How To Add Dependents To VA Disability Benefits?
The US Department of Veterans Affairs allows veterans to add dependents to disability benefits under specific circumstances. The VA follows strict eligibility criteria and processes. A VA disability lawyer can explain the disability benefits rules and help you claim the disability compensation you and your loved ones deserve.
How to Add Dependent(s) to Your VA Disability Benefits?
If you’re applying for any additional disability benefits because you have a qualifying spouse or child, you can easily submit the needed form via the VA disability benefits website. Based on your situation, you might have to submit some additional forms and evidence along with your application.
For instance, you'll be required to send a request for approval of the school attendance form if your child is a full-time student between 18 and 23. You’ll need to provide the VA with a complete copy of all your child’s medical records in case your child permanently becomes disabled before the age of 18.
If you’re looking for additional compensation for your dependent parent, you’ll have to send a statement of dependency of parent(s). The VA doesn’t accept that form online via its website. You must mail in that form along with your application.
Eligibility criteria to Add Dependent(s) to Your VA Disability Compensation
If you’re not eligible to get VA disability benefits, you can’t apply for additional compensation for your dependent(s). However, suppose you’re eligible for VA disability benefits on your own. In that case, you might get an increased benefit rate (called the compensation payment) if the VA accepts your request to add your dependent to the VA compensation. But you need to have a combined VA disability rating of at least 30%. Usually, your best options are working with an experienced and skilled veterans disability attorney to get the highest rating and the linked and additional dependents VA benefits.
Who is a Dependent for Purposes of VA Disability Benefits?
The VA can accept the addition of your dependent to the VA disability compensation if the individual falls into one of the following categories:
- Your spouse, which may include same-sex marriages and common-law.
- Your parent(s) for whom you give direct care and whose net assets and income do not exceed the limit.
- Your unmarried child (natural-born, stepchild, or adopted) who is under 18, or any full-time student between 18 and 23, or became disabled permanently before 18.
If you’ve any eligible dependent, you have to consider the timing of when you add that person to your VA disability benefits.