• Dale K. Graham

Spousal Benefits

I would like to share information about veterans’ benefits that some of you may not know about. When a disabled veteran is rated one hundred percent for a service-connected disability, and they have a dependent that was disabled before their eighteenth birthday the dependent may be eligible for VA Helpless Child benefits of about one thousand dollars per month. For more information about this benefit or to start a claim for any VA benefits simply call 1-800-827-1000 and tell the VA agent you would like to start a claim. I encourage everyone who is considering filing a claim for VA benefits to make that call. You then have one year to file a fully developed claim, keeping the start date for payments as the following month of your call.

Another bit of information, if a veteran passes away prior to the VA making a decision on their claim, there is a form we can submit to "substitute the claimant". Meaning if granted/approved the surviving spouse of the veteran will receive the back pay to the date the intent to file was submitted.

This is especially true for veteran’s claims that have been in the appeals process for a disability several years. It’s not unusual for veterans appealed claims to be in Washington DC for several years before a decision is made by a Veterans law judge. Some of these decisions could be several hundred thousand dollars for the veteran or their dependents if they applied to be a substitute claimant and were approved.

Every week surviving spouses contact us wanting to know if there are any VA benefits that they might be eligible to receive based on their veteran’s military service. There are no easy answers to their questions until we review the veteran’s military records and or their VA records if they were receiving VA benefits. If the veteran was service-connected for a disability and it is listed on their Death Certificate as the primary cause of death or listed under other contributing conditions- the spouse and dependents should receive DIC benefits. One of the things we see on a regular basis is the medical provider who signed the Death Certificate did not have access to the veteran’s medical records. When that happens, we suggest the dependent take a copy of the veteran’s service-connected disabilities to the medical provider who signed and request an Amended Death Certificate listing any of the service-connected disabilities that contributed to the veteran's death.

VA Claims can be confusing, and our team is here to help.

If you have questions about your claim or your next steps, our process slide may help. We also encourage you to come into the Foundation where you can ask questions and access our computer lab.

We are open to active clients:

Mon: 9 AM-12

Tue: 9 AM-12

Wed: 9 AM-12

Thur: 9 AM-12

Every day that we volunteer someone will come in who is having difficulty with financial or health issues who needs our assistance. Our volunteers are here to make a difference in the lives of veterans and their families.

We are continually looking for others who would like to be a part of what we do for veterans and their families. Training is provided in person or digitally on a weekly basis. Please consider becoming a volunteer with the Dale K Graham Veterans Foundation. Volunteer applications are available HERE. To donate to our Foundation, you can click the red button on this email or mail a check to Dale K. Graham Veterans Foundation, 1233 West Lindsay, Norman, OK, 73069. You can contact us on our Facebook page.

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