Veteran substitution is the process of replacing a veteran who died and had a pending VA disability appeal with another person.
Benefits of a Veteran Substitution
There are two big benefits to a veteran substitution:
- Keeping a pending case moving, and
- Money for an owed disability benefit.
People who can utilize a Veteran Substitution
In my opinion, nearly anybody can utilize a substitution to benefit of the veteran and their family. Generally, the people who care the most are:
Veteran Substitution Laws
Don’t get scared. Just because there are fancy legal rules that help people make a veteran substitution does not mean you should panic. Although necessary, the benefits can far outweigh the headaches.
The first rule the applies to the substitution process comes from this US Code. As you can see, the most important requirements are:
- A veteran had a pending case, and
- The veteran died.
The second rule that generally applies is determining who can receive benefits. This US Code tells us even those like a personal representative or a person who ended up paying for the funeral or even hospital bills can likely receive compensation to pay these bills or other expenses.
My veteran filed a case years ago, so it is no longer worth it, right?
Wrong, even if your spouse or family member filed an appeal years ago, seeking a substitution can be worth your time.
Believe it or not, a spouse in a case called Perry v. McDonald won a reversal for a claim her husband filed six years previously.
Time limits for a Veteran Substitution
As we can see in the last section of this rule, an application must be submitted within 1 year after the death of the veteran. If your application is incorrect upon submitting it, the Secretary of the VA is supposed to notify you what is needed to complete the application process.
Helpful VA Forms for a Veteran Substitution
Here is a short list of helpful forms to help with this process:
- VA Form 21-601 (Application for Accrued Benefits)
- VA Form 21-534 (Application for Dependency Compensation)
- VA Form 21-0847 (Request for Substitution)
Need more help with a Veteran Substitution?
If you need help with an issue impacting a Veteran, please contact me for help.