100% P & T for ten years during his lifetime prior to death.

That is an "as if" benefit. Sec 1151 deaths and all 1318 deaths are "as if" deaths and do NOT award the survivor all the benefits a direct SC death does.These are often called ancillary benefits.

Any death of a vet -100% P & T for ten years or proven they should have been,by direct SC establishes most of the benefits for their spouse-the most important one-if not ancilliary ones- (Home Loan Guarantee ,full burial expense etc)

Any death under Section 1151 (VA malpractice resulting in DIC)

does NOT establish the survivors entitlement to CHAMPVA and CHapter 35.

It is the sole facter of 100% P & T SC at time of death that establishes those benefits.

If a vet has 100% P & T SC awarded after death -like in my case with Rod, with an entitlement date prior to death that does not fall into the 10 years- the widow can still get DIC if the veterans SC contributed to or caused death.

In that case- the veterans posthumous 100 % SC P & T award can be determined after death if the veteran sought higher rating in their lifetime and the widow re-opened their pending claim for higher rating.

Once the VA determines the veteran was actually 100% prior to death- if the widow continues the claim in her name (or his name for widowers)the P & T is added on immediately by VA -once the 100% is determined-because the SC has obviously been permanent and lasted up to date of their death.

The regs for surviving spouses are complex and each situation can be unique.

If a wartime (Not necessarily war service)vet dies and there is no basis for SC award posthumpusly for direct DIC the VA -based on limited income of the spouse will award the VA death Pension.

I dont know of any widow or widower who could possibly live on that.

SSA benefits and many other deductions are made by VA when they establish what they might send a survivor in that case as a survivors pension.

These benefits unfortunately are not well understood by all vet reps.

It is critical that a widow- with all they suddenly have to deal with -

make formal application (21-534) within one year after the veterans death for DIC,(which is also Pension application) and any accrued benefits due the veteran in his or her lifetime.

Then again the spouse of a veterans with 100% P & T in effect for ten years prior to death establishes the spouses entitlement to DIC regardless of what directly caused death.(38 USC 1318)

Also the VA will award DIC if they caused the death of the veteran due to negligence.

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Hi Berta and Jangrin, thank you both so very much for the information. The mysoginist VSO I spoke to yesterday regarding this was not forthcoming with any relevant information...it was like pulling teeth only to be treated rudely. My husband said to forget about the rude behavior. I feel so bad that I am unable to do more for my wonderful husband of soon to be fourteen years. Well, now I will work on those disabled veteran life insurance applications that were sent. Thank you very much again. HG

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  • HadIt.com Elder


Once you make 10 years at 100% your spouse is entitled to DIC which is around 1000 to 1200 a month depending on what era you served.

If you are 100% P&T than your husband will keep ChampVA for life and of course educational and other benefits. If he loses the PX or BX privledges so what its not all that hot in the first place. Of course that is my opinion.

I was very happy when I made the 10 years and you will also.


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Holli- he was either a misnogomist or simply didnt have a single clue on the DIC regs. Or , in my experience with some vet reps- he sure might have been both.

You would think a rep would attempt to access the regs when asked questions like yours-

I know these regs and have lived them myself but I still checked on them all to answer your question.

Yet some of our paid vet reps and SOs cannot even take the time to do that.

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Hi Berta and Pete, I believe the VSO does not have a clue. Here is something funny (funny like ha ha or funny like pitiful...it is your call), anyway, about a year ago I was at the courthouse waiting to see another VSO and the boss VSO happened to stroll on by to say hello and I mentioned how rude and how quick to answer the VSO in question was (I had called the VSO in question regarding a supposed debt I owed). The boss VSO said words to the effect of, "he's one of my best". I am wondering , one of his best what?!!! Best givers of incorrect information? Best rude VSOs? :D And here I thought the dental situation I am embroiled in is a pain. Well, one thing is for sure and that is I am determined to hang in for at least, at the very least, for ten more years! I will be 55 then. Thank you both for the valuable information.

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