Certain family members of deceased Veterans may be entitled to benefits. It is possible to receive benefits even if the deceased Veteran did not receive VA benefits while alive. Surviving spouses or family member of Veterans that died from conditions that may be related to military service could be entitled to VA survivor’s benefits. If your claim has already been denied, Veteran Esquire Legal Solutions, PLLC, may be able to help you appeal. Important procedural deadlines may apply to VA Survivors Benefits claims.
There are Multiple Types of Survivor’s Benefits Claims Available
Generally, there are two categories of VA Survivor’s Benefits Claims: (1) substitution/accrued benefits, and (2) Dependency and Indemnity Compensation. However, VA offers multiple other benefits and services to dependents and survivors. It is important to seek the advice of an accredited representative to determine your eligibility for survivor’s benefits.
Substitution and Accrued Benefits claims are only available to an eligible survivor when a Veteran dies while a claim for VA benefits is pending. By filing a claim for accrued benefits, you “step into the shoes” of the Veteran and continue their fight for benefits. If successful, you receive any “accrued benefits” that VA would have owed the Veteran if VA would have granted the claim prior to the Veteran’s death. Surviving spouses, children, and dependent parents may qualify for accrued benefits.
Generally, eligible survivors of Veterans who’s death was service-connected may file claims for Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) and Death Compensation. The requirements for establishing a DIC claim differ depending on whether the Veteran received service connection benefits in their lifetime. The amount of time service connection was established prior to the Veteran’s death may also affect eligibility to DIC. To qualify for DIC benefits, the evidence typically must show the Veteran’s cause of death was related to service.
Timing is Important For Survivor’s Benefits Claims
VA has procedural deadlines that often require you to file survivor’s benefits claims within one year of the Veteran’s death. It is important to begin the claims process as soon as possible after the Veteran’s death. Surviving spouses and family members should maintain accurate copies of all of the Veteran’s military documents and medical records. VA may require you to produce copies of records that you or the Veteran already submitted. Filing a claim for survivor’s benefits can be especially difficult if the Veteran never received VA Benefits during their lifetime.
If your claims for survivor’s benefits have been denied, you can contact Veteran Esquire Legal Solutions, PLLC, for a free consultation to see if the Firm can help you appeal your claims. The Firm offers fee agreements where you only pay if you obtain a favorable result. The Firm exists solely to serve Veterans and their families.