VA Disability Benefits for Dependents: Supporting Your Loved Ones
A disabled veteran who has a disability ranking of 30% or higher will receive increased monthly benefits. However, the increase is modest. For example, a veteran with a 60% disability rating will receive $1,319.65/month. If the veteran has a dependent spouse, the monthly payment is increased by $131, to $1440.65. With a spouse and a child, the amount increases to $1,528.65/month.
However, if the veteran is totally disabled, their dependents may be entitled to certain direct benefits.
Qualifying for Dependency Benefits
Most dependency benefits are limited to veterans who have a 100% disability rating, or who are treated as if they had a 100% rating. A 100% disability rating may be assigned based on a single debilitating condition, or based on a combination of service-connected and secondary-connected conditions. Disability ratings aren’t combined by simple addition, though. For example, if you have a 50% rating for one connection and a 60% rating for another, those add to more than 100%. That can’t happen. To determine your combined disability rating, the VA applies the second rate to the amount left over after the first rate is applied. So, in this example, two 50% ratings would combine to 75%–the initial 50% and then 50% of the remaining 50%.
The other way to receive benefits at the 100% level is to establish total disability due to individual unemployability (TDIU). This classification is assigned if you are unable to work due to a service-connected condition and you have either a disability rating of at least 60% for a single condition or a combined rating of at least 70% with at least one condition rated at 40% or above.
Benefits for Dependents of an Eligible Disabled Veteran
When a veteran is receiving veterans disability benefits due to a 100% disability rating or a designation of individual unemployability, dependents may be eligible for benefits.
These benefits include:
Educational Benefits for Dependents of Disabled Veterans
The VA offers dependents (spouses and children) of veterans who meet the conditions above educational benefits that can be used for a degree or certificate program or work training/apprenticeship programs and educational and career counseling. However, there are time limits on using these benefits, and the deadlines vary depending on the dependent’s relationship to the veteran and other factors. For a spouse, the benefits must be used within either 10 or 20 years from being deemed eligible. Dependent children must generally use the benefits between the ages of 18 and 26.
Healthcare for Dependents of Disabled Veterans
Dependents of qualifying veterans are also eligible for CHAMPVA healthcare coverage. This coverage is available to the veteran’s spouse, minor children, children between the ages of 18 and 23 who are enrolled in college, and even minor stepchildren living in the veteran’s home.
Benefits may also be available to a family member who is not otherwise eligible but is serving as a caretaker to the disabled veteran.
Talk to an Experienced VA Disability Advocate
The process of securing a disability rating, receiving benefits, and understanding what options are available for your dependents can be complicated. No matter where you are in the claims or appeals process, Veterans Help Group is here for you. To learn more about how we can help, call 855-855-8992 right now, or contact us here now for a FREE case evaluation.
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