Disabled veterans who have dependents may be able to add those individuals to their benefits compensation. Veterans may be eligible for additional disability compensation if they have a qualified dependent. If you have questions about your dependents, you need a Mobile, AL veterans disability benefits attorney.
The VA considers several people to be dependents of disabled veterans. They include:
- A spouse (the VA recognizes same-sex and common-law marriages)
- A parent, if the veteran is caring for them and their income and net worth are below a certain amount
- An unmarried child (including an adopted child or stepchild), if the child meets one of the additional eligibility requirements below
To be considered a dependent, one of the following must be true of an unmarried child:
- He or she is under 18 years of age, or
- He or she is between 18 and 23 years of age and enrolled in school full time, or
- He or she became permanently disabled before they turned 18
You could be eligible for more disability compensation for a qualifying spouse, child, or parent if both of these apply:
- You are eligible for VA disability compensation, and
- You have a combined disability rating of at least 30%
A Mobile, AL veterans disability benefits attorney can help you determine whether someone qualifies as a dependent. When to add a dependent to your benefits compensation will depend on where in the application process you are. If you’ve not yet filed for VA benefits, you can request compensation for a dependent at the time you file. The VA automatically considers your eligibility for dependent compensation if you receive a combined disability rating of at least 30%.
Some veterans have additional dependents, but did not claim them at the time they filed for benefits. If the veteran’s combined disability rating is at least 30%, he or she can request to add them. You can also file for dependent compensation in the event your family status changes after you start receiving benefits. Again, this is if you have a combined disability rating of 30% or greater. This applies where the veteran:
- Gets married
- Has or adopts a child
- Has a child between 18 and 23 years of age who is enrolled in school full time
- Has a child, at least 18 years of age, who became permanently disabled before turning 18
- Becomes the caregiver for a parent whose income and net worth is below a certain amount
The 30% combined disability rating is a key component of the process of adding a dependent. You may have questions about your rating and how you received it. An experienced Mobile, AL veterans disability benefits attorney can help explain the process and what your rating means.
A veteran can use the VA’s eBenefits website to add a dependent. However, the veteran may need to provide additional forms or documentation, with which a disability benefits attorney can assist. For example, if your child became permanently disabled before age 18, you’ll need supporting medical records. Request for Approval of School Attendance (VA Form 21-674) is required where the child is age 18-23 and in school. Meanwhile, the veteran must supply a Statement of Dependency of Parent(s) (VA Form 21P-509) for a dependent parent.
Our Law Firm Can Help You Add a Qualifying Dependent
Adding a dependent to your disability compensation benefits can help you get the support you need. The process can be complicated, however, and the VA’s rules must be strictly observed. Let Ascend Disability Lawyers, LLC, work with you. Give us a call and schedule your consultation with our veterans disability law firm today.