Denial based on what appears to be incorrect benefit rating

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by lilybet66, Sep 26, 2015.

  1. lilybet66

    lilybet66 Newbie

    Submitted a complete package of documents requesting A&A/Homebound benefits. Waited nearly 10 months and received a denial for "VA DEATH BENEFITS" (????) stating my mother's income exceeds the death pension limit.(????) In addition, claim denied for DIC. (????) Further along in the denial letter, the VA rep includes a list of all the documents/evidence they received and considered in supporting a denial which in my opinion clearly indicates the benefit applied for as well as my mention in the Statement in Support of Claim. Am I wrong to assume that the person handling the case failed to acknowledge the forms as belonging to a specific benefit OR does the A&A fall under "VA Death Benefit/DIC"? My denial letter made no mention or reference to Aid and Attendance/Housebound Benefit.

    So, we drafted an appeal. Three months later, the VA responds to inform me that they have received my written disagreement regarding denial of "SURVIVOR'S PENSION"!!!!!! (????) Where did THAT come from?
    Am I the only confused one?
  2. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member


    I am checking on something for you on this, and will get back with you on it, but yes, the application should have been "Death Pension" with Aid and Attendance.

    DIC is Death Indemnity Compensation to the widow of a vet who died due to service-connected injuries, and if that was the case, then she should have been receiving DIC from the time he passed, so it does appear the error is on their part.

    Don't appeal the decision. That will buy you 2++ years for a hearing.

    I will get back with you on what i am checking in to for you.
  3. lilybet66

    lilybet66 Newbie

    Thank you for a prompt response.

    If I understand correctly, the typed denial response from the VA should have read " Death Pension with Aid and Attendance"? (that somewhere on the VA paperwork I should have seen the words "Aid and Attendance"?)

    The application is for my mother who is soon to be age 83. My father, a WW2 veteran, died 22 years ago--no service related injuries so I agree that no DIC payments applicable. Yet we never requested that.

    I also don't understand your response of "buying 2++ years for a hearing". How is this possible? The current paperwork states that I must inform the VA within 60 days if I would like to have the case reviewed by a DRO or by the Traditional Appeals Process. If I fail to notify, it will be reviewed via the Traditional route.

    In addition, my mother is from the U.K. (and also a U.S. citizen), she receives a small pension for the U.K. that fluctuates based on the exchange rate. I am not sure how I should have reported it as it differs month to month.

    Many thanks for your time and knowledge!
  4. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member


    A DRO (Decision Review) is not the same as an "Appeal". Appeals require an actual hearing, and the number of applications sitting and waiting for a date is indeed 2++ years.

    You can respond to the DRO, but I would also include the 21-4138 Statement in Support of Claim, as it is only a matter of them processing for the wrong benefit, and you want to make that very clear as to what the application was for.

    Yes, on the pension. She does need to disclose that as it is a source of income. Given that the amount varies, I would provide the most recent statement providing that the fluctuation is not a substantial one.

    Please let us know how it all goes for you.
  5. lilybet66

    lilybet66 Newbie

    Used a DRO and received a QUICK and positive response! Death Pension was approved with retroactive payments of approximately 18 months! Long process but so worth it!
    Kaylin likes this.
  6. Kaylin

    Kaylin Hero Member Staff Member

    Happy to hear that!

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