Correct Box in 534EZ? Or Where Did I Go Wrong?

Discussion in 'Surviving Spouse Application' started by Radish, Aug 1, 2015.

  1. Radish

    Radish Newbie

    My first time posting here so please excuse my lack of understanding. This seems far more complicated than I expected.

    I recently submitted what I thought was an A & A claim for my widowed mother. My deceased father was an overseas WWII veteran. My mother lives on a limited income with health related expenses including being legally blind.

    I submitted a what I thought was a Fully Developed Package which included VA form 21-534EZ, VA-Form 21-2680 from my mother's doctor, my father's discharge papers, their marriage certificate and my father's death certificate. In reading the instructions for the 534EZ, page 4, I believed my mother should request consideration under the section that addresses increased benefits based on the need for Aid and Attendance.

    Yesterday we received a notice from the VA that stated my mother is ineligible for the Fully Developed Claim Process because additional evidence is required and that her claim will be processed under standard claims processing procedures. The information the VA said was incomplete was my father's complete service treatment records.

    I am confused about this because my father has been deceased for 13 years and has never made a claim for disability from the VA. Thus, I am wondering why they would need his medical records to process a claim for his widow?

    However, in reading through this forum, I am now wondering if we selected the correct category for consideration. As noted, my mother is legally blind and has a host of other mobility issues as documented by her doctor that affect her independence. Should we have selected Death Benefit in block 16 vice DIC?

    If we checked the wrong box:
    (a) Can we resubmit the package for a Fully Developed Claim by changing box 16 to Death Benefit and including my mother's income information in sections VII and VIII. If not, is there any other information besides the change in box 16 and the income information needed to be sent to the St. Paul VA center.
    (b) My mother's only income is social security. Will a social security explanation of benefits statement retrieved on-line from SSA suffice for evidence of income?
    (c) My mother was diagnosed as legally blind several years ago. I note on Form 534 under date of entitlement it states that under certain circumstances a date of eligibility may be effective from the date medical evidence first establishes entitlement. Has anyone had experience with the VA approving earlier dates of eligibility based on evidence of loss of site before claim submission?
    (d) Finally, what is the general consensus on the St. Paul VA office. Are they responsive and timely?

    Thank you in advance for your help and I apologize for the lack of brevity. I'm trying to get this right and want to make sure I post all the facts for consideration.
  2. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member

    You were applying for Death Pension.

    I suggest you do a VA form 21-4138 Statement in Support of Claim clarifying that her application was for Death Pension not DIC.

    Something to the affect of:

    Please note that I am filing for Basic Pension with Aid and Attendance. I am not filing for service connected.

    I don't know how they will handle the claim as a FDC since it was marked incorrectly as to the benefit being applied for.

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