13 Feb VA Survivors’ Benefits After the Death of a Veteran
The surviving family members of a deceased veteran often have many considerations and issues on their minds. One issue that may not receive much attention, however, isreceiving survivor benefits following the sudden death of a veteran. While President Obama and other lawmakers have promised to reform the VA after it came to light that thousands upon thousands of veterans were made to wait for months (in some cases years) before receiving care, as recently at 2013 the surviving family members of deceased veterans were having trouble receiving the survivors’ benefits to which they were entitled.
What are Survivors’ Benefits?
The VA actually makesa number of services and programs available to help the surviving family members of a deceased veteran. These benefits are only available to certain surviving family members of the veteran, and they are only available if that surviving family member meets certain eligibility requirements. The most common benefit is Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC), which is payable to the surviving family members of a veteran who either died in the line of duty or who died from a “service-related” injury or disease.
As the description of DIC benefits imply, if a veteran did not die in the line of duty, his or her surviving family members would be entitled to benefits only if the veteran died as a result of a “service-related” injury. In making this determination, the VA will actually go through a process similar to the process used if the veteran was applying for disability benefits. Whereas some veterans clearly pass as a result of service-related injuries or illnesses (such as when a veteran dies from an illness clearly linked to exposure to chemicals like Agent Orange), it can be very difficult to show a connection to the veteran’s military service in the case of, for example, a suicide. An applicant for benefits would need to show that the suicide was caused by a service-related condition, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or other mental ailment suffered while serving.
How Can a Veterans’ Benefits Attorney Help Me?
The death of a veteran is a tragic loss, especially for the family. This loss is compounded when the veteran passed away suddenly, such as in the case of a suicide. The last thing a surviving family member needs is to face the hassle and frustration of applying for VA surviving family member benefits. An experienced attorney, familiar with the application procedures for both disability and survivors’ benefits (because they are similar), can assist a grieving family greatly.
At the Klok Law Firm, LLC, we are committed to helping veterans and their families get the benefits their service and sacrifice has earned. We can help families navigate the often complex application process, including completing the appropriate forms, supporting your claim with the appropriate evidence, and helping complete the appeals process if the claim is initially denied.Contact the Klok Law Firm, LLC today at (843) 216-8860 for a free consultation if you are applying for any sort of veterans’ benefit.