Some benefits go to surviving spouses
Is there a Web site where I can find out about benefits a surviving spouse may be entitled to?
Answer: The site is www.vba.va.gov/survivors. It also has links to the Department of Veterans Affairs pages describing survivor benefits but also to other government sites. There is also a link to frequently asked questions. For more specific questions, the site also tells how anyone can help to contact the VA directly. For other general questions and inquires remember the main VA Web site is at www.va.gov.
Q: My husband recently received a final disposition on his VA claim, but he passed away. Can I receive any of his monetary benefits from the claim?
A: Generally, benefits to which a VA beneficiary was entitled but had not received from VA at the time of death are payable to specific survivors. For example, benefits that had accrued to a veteran but had not been paid before the veteran's death may be paid to the surviving spouse or children. Different regulations govern the payment of awards to the surviving spouse. The surviving spouse should be aware of VA form 21-534 which is an application for dependence and indemnity compensation and accrued benefits.
Current law limits the payment of accrued benefits to the two-year period preceding the ending date of the deceased's entitlement. For instance, if a veteran who had prevailed after an appeal taking several years received his or her check the day before death, all retroactive benefits for the time the claim was pending would have been paid and would presumably be available for the surviving spouse. If another veteran in the same situation was awarded retroactive benefits after a long pending claim or appeal but died before the treasury check could be issued, the surviving spouse would receive benefits for only the last two years of the veteran's entitlement. For more information on survivor entitlements, call the VA at (800) 827-1000.
If you have questions about your benefits as a veteran, call Fred Ballard at the Veterans Affairs at 433-0049 or visit the VA Web site at www.va.gov/hawaii
or the Star-Bulletin at 529-4747.