How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Lawrence D. Gorin Your Own Question

Lawrence D. Gorin
Lawrence D. Gorin, Lawyer
Category: Military Law
Satisfied Customers: 1507
Experience:  Military & Family Law. 30+ years experience. USFSPA pension division expertise.
8848811
Type Your Military Law Question Here...
Lawrence D. Gorin is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

As the widow of a World War II veteran am I entitled to any

Resolved Question:

As the widow of a World War II veteran am I entitled to any benefits with regard to help with my assisted living facility?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Military Law
Expert:  Lawrence D. Gorin replied 4 years ago.
ANSWER:
The VA has two programs that provide pension benefits to eligible and qualifying surviving spouses of deceased veterans. The first is “Dependency and Indemnity Compensation” (DIC) and the second is a ”VA Death Pension.”

“Dependency and Indemnity Compensation” (DIC) is a monthly benefit paid to eligible survivors of:
a military service member who died while on active duty, active duty for training, or inactive duty training, OR
a veteran whose death resulted from a service-related injury or disease, OR
a veteran whose death resulted from a non service-related injury or disease, and who was receiving, or was entitled to receive, VA Compensation for service-connected disability that was rated as totally disabling
(i) for at least 10 years immediately before death; OR
(ii) since the veteran’s release from active duty and for at least five years immediately preceding death; OR
(iii) for at least one year before death if the veteran was a former prisoner of war who died after September 30, 1999.

The surviving spouse is eligible for DIC benefits if he or she:
* validly married the veteran before January 1, 1957, OR
* was married to a service member who died on active duty, OR
* married the veteran within 15 years of discharge from the period of military service in which the disease or injury that caused the veteran's death began or was aggravated, OR
* was married to the veteran for at least one year, OR
* had a child with the veteran, AND
* cohabited with the veteran continuously until the veteran's death or, if separated, was not at fault for the separation, AND
* is not currently remarried.

NOTE: A surviving spouse who remarries on or after December 16, 2003, and on or after attaining age 57, is entitled to continue to receive DIC benefits.

The monthly DIC rate (as of 2009) for DIC for a surviving spouse is $1,154 p/m.

If you are otherwise entitled to an annuity under the Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP), your SBP monthly benefit would be reduced dollar-for-dollar to the extend to an DIC amount that you receive.

Further information is available at the VA’s Survivor Benefits Home Page at:
http://www.vba.va.gov/Survivors/

THE PROBLEM --- To be eligible for DIC benefits, the deceased spouse’s situation must fall within one or more of the required classifications that would make the surviving spouse eligible for DIC.

Specifically, the servicemember’s death must have been the result of a service-related injury or disease. Alternatively, the surviviing spouse would be eligible for DIC benefits if the servicemember was at the time of death receiving VA compensation for a service-connected disability that was rated as totally disabling.

There is also a “VA Death Pension” that is payable to qualifying low-income surviving spouses of a deceased wartime veteran. You may be eligible if:
* the deceased veteran was discharged from service under other than dishonorable conditions, AND
* he or she served 90 days or more of active duty with at least 1 day during a period of war time. However, the law requires that anyone who enlists after 9/7/80 generally has to serve at least 24 months or the full period for which a person was called or ordered to active duty in order to receive any benefits based on that period of service, AND
* you are the surviving spouse or unmarried child of the deceased veteran, AND
* your countable income is below a yearly limit set by law. (For the period between 12/1/2008 and 11/30/2009, for a surviving spouse with no dependent children, the surviving spouse’s yearly income must be less than $7,933.

VA would then pay the difference between the surviving spouse’s countable income and the yearly income limit for the particular classification of the surviving spouse. For example, if the surviving spouse’s countable income is $4,933 and the yearly income limit for the particular classification of the surviving spouse is $7,933, the VA Death Pension would be $3,000, payable over a period of 12 months.

See the VA Death Pension Benefits Chart at:
http://www.workworld.org/wwwebhelp/veterans_affairs_va_benefits_death_pension_amount.htm

As to what you should do and who can represent you.....

First, if you do not like a VA decision, you may appeal (which I note you have already started). Appeals are first made to the office that made the decision. A hearing officer or decision review officer usually handles these cases. If the case is still in dispute it is then sent to the Board of Veterans Appeals (BVA). If it is not resolved there, it can be appealed outside the Department of Veterans Affairs to the Court of Appeals for Veteran Claims (CAVC).

BVA website:
http://www.va.gov/vbs/bva/index.htm

CACV website:
http://www.uscourts.cavc.gov/

================================
If your question has been satisfactorily answered, please acknowledge by clicking the green “ACCEPT” button in the upper right hand corner of your screen. That’s the only way I get paid for answering your question. After you have accepted, we can then engage in further discussion if needed to clarify or elaborate. Also, your positive FEEDBACK comments are important, so be sure to add a few words as requested. And I thank you in advance. http://ldgorin.justia.net/index.html
Lawrence D. Gorin, Lawyer
Category: Military Law
Satisfied Customers: 1507
Experience: Military & Family Law. 30+ years experience. USFSPA pension division expertise.
Lawrence D. Gorin and other Military Law Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
< Last | Next >
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
  • My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer. Eric Redwood City, CA
  • I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight. Michael Wichita, KS
  • PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent. Three H. Houston, TX
  • Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!! Elaine Atlanta, GA
  • It worked great. I had the facts and I presented them to my ex-landlord and she folded and returned my deposit. The 50 bucks I spent with you solved my problem. Tony Apopka, FL
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • P. Simmons

    Military Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    11441
    Retired Marine Corps lawyer and Veterans Services Officer (VSO) with 12+ yrs. of experience.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/PH/philip.simmons/2012-6-7_161915_BIGPhilipSimmons.64x64.jpg P. Simmons's Avatar

    P. Simmons

    Military Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    11441
    Retired Marine Corps lawyer and Veterans Services Officer (VSO) with 12+ yrs. of experience.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/JA/jaccorpsesq/2011-11-13_21141_JAnewphoto.64x64.jpg Allen M., Esq.'s Avatar

    Allen M., Esq.

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    4035
    Lawyer and current JAG officer.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/marshadjd/2009-6-1_194320_marshajd.jpg Marsha411JD's Avatar

    Marsha411JD

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    1149
    Licensed attorney and former Navy JAG serving ashore, afloat and at the OJAG
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/OR/OregonLawyer/2012-6-20_82836_LarryMugShot16192012.64x64.jpg Lawrence D. Gorin's Avatar

    Lawrence D. Gorin

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    488
    Military & Family Law. 30+ years experience. USFSPA pension division expertise.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/LA/LawInfoNow/2012-5-27_195417_JAprofilepicture.64x64.jpg LawHelpNow's Avatar

    LawHelpNow

    Attorney/Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    221
    Relax. Let's work together. Practical solutions.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/rcampione/2009-01-16_181009_bar-rc.jpg rcampione's Avatar

    rcampione

    Military Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    186
    Military lawyer - 5 years to the present
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/JAGDefense/2010-02-16_041646_web_pix.jpg JAG Defense's Avatar

    JAG Defense

    Military Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    124
    CAPT, JAGC, USN (Retired); Former Military Judge; Specializing in Security Clearance Adjudications