Military Law

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Department of Veterans Affairs

The Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA or VA) is a government based benefit system set up to provide assistance to military veterans, their families, and survivors. A few of the benefits that the Department Of Veteran Affairs offer: life insurance, pension, education, disability compensation, vocational rehabilitation, medical benefits, burial benefits, survivor benefits, and home loans. Many people are unaware of the many benefits that are offered by the VA. To learn more about the department of veteran’s affairs, many people ask the large variety of Military Experts. The Experts can answer a wide variety of department of veteran affairs questions. Below are five of the top questions answered by the Experts.

What can be done if the VA declares someone incompetent and won’t release back benefits?

There are a few things that can be done if the VA declares someone incompetent. First of all, you can challenge the determination that you are incompetent. If there has been a declaration, you should have paperwork that will detail how to request a hearing. Next, you can apply to be appointed fiduciary, which will not be an easy task. The VA usually appoints a fiduciary without any input from the family. If you have power of attorney for health care for the person in question, you may be able to convince the VA to appoint you as fiduciary. However, the VA will not usually appoint someone fiduciary if they don’t have power of attorney. You could also ask a local court to appoint you as guardian, this will be recognized by the VA and you will be appointed fiduciary.

Does the Federal Government offer programs for the surviving spouse of deceased service members?

The Federal Government provides three programs that may benefit surviving spouses of deceased service men.

The Department of Defense has a life insurance plan called the Survivor benefit Plan (SBP). If the service member listed the spouse as the beneficiary to receive SBP upon his death, and he died while on active duty, the spouse would be entitled to monthly SBP benefits. If the surviving spouse is also eligible for and received DIC benefits, the amount that they would receive from the deceased spouse will be reduced.

The Veterans Administration also has two programs that offer pension benefits to surviving spouses of deceased veterans who are eligible and who qualify. The first program is called “Dependency and Indemnity Compensation” (DIC) and the second program is named “VA Death Pension”.

Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) is a program offered by the Department of Veterans Affairs. To be eligible for monthly benefits, one must meet certain requirements. You must be a survivor of a service member who was in active duty, training for active duty, and inactive duty and died during any of these activities, or a veteran who died from service related injuries or disease, or a veteran who died due to a non-service related injury or disease and was receiving or entitled to VA compensation for service related disability.

The surviving spouse will be eligible for DIC benefits if he/she was married to a veteran before January 1, 1957, or was married to a service member that died in active duty, or married to a veteran within 15 years of discharge from duty because of disease or injury that caused the veterans death, or was married to a veteran, had a child with a veteran, lived with (cohabitated) a veteran, or is not currently married.

the VA Death Pension is for low income spouses of deceased war veterans. You may be eligible for VA Death Pension if the veteran was released from service for reasons other than dishonorable conditions, served at least one year and at least one day during wartime, either a surviving spouse or unwed child of a deceased veteran, or your countable income is below the set limit by law.

Would a 48 year old reservist qualify for Concurrent Retirement Disability Pay (CRDP) if they are receiving a check for a medical retirement?

The check that you are receiving currently is military medical disability pay from Department of Defense. If you have participated for 20 years of reserve service, you would be eligible for longevity retire pay, however, you must be age 60 before receiving the retirement pay. This applies whether you are disabled or not, the CRDP does not offer a retirement payment for retired reservist that has not reached age 60.

Can a person sue the Veterans Administration for stopping disability payments for six months?

You can sue the Department of veteran Affairs, but you may end up spending a huge amount of money for attorney fees. Before you consider suing the VA, you might want to try to contact your VA representative. You could explain your current situation, and ask for your back pay. If this approach doesn’t work, you can then contact your Congressman and request an intervention on your behalf. You should exhaust all of your options before attempting a lawsuit.

If a 72 year old surviving spouse of a deceased retired veteran remarries, with they lose Tricare coverage?

If you remarry, you will lose your Tricare coverage, unless your new spouse is an eligible Tricare sponsor. If your new spouse is eligible, your coverage will continue, but through your new spouse. If you lose your Tricare, you should receive a certificate of credible coverage. This document will show that you had prior coverage from Tricare, which will keep you from being excluded from a new health care plan if you have any pre-existing conditions.

If you find yourself in a situation when dealing with the Department of Veterans Affairs, and are unsure what to do or who to talk to, you can ask a Military Expert. The Experts deal with a variety of questions regarding the Department of veteran Affairs and can off solutions to your individual situation in an efficient and knowledgeable manner.
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