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Your Guide to VA Accrued Benefits: What You Need to Know Now

VA Accrued Benefits refer to the funds that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) owes to a beneficiary at the time of his or her death. These benefits come from certain VA programs, including compensation, pension, and educational assistance, etc., and are mainly designed to aid surviving family members in financial hardship after the demise of the veteran. Generally, any benefits that were due and payable to the veteran at the time of death, approved but not yet received, or pending a decision at the time of death could be eligible for VA Accrued Benefits. The distribution of such benefits is subject to certain criteria set forth by the VA, such as the relationship to the deceased and filing deadlines.

VA accrued benefits are specific financial benefits provided by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). These benefits are primarily intended for veteran’s spouses, children, or parents in certain circumstances, particularly when a veteran’s claim for benefits has been pending at the time of their death. Any veteran who served on active duty and was discharged under conditions that were not dishonorable may potentially qualify for VA accrued benefits. The key factor in allocating these benefits is that the veteran must have had an open claim that had not yet been decided by VA when they passed away. Furthermore, the veteran’s surviving spouse or children can make a claim for these benefits within one year of the veteran’s death. In the absence of a surviving spouse or child, a surviving parent who meets income requirements may qualify for these benefits. 

Applying for VA accrued benefits is a significant process that needs careful understanding and attention. The process begins with filling out a specific form – the VA Form 21-534EZ, “Application for DIC, Death Pension, and/or Accrued Benefits”. This form represents your formal claim for VA accrued benefits. You can obtain this form online at the official Veteran Affairs website or at a local VA office. Once you have filled in the necessary information and gathered any required documentation, the form needs to be mailed to your regional VA office.

The easier way to file for accrued benefits is to contact your local Veteran Service Officer for assistance in any claim issues. They are trained and accredited with the VA to assist you, and their services are free for all Veterans and their dependents. Either way you decide to file, if your Veteran had a claim in progress and had not received the compensation yet, be sure to file. Don’t leave money sitting on the table.

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