It is important to make sure the VA has been notified of your dependents if you are receiving disability benefits. If you meet the requirements and notify the VA of your dependents, you can also claim benefits for those same dependents.
In order to be eligible for dependent additional compensation the rule requires that the veteran establish two facts: (1) That he or she is entitled to section 1114 compensation, and (2) that his or her disability is rated not less than 30%. In other words, you must be entitled to compensation and receive a rating of at least 30%.
However, even if you have not yet met the percentage required for dependent additional compensation, you should always go ahead and file a declaration of status of dependents form, even if it is early in the process. That way, when the VA, hopefully, grants a higher rating on a pending claim or appeal, the information regarding your dependents will already be in your VA claims file and can be included in your award more quickly.
There are three types of dependents: a spouse, a child, or dependent parents. (Read more about the types of dependents in Dependent Additional Compensation Part Two).
The effective date of the award that is at least 30% you received from the VAis the same date that the dependent benefits would start or go back to, but you MUST file a declaration of status of dependents form (or a Statement of Dependency of Parent(s)) WITHIN ONE YEAR of receiving the award. This is why it is important to get the information in to the VA about your dependents as soon as possible, even before your claim is decided if you can.
It is extremely important to keep the VA up to date on the accurate information for your dependents. You will need to notify the VA of any marital status changes or of a death in the family involving one of your dependents. If you don't notify the VA, you could end up owing the VA money for an overpayment. You definitely do not want to end up owing the VA, especially when you are owed for your disability claim!
Call us right now at 251-343-1111 or 1-800-332-1529. Dealing with the VA can be frustrating, but it is your benefits. Making that one little call and having a representative can make a huge difference. We would love to help you today. Gardberg and Kemmerly has experienced Veterans' Disability attorneys willing to help you claim the benefits you deserve.