Accrued Benefits Claims 

An accrued benefit is not considered a death benefit, but a benefit owed to the veteran for a period prior to his death. Generally, accrued benefits are payable to the surviving spouse, and, if there is none, then to the surviving children in equal shares. See 38 U.S.C. § 5121. Like in the case of death benefits, survivors become the claimants in these VA proceedings.

A survivor of a deceased veteran is entitled to accrued benefits only if the entitlement derives from an existing rating or other VA decision or from a pending claim filed by the deceased veteran.

One important requirement of an accrued benefits claim is that it must be filed within one year of the death of the veteran.

Another important limitation of accrued benefits claims are that they are decided only on the evidence existing at the time of the veteran’s death. A claimant may not submit additional evidence, such as private medical reports, to establishment entitlement to benefits. The only post-death evidence which can be considered is the death certificate.

Our Duty: Helping disabled veterans win maximum benefits for their total disability claim.

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