Eligibility For Dependents
Posted 29 June 2012 - 11:57 AM
I appreciate who's ever time that replies to my post, as this process is confusing.
Recently my daughters father's death was ruled a suicide as a result of his PTSD, that he was diagnosed with approximately 8 months ago. I am unsure if our daughter would qualify for the DIC benefits.
There are also his other two children involved and his wife. My question is that, would she and her children be qualified for the DIC benefits. It states on his death certificate ( am not exactly sure of the exact wording) suicide and PTSD.
If the children and his wife do by chance qualify, can I start the process for my daughter and then obviously she would start the process for her and her children. But, how do we start the process and can we all do it on our own?
Again, thank you to whoever takes the time to try to make this process more understandable.
Posted 29 June 2012 - 05:43 PM
Posted 30 June 2012 - 05:00 AM
His present wife might be potentially eligible for DIC.
It depends however on the exact wording of the death certificate, results of any autopsy if it was done,usually they are performed in suicide deaths) and then the wife might well need to obtain an independent medical opinion to support any DIC claim. There is a lot involved in this type of DIC claim.
If he had minor children,in his care when he died , the VA pays an additional benefit, included in the monthly DIC check.
“If the children and his wife do by chance qualify, can I start the process for my daughter and then obviously she would start the process for her and her children. But, how do we start the process and can we all do it on our own? “
From what I see here, I suggest that his wife obtain a veteran's service representative from the DAV, VWF, AL or any major veteran's service organization or she could make an appointment with the County Veterans service agency closest to her or her state veteran's service division or commission so that she can start the DIC application process.
There is very limited info in your question and there are specific regulations involving deaths of veterans by suicide.
Can the veteran's wife join us here?
She ,the veteran's wife at time of his death, is the sole person who can apply for DIC ,as I understand this post here , and that application would cover additional benefits if the DIC is granted, for any minor children the veteran had.
“ It states on his death certificate ( am not exactly sure of the exact wording) suicide and PTSD. “
His wife should bring the Death certificate, any autopsy results if available yet, and his last VA compensation award letter with her to the rep appointment.She will also need a raised seal copy of the marriage license and birth certificates for any minor children.
The VA has awarded DIC due to suicide in some cases but not all claims for DIC on this basis succeed.
We have further info on the DIC regulations as well as info on suicide DIC claims here under a search.
Posted 30 June 2012 - 06:41 AM
“Regarding the issue of DIC eligibility, pertinent VA
regulations state that a surviving child of a qualifying
veteran who died of a service-connected disability is
entitled to receive Dependency and Indemnity Compensation
benefits. 38 U.S.C.A. §§ 1310, 1313 (West 2002); 38 C.F.R.
§§ 3.5, 3.312 (2008). To be eligible for these benefits, it
must be established that she is a "child" as defined by law
and regulations. The definition of the term "child," as
defined for VA purposes, means an unmarried person who is a
legitimate child, a child legally adopted before the age of
18 years, a stepchild who acquired that status before the age
of 18 years and who is a member of the Veteran's household at
the time of the Veteran's death, or an illegitimate child.
In addition, the child must also be someone who: (1) is under
the age of 18 years; or (2) before reaching the age of 18
years became permanently incapable of self support; or (3)
after reaching the age of 18 years and until completion of
education or training (but not after reaching the age of 23
years) is pursuing a course of instruction at an approved
educational institution. 38 U.S.C.A. § 101(4) (West 2002);
38 C.F.R. § 3.57 (2008). “
I receive DIC.
My daughter was also included in my DIC amount as a dependent of the deceased veteran for a few years.
The VA also had included her in my husband's VA compensation check as well as me.
After she graduated from High School she joined the Military and was not 18 yet but that part of my DIC check for her correctly stopped.
I am very familiar with these types of claims as a local Vietnam Combat Vet friend of mine committed suicide some years ago and the wife contacted me for DIC help.
There is a lot to this type of claim. Many suicide claims fail but then again many have been awarded. But I recommend that she obtain a VSO first , as these claims involve a lot of
medical nuances and also the full psychiatric profile of the veteran. She needs to obtain a complete C file copy and copies of his VA medical records as well.
She might need to supply VA with a legal surrogate document to get them to prove she is next of kin unless they have established that already by his past claims.
I cannot assume this deceased veteran has a SC rating for PTSD or if any SC disability contributed to his death from the info here. The widow will get a complete copy of the autopsy if she requests it from the Medical Examiner or coroner in the locale where he died.
An autopsy can be crucial to claims of this type so I certainly hope an autopsy was performed.
When she files a DIC claim she will receive a VCAA letter from VA that details basically what evidence they need. A good vet rep or VSO can help her with that or we can help her decifer the letter here.
I imagine ,if this happened recently, that DIC is the last thing on her mind.
But please suggest to her to join us here when she considers filing for DIC. It is critical however that she filed for DIC and for any potential accrued benefits within one year after his death for the best effective date of retroactive money if potentially DIC is awarded.
The suicide regulations are here under a search. I will post them and explain them again if the widow joins us eventually and gives us more information as to the veteran's cause of death and his prior VA compensation status.
Edited by Berta, 30 June 2012 - 06:51 AM.