Legal Question in Veterans Law in Tennessee

Back disability pay for veteran's survivors

My father died 10 years ago, with the VA owing him 30 years of disability. He died waiting for the check, which never came. Being just 22 years old, I pursued it for a while, but stopped when life became too busy. My brother is wondering if we might have a claim to it and if we should try to pursue it. Our father was disabled during Vietnam due to being exposed to Agent Orange. Thanks for any advice.

Asked on 6/19/09, 11:32 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Jill Mitchell-Thein Heard & Smith, LLP

Re: Back disability pay for veteran's survivors

This would not be a matter of the spouse pursuing the veteran's claim unless the claim was still pending at his death, which does not seem to be the case here. The spouse (if she survives) or minor dependents can file for a separate benefit (DIC or survivors' benefits). If your mother is deceased and if all the dependents are ineligible by law (there are some specific criteria on that) then it is likely that there is no longer a claim. This is just one attorney's opinion without seeing all the facts. Others may see it differently.

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Answered on 6/23/09, 9:43 am

Patrick Tracy Patrick J. Tracy, Esq, P.E.,

Re: Back disability pay for veteran's survivors

A veteran's claim can be pursued by the surviving spouse. In this case, it would be your mother. In some cases it can be pursued by the issue (children). I cannot comment further because I don't know the facts of the case.

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Answered on 6/20/09, 6:34 am

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