When a Veteran has a parent or parents who are dependent upon him or her for financial support, that Veteran may be entitled to be paid additional benefits. The Veteran must meet the basic requirements to claim benefits for a dependent. Those requirements are that a Veteran must be entitled to disability compensation and receive a rating of at least 30%.
A Veteran should always go ahead and file a declaration of status of dependents form early, even if the Veteran has not yet met the 30% rating that is required. That way, when the VA, hopefully, grants a higher rating on a pending claim or appeal, the information regarding the Veteran’s dependents will already be in the VA claims file and can be included in the award more quickly.
The term “parent” means a biological father or mother, an adoptive father or mother, or a person (such as a foster parent, stepparent, etc.) who for a period of not less than one year stood in the relationship of a parent to a veteran at any time before his or her entry into active service.
To qualify as a dependent parent of a veteran, the parent’s income, and net worth must be provided to the VA and show that it is not sufficient to meet basic needs. The income and net worth can also be offset by showing high expenses (such as medical care not covered by or reimbursed by insurance).
A Parent’s net worth can include the value of Real Estate, stocks, bonds, bank deposits/savings/loan accounts and cash on hand. It also includes income such as Wages/Salary, social security benefits; retirement pay; pension, interest and dividends, rents, property, business, and farm operations- any source of income. If the income is from a business/farm – it will be net income. So the parent would have to show gross income minus itemized expenses to get a net income for a business/farm. However, a parent does not have to report personal property – like your home, car, furniture, or clothing.
Next, a Parent would need to show their expenses. Anything can be an expense: rent/housing, home repairs, maintenance, clothing, utilities, groceries, taxes, gasoline, etc. In a lot of cases, the largest expense is medical care – doctors, prescriptions, equipment, etc.
Overall, adding a parent as a dependent is a wonderful way for a Veteran to help take care of his/her parent. It can be a bit complicated, but worth filing for if granted. Please give us a call at 251-343-1111 or 800-332-1529. Dealing with the VA can be frustrating, but it is your benefits that are on the line. 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.