Request to Substitute for a VA Benefits Claim
A lot of things can happen from the time a Veteran files a claim for benefits with the VA and when that claim is actually resolved. Unfortunately, many times Veterans pass away before a decision is made regarding their claim or before benefits are granted. However, there is a way that surviving spouses, children, or, in some cases, dependent parents can continue the deceased Veteran's claim. This process is called substitution.
If a Veteran passes away while claims or appeals are still pending, an eligible person, most often a surviving spouse, may file a request to be substituted as the appellant for the purpose of processing the claim to completion. In order to successfully file a request for substitution, the eligible person must file the request within one year of the Veteran's date of death. Along with the request to substitute, the Veteran's death certificate must also be submitted to the VA. Once substituted, the Veteran's claim may be carried out to its conclusion.
Those who are substituted are eligible to receive any accrued benefits that may arise from the Veteran's claim. In other words, the substitute would be entitled to any and all back pay that came about as the result of a successful claim for benefits. The ability to substitute for a deceased Veteran allows families to carry out the Veteran's original claim and recover benefits to which the Veteran and his or her family are entitled.
For more information about requests to substitute and all other VA benefits claims call the experienced veteran's disability attorneys at Gardberg & Kemmerly, P.C. serve veterans throughout the Gulf Coast area, including, Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, and Mississippi. Contact us today at 251-343-1111 for a free case evaluation.