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What happens if a Vietnam Veteran, who was exposed to Agent Orange, dies before his service connected claim is finalized?

This veteran should have filed a long time ago; therefore, the veteran needs to file IMMEDIATELY. 

(1)  If veteran dies before the claim is awarded, is married or has a dependent child, that person must be substituted for the veteran. Therefore, the original claim can be processed. Consequently, the payment is the same as if the veteran had lived.

(2)  If the veteran dies without dependents, a family member may file for accrued benefits. Providing that the family member personally paid for any expenses related to the last illness and/or funeral/burial.  Therefore, the VA will reimburse up to, what was paid by the family member, but will not to exceed what was owed to the veteran at the time of his death.

In either scenario, (1) the spouse, dependent child or (2) the family member can file for burial benefits of $2,000.00 for a service connected death.


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