The VA Backlog has most Veterans waiting more than four years for their final decision. Once you are completely satisfied, you probably won’t want to deal with the VA anymore. So, does this mean that you are done with the VA? Unfortunately the answer is not a simple yes.
According to chapter 4 of “Getting the Veterans benefits You Deserve,” there are still a few circumstances in which you may have to contact the VA. The following situations warrant contact with the VA:
• If you become incarcerated.
• If you are convicted of a felony.
• If there is an outstanding warrant for your arrest.
• Your new address, if you move.
• A change in the status of any dependent.
• Any changes in your living arrangements.
• Any changes in your marital status.
• Any new members added to your household.
• Any household members who move away.
You may now wonder why you are required to contact the VA after approval. There are actually several reasons. If you are receiving Pension for instance, you have to report any new members added to your household because the VA considers the income of all persons living in the household when determining Pension. If you fail to report a change like this to the VA, you could owe them a substantial amount money.
What about incarceration. This is another situation that is not black and white. According to the VA: The VA can pay certain benefits to Veterans who are incarcerated in a Federal, State, or local penal institution; however, the amount we can pay depends on the type of benefit and reason for incarceration.
Dependents are one of the few things that are a positive “post favorable decision.” If you are service connected at least 30% through the VA, then you can claim dependents. If you were single when you were granted, but get married or have a child a year later, then you can claim them as dependents. Of course it goes the other way too. If you were claiming a spouse and get divorced, or if you child turns 18, or 23 if they are in college, then you can no longer claim them. Failure to report these changes to the VA can result in an overpayment. Overpayments must be paid back to the VA.
A Veteran is never truly done with the VA after a claim is won. If you would like to learn more about the services we provide, call 1-877-526-3457 for more information. Fill out this form, and we will be more than happy to contact you. Be sure to pick up a free copy of our new VA Guide too.