Denied DIC Benefits

How To Reopen A VA Claim For Denied DIC Benefits?

Have you been denied DIC benefits by the VA and wish to reopen your claim? Many people come to our office with this question. In a nutshell, they must file VA Form 0995 and present new, relevant evidence. But there is a bit more to it.

Frequently, survivors of Veterans submit their Dependency Indemnity Compensation (DIC) claims with a minimum amount of evidence. Sometimes, they do little more than show they met the minimum qualifications. But the minimum amount of evidence usually does not produce a favorable outcome.

For maximum benefits, a VA disability attorney must collect and present additional evidence. Additionally, only an experienced attorney knows how to present this evidence in the most compelling way possible.

About Dependency Indemnity Compensation Benefits

The DIC program is one of the oldest military benefit programs in the country. Its roots date back to the Revolutionary War, and the program came into its own during the Civil War. Survivor benefits recognize not only the sacrifices of military families, but also their contributions to the greater good of Veterans everywhere.

The base benefit amount is usually $1,300 per month. Several allowances are available that could significantly increase that amount. Generally, widows or widowers who were married to Veterans who died as a result of a service-related condition are eligible for DIC benefits. That is a lot to unpack, so let us examine the key elements individually:

  • Marriage: Typically, the claimant must be an unmarried widow or widower. In some cases, divorced claimants of deceased Veterans might be eligible, if the divorce or separation was not their fault. Other exceptions might apply as well, such as the pre-1957 marriage rule.
  • Service-Related Condition: This connection is fairly straight-forward if the condition began during active duty.  In other situations, where the disability begins after service, the connection can be more difficult to establish.

In some cases, the families of Veterans who died from non-service-related conditions might also be entitled to DIC benefits. Examples include Veterans who were rated as totally disabled for at least 10 years prior to their deaths, and former POWs.

Re-Opening your DIC Claim with New and Relevant Evidence

The Appeals Modernization Act lowered the standard of evidence in this area. Before, the VA would only consider renewed applications if the claimant presented new, game-changing evidence. Now, any new, relevant evidence should suffice.

Fatal conditions rarely have a single cause.  Medical records can serve as helpful evidence in this area, but not any records will do.  The medical evidence that tends to have the biggest impact on establishing service-connection usually contains language which clearly indicates a connection between the Veteran’s death and a condition acquired during military service.

Rely on Experienced Attorneys

If at first, your DIC application does not succeed, try, try again. For a free consultation with an experienced Veterans disability lawyer in San Diego, contact Cameron Firm, PC Call 800-861-7262, or fill out the contact box to your right. We are here to represent Veterans nationwide.

This article is for educational and marketing purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship.