How to Add or Remove a Dependent from VA Compensation Benefits

VA Disability Compensation Benefit rates can increase when you add a child or dependent, or decrease when you remove a dependent. Learn how.
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Add a Dependent to VA Disability Compensation ClaimHow to Add or Remove a Dependent from your VA Disability Compensation Claim

Military veterans with a service-connected disability rating of 10% or more are often eligible to receive VA disability compensation benefits.

Veterans may be eligible to receive a higher compensation rate if they are rated at 30% or higher and have one or more dependents, including a spouse, child, or parent, in their care. Veterans with a service-connected disability rating of 20% or lower are not generally eligible for additional payments, except in limited circumstances.

Add a Dependent to VA Disability Compensation Claim
How to Add or Remove a Dependent from your VA Disability Compensation Claim

The status of your dependents is recorded by the VA when they process your initial disability compensation claim. Still, they are not able to automatically make changes to your dependent’s status.

It is up to you to notify the VA when something changes that affects the eligibility of your dependents. This can include adding or removing one or more dependents from your VA disability compensation benefits.

Some reasons for these changes in dependents’ status include:

  • a birth
  • adoption
  • death
  • marriage or divorce
  • A child no longer being eligible due to age restrictions, marriage, or other restrictions
  • adding a parent to your claim
  • etc.

When these changes occur, you need to contact the VA with this information so they can update your file.

Remember, this may either increase or decrease your compensation rate, and in some cases, the benefits will be back-dated to the effective date. This can result in an overpayment in which the recipient has received more money than they were eligible for, or they could receive a higher one-time payment to make up for the shortfall.

The sooner you notify the VA, the better. It’s also important to note that when adding a child due to a birth or adoption, you must wait until you have their Social Security Number before filing your claim. So you may need to wait a couple of months from the time of birth before you can add your new dependent.

Change Declaration of Status of Dependents for VA Compensation Benefits

There are two ways to change the status of your dependents:

  1. Paper via VA Form: VA Form 21-686c, Declaration of Status of Dependents, or VA Form 21-674, Request for Approval of School Attendance for dependents over age 18 and attending school, or VA Form 21-509 – Statement of Dependency of Parent(s), and
  2. Electronically via eBenefits.

1. Paper Forms:

VA Form 21-686c, Declaration of Status of Dependents.

VA Form 21-686c is a two page paper form, which according to the VA, should take approximately 15 minutes to fill out. The form is fairly straight forward, and requests the standard information, such as the veteran’s personal information and VA File number, marriage status, information regarding your unmarried children, including their name, SSN, age, schooling status, etc. Then you simply need to sign the form and mail it in to the VA center which handles your claim. You can download this form here: VA Form 21-686c (pdf).

VA Form 21-674, Request for Approval of School Attendance.

This form is used when your dependent child(ren) are over age 18, and are attending school. Child dependents are ineligible to be claimed past age 18 unless they are attending a qualified school, or they have special needs. You can download this form here: VA Form 21-674 (pdf).

VA Form 21-509, Statement of Dependency of Parent(s).

Use this form if you are a veteran with a service connected disability rating of 30% or higher and you support your parents. Eligible relations include a natural father or mother, a father or mother through adoption, and a foster father or mother (including stepparents who stood in the relationship of parent to the veteran). There are financial restrictions for parents to be eligible. You can download this form here: VA Form 21-509 (pdf).

2. eBenefits Website.

The VA is making an effort to move more features and services online, which is faster and less costly in the long run. This is where the website comes in to play. Veterans can now use eBenefits to apply for VA compensation, pension, education, vocational rehabilitation and employment, burial benefits, and more. Veterans can also use this online tool to update the status of their dependents, file claims for increases in service-connected disabilities, add disabilities, and more.

Questions about submitting online forms:

Should I file a paper form and via eBenefits?

  • No – choose one or the other. The electronic form may be processed more quickly, provided all the information is complete. Otherwise, there is no difference between the forms, and submitting multiple claims can delay the process.

How do I sign it?

  • Some forms require veterans to certify the information they entered is accurate – this serves as your signature. VA Form 21-686c is included in this list of forms which can be “electronically” signed.

How do I follow up with my claim?

  • The VA automatically sends an e-mail when they receive your claim, and another when your claim is downloaded and the claim is being processed. The information includes your name, date of submission, and which regional VA office received your form (including their contact information). You should contact the regional VA center which is processing your claim for more information or updates on the status of your claim.

More Information:

I can’t stress enough how important it is to file these changes as soon as they occur. The last thing you want to happen is to receive an overpayment to your VA compensation benefits for several months, only to have the money deducted from future payments.

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  1. John says

    it’s been a month and a half since adding spouse and 2 children as dependent and I haven’t even got an initial review. why so long? I was told this was a couple week process at most.

    • Ryan Guina says

      John, unfortunately, there is no “typical timeline” with the VA. I’ve seen adding dependents happen in as little as a couple of weeks, and I’ve seen it take almost a year. The good news is that the VA will typically back-date your compensation to the date you requested the dependents be added to your claim. Best wishes!

  2. alex vatis says

    what about a foreign spouse of a veteran receiving disability? the forms all require a ss number but we live overseas.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Alex, contact the VA to ask them the requirement. You may be required to request a Tax Identification Number (TIN) from the IRS. The TIN is used like a social security number, and is used for filing taxes, and other official documentation. Best wishes.

  3. Timothy William Butler says

    Hi I’m Timothy I have a question how to change my status I got married in the Philippines I’m staying for good i want to make my Wife dependant.what am I going to do.

  4. Deborah says

    So my husband left us in 2017 and we have not filed for divorce yet. He has our kids 20% of the time. Should he still me claiming us as dependents?

  5. Rachael says

    So I’ve been 80 percent since 2011 when I was medically retired. I never knew about adding a spouse or a child til last month. Behind, I know but that’s done. So last week I added my husband of 10 years and my son who is now 18 months. They have been added under the dependents part of ebenefits but it says they are not on an award. What exactly does that mean? Will I get any benefits for them? Is it just because it takes a couple weeks or are they defintely not being counted towards the award? It’s so confusing. Thank you!

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Rachael, It can take the VA quite some time to verify dependents and add them to your award. I have heard that it is fastest when adding them via the eBenefits site, but it can still take several weeks. The VA will usually award back pay to the date they are added to your profile. That said, you can call the VA to inquire about the process and verify they have all the required information. I wish you the best, and thank you for your service.

  6. Ally says

    My husband and I have been separated for several months. One day he decoded he no longer wants to be a family and moved across country. He does not pay any child support, nor does he provide the kids with health insurance, and frankly, I don’t want anything from him. However, I know that he has not updated the VA and continues to receive his full 80% that includes compensation for a spouse and our kids. When I contacted the VA, a very rude individual told me to fill out a form that was basically about my income and had nothing to do with the reason I was calling. I do not want any money but I also don’t want this man to abuse the system by collecting funds that he is not entitled to. Any advice? Thank you.

  7. Amy DeCrescenzo says

    I am a divorced mother of 2 and my ex-husband is getting VA disability benefits. He has remarried and I have VERY good reason to believe he is getting benefits for our 2 children. The problem is he has a drug habit and violent tendencies, so I have full custody of our children and he isn’t even attempting to follow the court order to see his children… so I’m failing to see how I am left to support to beautiful babies on my own while he is paid for it… I am so angry for my children that my first goal is to get him to cease any further compensation, then he can pay back the government. If they allow me to have some of the money that was meant for them, it would really help things at home, but my purpose here is first to stop him. Does anyone know where I’d even begin to get hold of the VA Disability Benefits? Any help is very much appreciated. Thank you!

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Amy, I’m sorry to hear about this situation. I recommend contacting the VA customer service line for this question – 1 (800) 827-1000. Best wishes to you and your family!

    • Janice says

      This happened to me and I filed a complaint about 10 different ways. I contacted the VA and sent in my divorce decree and they are going to take the money back from him. He did it for over 8 years! and collected 30k on me and my two children that are NOT his biological children. You can contact the VA yourself and report it as fraud if you are divorced. I was outraged and what happened in my situation is my ex sued me for custody of MY children with the same money!!!

    • Janice says

      contact the fraud department. I tried Washington DC, there is a 1-800 number you can call to report it and i started mailing in evidence such as my divorce decree etc…if you get this please message me

  8. Kristy says

    My husband and I have been separated since 2015 and will hopefully be divorcing next year (finances have put it off). He has been drawing a married plus 2 stepchildren benefit on his VA Disability this entire time. When our divorce is finalized, will he have to pay that back all the way to our date of separation?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Kristy, This is a question for the VA. However, I do not believe there is a requirement to repay benefits for the time the veteran is still technically married. The veteran is, however, required to inform the VA if there is a change of status for dependents. So he would need to send in a form to the VA after a divorce has been finalized. I wish you and your family the best.

  9. auraiwan says

    What do I need to do in order to remove myself and my daughter from dependent lists? My ex husband (medically retired) and I been divorced since July 2017. Both of our sons are living full time with me per court order. My ex husband (Veteran) has not update the status and me and my daughter are still on his dependent list. He is still received VA pay for married with 3 kids. 2 of kids are biologically his. Please advice on how to go about changing the status. Thank you

    • Janice says

      report it as fraud, i did after my ex got money for 3 of us for 8 years now he has to pay back over 30k and i hope he goes to prison

  10. Dave says

    Hi, I just received a 30% rating from the VA. I was married to my ex for just over 10 years. I put her and my children’s names into my dependents section on the VA webpage. On one page it looked like it said if we were married at least 10 years that I may receive dependent pay for her as well as my children. Did I read that correctly or not? It had a status of “spouse not on award” for her and “pending” for my children.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Dave, I recommend contacting the VA customer service desk for this inquiry. They will be able to verify the dependent status and ensure everything is submitted correctly.

  11. kristi miller says

    Hello, i need to know who to contact regarding my ex husbands benefits. When he was awarded benefits back in 2013, he had claimed me, our daughter, and my 3 kids from a previous marriage and that is how they calculated the amount. We have been divorced over a year now and he is still claiming me and my 3 kids. How can I fix this?

  12. Ernest Hoag says

    Hello. I am curious to know if anyone has had the VA 21-674 that they completed on E-benefits kicked back by the VA, because the form is missing the dependent’s school name?

  13. Joanie says

    My ex just contacted me asking if he can claim our daughter on his va benefits, we where never married and he walked out on us in 2007 he lives in another state and has not seen her since she was 3 yrs old she is 14 now , he says he is out of work and barely making ends meet and by adding her he would get more money but I’m return she would recieve money also . Can he do this ?

  14. Christy Strickland says

    I am divorced from my husband (who is a disabled vet) for 4 years and there is no contact. We have severely disabled children who receive SSDI benefits and this year they cut them off stating that the system states my children are receiving VA benefits. How can I get proof that they are not?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Christy,

      I am sorry to hear about this. I recommend contacting the SSDI office and informing them that you are divorced and are the sole provider of your children.

      It is very possible that your husband never removed them as dependents from his VA disability claim and the SSDI office and VA disability office are sharing information. You may have to contact the VA and provide proof of divorce and a signed statement that you are the sole person who can claim your children as dependents. The customer service desk at each of these respective organizations is the best place to start.

      I wish you and your family the best!

  15. Melanie says

    My ex was 100 disabled we married in 2010… we seperated the same year and didnt divorce until 2018, how can i find out if he was collecting benifits for me??

    • Romero Martinez says

      My thoughts exactly!! He knew how much money he was supposed to receive!! Every month he forgot!! Lol!! Sure pal!!

  16. Jason says

    Does the VA notify my ex if I’m claiming my kids as dependents? It asked me for my ex wife’s address because that’s where my kids reside most of the time, and asked if I had previous marriages from my current one.

  17. Stacey Scott says

    Hello, I am retired and have a 90% rating. I transferred my GI bill over to my daughter. I did not realize that she was taken off of my award when she turned 18, so I turned in a VA 21-674 to update the information due to her being a full time student. I was denied because they stated that I cannot add her as a dependent on my award because she is using the GI bill. They stated this is double dipping. Is this correct?

  18. Drew says

    I am currently receiving 30% disability from the VA. I am currently separated from my wife, but we are still married. Will being separated affect my compensation? And should I advise the VA that we are separated, but still married. I really want to make sure I’m doing the right thing here.

    • Janine says


      Yes, advise the VA that you and your wife are separated before she informed that you are not supporting her. Your spouse ( Wife) is entitled what is called apportionment. I was not aware of this and going through the process as we speak. Any spouse has the right to our VA disability award when we add them to our claim. In your case you will still have to support her until the divorce. If I were you I would keep a record of support to her and start recording all your bills. Like rent, car note, insurance etc. Also call VA or go by the office and find out the difference for her as your dependent and send her that, cause if you don’t VA can come in and give here 20%-50-% but you are receiving 30 % you might be good cause it’s a not much to give her. I wish you the best of luck and here is a link 38 CFR 3.451 (Word Document download).

  19. Jay says

    I retired nov 1, 2016. I’m 100% va disabled. My spouse left march 2018 ( 6 months ago) and filed for divorce over a month ago. She is stalling on proceeding with the divorce. She moved out of state and I have no way of communicating with her besides email. She is going by her maiden name and presents herself as single. Is she entitled to Chapter 35 if we are pending a divorce and separated for 6 months?

  20. Ronald says

    I’m am a 90% service connected and due to my mental state I didn’t change dependents when I got divorced in 2004 depression caused my life and the divorce to throw me into deeper depression I remarried in 2010 I just now received notice about the removal of my first wife i am just now sending that info 1 was only 30 % when I got divorced will I be able to make restitution for the overpayments I wasn’t trying to defraud without losing my benefits.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Ronald, Thank you for your question. I am not able to answer this question – this is something that only the VA can answer fully.

      You could also try contacting a veterans benefits counselor with a Veterans Service Organization. They often have counselors who offer free, individualized claims assistance. They may be able to offer you some personalized advice based on your situation.

      I wish you the best, and thank you for your service!

  21. HC says

    I recently got married and added my husband as a dependent on eBenefits (I have a 40% rating.) Apparently my dependent application was denied, as he is now shown as a dependent not on an award. The claim states that the decision letter was sent a week ago, but we have not received it yet. What could be a possible reason for a dependent not to be added to an award?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello HC, Thank you for contacting me. Unfortunately, I don’t have an answer here. You will need to contact the VA for specific information. I wish you the best, and thank you for your service!

  22. Ryan says

    I am a veteran rated 100 % permanent and total service connected. I have bad PTSD comorbid with Major Depressive Disorder and a bunch of other things. But 100% for the PTSD / MDD. My wife and I cannot live together right now because of the symptoms of my mental illnesses. So we are thinking of legally separating. My question is (in our state legally separated is still married but living apart): If we legally separate will my wife still be able to keep her ChampVA insurance, Chapter 35 award, and other VA benefits awarded because of my disabilities? Will she still be eligible for DIC when I die (from another Service Connected Disability) ? The VA seems inconsistent to me. ChampVA says only “divorce or annulment” will make a spouse ineligible for ChampVA medical. Yet at least one of the supplemental companies says “legal separation is a bar to supplemental insurance”. Could you please shed some light. Code of Federal Regs. Ch 38 says that if couple does not live together or is legally separated but the sponsored spouse is not at fault (as is the case with me and my wife) the separation will not interrupt the “continued cohabitation” requirements which attach to some benefits such as DIC; but there is no mention of the Ch 35 definition of “spouse” ? Thanks

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Ryan, Thank you for your question. This is outside my level of expertise. I would try to get a statement from the VA in writing so you have something to go back to. Barring that, I would work with a veterans benefits counselor at a Veterans Service Organization such as the DAV, AMVETS, American Legion, VFW, etc. They have trained counselors that frequently offer free benefits claims assistance. They will have more experience and should be able to help you find the specific reg that covers this situation.

      I’m sorry I don’t have a better answer, but I would hate to give incorrect or incomplete information. I wish you the best of health, and wish the best for you and your family.

      • Mane Griffith says

        Hi! My husband got divorced since 2003 but he find it out just last year of december. The thing is he wasnt home when the divorced decree was sent to their home so his ex wife hide the truth from him for 16yrs. I am a filipina and we just got married this year. He wanted to remove his ex wife from his VA so he can add me.. Does my husband have to repay the VA?

      • Ryan Guina says

        Hello Mane, Your husband’s situation is complex because he was not aware of the divorce. He will need to contact the VA for more information. I wish you and your husband the best.

  23. Daniel Triana says

    Im a veteran and father, never married. I do have 50percent custody but my childs mother claims the child on her w2 and wanting to keep things civil i say ok.

    My question is may i still claim my child as a dependent even though her mother claims her on her irs w2?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Daniel, Thank you for contacting me. My understanding is the VA requires the veteran to provide for the child in order to claim them as a dependent. I believe you will be able to, but I do cannot answer with 100% certainty. I recommend contacting the VA customer service line for a specific answer. I wish you the best, and thank you for your service!

  24. Jamie Littlefield says

    My question is in regards to being remarried while receiving VA disability payments. I was remarried about four years ago, before my remarriage I was single and unmarried for a period of about a year a a half. When I update my dependent profile and add my new wife will I also be credited for the time I have been married to my new spouse or will they take away the credit for my wife all the way back to the date of my divorce? It makes sense I would owe the money back for the period of time when I was not married after my divorce but I would like to know if I will receive credit for the months after I was remarried to my new wife. I have received conflicting information in regards to this.

  25. Rickie says

    I have a dependent update problem/question. I am receiving a 30 percent disability rating. I was married until 2013 and got divorced. I didn’t up date my dependent information with the VA. I was remarried in 2014 and we had a son in 2015. This year the VA sent an update dependent information form which I returned with my new dependents. I received a new rating but at the same time an overpayment letter. I disputed the debt and explained the error of not updating my dependent information. I sent my divorce decree, marriage license, and my son’s birth certificate. The response I received was that the overpayment and the debt is valid. I understand the year gap when I didn’t have a spouse. Everything after that I should have been receiving a different rate with my wife AND son from 2015 to 2018. I didn’t expect any retroactive pay for my lack of keeping things current, but I don’t understand how is that considered an overpayment when my dependent dates were verified as far as the old rate I was receiving.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Rickie, I recommend contacting a Veterans Service Organization such as the DAV, AMVETS, American Legion, etc. They have trained benefits counselors who can assist you with this situation. If it cannot be resolved, they can at least give you an individualized response based on your specific claim. I wish you the best, and thank you for your service!

  26. Jeremy says

    I have what I hope is a simple question, first a quick backstory.

    While stationed in Korea 1 1/2 years ago I discovered DOD FMR Vol 7A, specifically a single paragraph in chapter 26. The basics, once divorced, even if you have 50% custody of your children but not placement (that word being key), DFAS does not consider them as dependents. With that being said, in DFAS’s eyes I should have been receiving the W/OUT rate for the previous 3 years. Thankfully I read some more and found out I wouldn’t have to pay back $18,000 due to my child support and other financial obligations stated in the divorce decree.

    Now to the quick question. Is VA the same? Even though I have 50% custody, and in reality support them more than that 50%, will VA not consider them dependents since they are not “placed” with me. Thanks for any input you have, and thanks for the website.

    • Jeremy says

      UPDATE: per Ryan’s reply I did some digging on the VA website. Basically, if you support your children in any way it entitles you to claim them as a dependent. The catch is that you must know there whereabouts. Thanks again Ryan.


  27. Lyndsey says

    I’m trying to be proactive. My son will turn 18 in Oct. I can’t find where I would submit the 21-674 form to update he will still be in high school when he turns 18 and then immediately following will be attending college. Do I have to wait until he actually turns 18 to have an option on the ebenfits page to fill the form out? I have the pdf form I can mail in, but I am not seeing where to fill out the same form through ebenefits so it is processed faster versus having to mail a paper form into VA. Assistance would be greatly appreciated.

  28. Erica Dantzler says

    My husband receives HUD VASH. he up and left the kids and I over 2months ago. With that being said, being his spouse and what he has done as far as abandoning the kids and I, can the HUD VASH be relinquished to me? Also, he receives VA disability. He is at 90%. Am I entitled to any apportionment from his reward? Please help me in regards to this matter. I’m trying to get answers and I can’t get them

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Erica, Thank you for contacting me, and I’m sorry to hear about this situation.

      Your questions are outside my area of expertise. I’m not sure how the HUD VASH is administered, other than it is available to certain veterans with a service-connected disability rating. VA disability is awarded directly to the veteran. The additional amount received by the veteran for dependents is awarded to the veteran, not to the dependents themselves. The VA will continue to award the higher rate until something changes with the dependent status. This would require the veteran to remove the dependents from the claim, or the dependents are no longer eligible to be claimed as dependents.

      You can contact the VA, but due to privacy laws, I’m not sure how much they will be able to offer over the phone without the veteran’s permission. You would beed to contact the VA for more information.

      Another alternative is to contact a Veterans Service Organization to see if they have more specific advice. Some recommended organizations include the DAV, AMVETS, VFW, American Legion, and similar organizations.

      I wish you and your family the best.

  29. Gary says

    When getting divorced once it is complete do I just need to fill out a dependents up date form amd submit it to get my spouse removed to keep my records perfectly updated?

    This questiom has been asked om this board but no one replied to it.

    So what paperwork is needed?

    Also, I have a daughter that will be a Senior in High School mext year, she is taking her 2 remaining courses and 4 Colleges courses also, will she qualify for the Educational benefits as my son did, BUT my son graduated HS already before he went to College & got this benefit.


    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Gary, Thank you for contacting me. I have never removed a dependent from the form; I have only added dependents.

      But I believe you simply update the form with the correct information, including the status of your previous marriage and divorce date. The VA should be able to update their information based on the new form. Alternatively, you can submit the form via eBenefits, which may be processed more quickly.

      Regarding a dependent attending school: You will need to verify your child’s attendance once they reach age 18. It is not required before they reach age 18/ Once they are age 18, you will submit a copy of VA Form 21-674, Request for Approval of School Attendance.

      You can also confer with the VA if you run into any issues with these forms. They will be able to walk you through the exact process if you have questions or concerns.

      I wish you the best, and thank you for your service!

  30. Joan says

    I am a Vet Separated from my Vet Spouse. We live apart but in the same city. We have joint custody of our son. When adding Spouse and son on eBenefits, the online form asked how much I pay in support to my Spouse. He makes over 2 times as much as I do so I listed 0.00. I pay 1/2 of son’s expenses. Can we both claim him for VA as a Dependent? Can I list Spouse also because we are not Divorced?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Joan, if you pay 1/2 of your son’s expenses, then you need to claim that, regardless of how much you in on comparison to your spouse. You should also claim your spouse and your child for as long as they qualify as dependents. The answer is yes, you can both claim your son as a dependent, so long as you are both providing for him and your disability rating is at least 30%. You should claim your spouse until you are officially divorced, at which time you should notify the VA in writing. I wish you the best, and thank you for your service!

  31. Denise says

    Question: Referencing the VA form 21-686C 14 (H) which shows a dependent child is seriously disabled. If the veteran fails to document and show that the said child is disabled, how does this affect the amount/or part of the award? Short story; My son is disabled, Autistic/nonverbal, he receives SSI monthly. His father was just awarded 100% disability and he put my son down on this form, but did NOT complete 14 (H). My son is now losing $110.00 monthly of SSI because his father listed him on just 15 A-C. Is this correct? I was never married to him, he does not have visitation, nor has he seen his child in 8 yrs? This seems so unfair to the child. Any help would be VERY much appreciated.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Denise, Thank you for your question. I am not an expert in this situation, so you may wish to consult with someone who has more experience with this. That said, if your son’s father does not have visitation rights, he may or may not be legally allowed to claim him on the VA disability compensation form. I encourage you to research this by contacting the VA to determine who is legally allowed to claim your son. You will also need to contact the Social Security Administration and explain the situation to them. If you run into road blocks, you may need to hire a lawyer or legal representative to help you straighten this out. I wish you and your family the best.

  32. Erik says

    I added my wife and her daughter and they gave my like $7 to my disability now that I got my divorce and took both of them off there taking $50 each how is that I was making less then before I added them.

  33. Lance says

    My bootcamp will be in 6 months, and my wife (for almost 3 years)and i just filed a divorce after a year of separation. Will it affect my shipment date? Do i need to tell VA about it even it has not been finalized yet?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Lance, I’m sorry for this situation, and I hope everything is resolved smoothly. I don’t know if this will impact your shipment date. I suggest working with your lawyer to try and smooth things along and have everything finalized before your shipment date. If all the legal issues are resolved before your ship out date, it shouldn’t impact your ability to leave on time.

      But I would work with your recruiter if things won’t be resolved by then. You may not be able to ship out if you have pending legal actions.

      As for the VA – I do not believe you need to coordinate with them before anything has been legally finalized. You should contact them once you have everything finalized. That said, you can contact the VA to verify this, or find out exactly what you need to do to avoid any complications.

      I wish you the best with this situation and the best with your military career.

  34. Jennifer Baldwin says

    I know a woman that brags about how she and her husband scammed the VA. The woman has children with another man who does not receive benefits so she married a USMC who put her children on his benefits. The woman left the man for another man while still collecting caregiver pay and her children (not his) receive school benefits while. Can i report the for fraud? The USMC stopped her caregiver pay when he discovered her new boyfriend and he doesn’t feel he should be responsible for her kids education when they aren’t his kids. Would he be responsible for the money that has been issued monthly? They haven’t been together in over 6 years before the kids went to college.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Jennifer, Thank you for contacting me. This is outside the scope of my knowledge. I’m sure there is a way to report this with the VA, but I am not certain of the process. I would call the VA helpline and ask how to report fraud. They should be able to route you to the correct office or provide the number.

      As for the Marine, I can’t say how he would fare. The VA would most likely do an investigation and determine results from there.

      I wish you the best.

  35. jet says

    am I allowed to add my fiance’ as dependent and my step kids? I’m 70% and I’m barely finding out about adding dependent. ive been divorced and scared to re marry after my ex took everything including my compensation I get. ive been engaged with my partner for 5 years

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Jet, Thank you for your question. the VA only allows members to claim a dependent if they are a legal dependent, including spouse or children who are legal dependents. The VA can provide more information regarding which dependents are eligible and which forms or certificates (such as marriage certificate, adoption certificate, etc.) are needed to be able to add the dependents to your claim. I wish you the best, and thank you for your service!

  36. Julian says

    Hi! I’m a Veteran with 60% disability and I got divorced and remarried . I know taking my ex off will drop it but adding my new wife will it go back to where it was. so basically would it just Change their names.

  37. Maggie says

    I am a retired vet with 70% disability and I have a son who is getting ready to graduate college with a bachelors degree this spring. He plans to take a year off school before he returns for his doctrine. I currently receive benefits for him because he is still in school, and I do realize that once he graduates I will have to notify the VA and get him removed as a dependent. My question is, when he returns to school in 2019, can I get him added back on as a dependent, since we will still be supporting him? Thank you.

  38. nicole says

    My soon to be ex husband retired from the military of 20 years the end of 2013. We have been married over 16 years at the time I separated from the martial home the end of 2014. We been living apart for over three years and I filed for divorce the end of last year. I know he has been received money on my behalf since he retired. He now has a live in girlfriend, but I have not received any money for support since our separation. What can I do? Am I entitled to receive monetary ? We will be legally married for 20 years this year. Please help

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Nicole, Thank you for your comment. This is a topic you should take up with a lawyer that specializes in military divorce. It is very likely you would be eligible for a percentage of your husband’s pension, though the VA disability compensation is normally protected by law. That said, I am not a lawyer, and I cannot go into the details because each state has different divorce rules. You would be best to hire a lawyer as soon as possible. I wish you and your family the best.

  39. John says

    Ryan I am 100% disabled, I retired in 2014 and I’ve been receiving 100 % Disability Compensation and Pension for the past 3 years. When I began getting paid they got my wife’s name wrong and she’s listed under my dependents on eBenefits as “dependents not on award”. I called the VA about this and they said that her name is correct according to their records but to date I’m still not receiving additional benefit payments for my wife. How can I get her added to my award? What is the easiest way? Would I actually be able to receive back pay for her going back for the past 3 years? It actually was their error not mine. What is the easiest way to get that corrected? When I originally filed my claim I submitted our marriage certificate and all required documents.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello John, Thank you for contacting me. The VA will normally award back pay when they are responsible for a clerical error, so it sounds like you may have a good case for being awarded back pay. As for getting pay initiated in the first place, I would call the VA customer service line and ask a representative to open a customer support ticket for you. Try to get some form of information verifying the case has been opened, such as a support ticket or confirmation number, or the VA customer service employee’s name and email address or some other way of contacting them.

      If that doesn’t work, then you can try contacting a Veterans Service Organization such as the DAV, AMVETS, VFW, or similar organization to see if they have any benefits counselors who can assist you.

  40. Kalina says

    My parents are constantly threatening to take away the benefits that have been given to me. I am wondering if they are able to take it away since they already signed the documents or if they gave up the right to take it away when they signed the document in the first place?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Kalina, Thank you for contacting me. I’m not sure which benefits you are referring to. The only benefit I am aware of that transfers is the Post-9/11 GI Bill. If that is the benefit you are referring to, then yes, the benefit can be moved between beneficiaries at any time. The benefit belongs to the military member, and he or she has the ability to change the beneficiary at his or her discretion. If you are not referring to the Post-9/11 GI Bill then I’m not sure the answer to your question without additional information. I wish you the best.

  41. Ann Bailey says

    I found out that my sibling was carrying our mother as his dependent on his VA benefits. He does not take care of her and never has, he was giving her money, but stopped giving it to her 2 years ago. Should he be carrying her as a dependent if he is not taking care of her?


  42. Rebecca says

    I am on 50% disability VA compensation, and my son was removed by VA has a dependent when he turned 18 back in September. I found out that he can be added back on because he is still in high school. When all is said and done, will we get a kickback from when he was taken off or be just as it was before he was removed?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Rebecca, I am unsure if the compensation will be backdated. You will need to contact the VA for verification. You will also need to update your claim each year if your son continues his education and attends college. I wish you the best, and thank you for your service!

      • Steve Smith says

        Hi Rebecca,
        Not sure if you resolved this problem yet but I had a similar situation with my daughter when she finished her 4 years of college. I can’t remember the exact dates, I believe it was the month of May but when she first started college we put on the VA form that she would be graduating 4 years from that date she started. When May approached on her 4th year VA stopped the extra dependent money that was coming in my VA check because this is the date we told them that she would graduate. After I called the VA and told them that my daughter had extended her education and was still in college they had me fill out another form to show that she was still enrolled. After they verified it they did start the benefit again and they back paid me also.

        Wish you success with this!

  43. Joy says

    how to remove a child from chapter 35 benefits who is abusing the money. she is paying for everything except school. my husband has considered deleting her from deers. she has no chances of doing right to the point that people are being paid a small percentage to do her work for school. can he remove her from deers and chapter 35 he is 100 percent disabled. please help us

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Joy, Thank you for contacting me. This is outside my area of expertise. I recommend contacting the VA or a Veterans Service Organization to help you with this. They should be able to give you more information on your options. I wish you all the best.

    • Candice J says

      Clearly this is not your daughter. Would you be trying to remove your husband’s child from her Dad’s benefits if she was also YOURS?? smh

      • Steven Stembridge says

        I would!!! Once ur an “adult” making adult messes, calls for cleaning-up (behind urself). Even ur OWN CHILD!

  44. Giacinia Huertas says

    If divorced from a veteran who is getting 30% of Veterans Disability, do the three children whom are his biological children get compensated? If so what would need to be filed out so those children can get what is legally there’s?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Giacinia, The disability compensation is awarded to the veteran, not the family member(s). It is intended for the veteran to use the additional money to support the family members, but it is not awarded directly to the family members. So the money does not legally belong to the children, it legally belongs to the veteran.

      That said, the veteran must continue to legally support the children or continue to have a great enough percentage of legal custody to continue receiving benefits for these children on his VA disability claim. If the veteran no longer supports the children or does not have custody, then they should no longer be legally allowed to claim the children as dependents on their disability claim. I do not have the specific details regarding custody or percentage of support – the VA doesn’t make this easy to find on their website.

      I recommend speaking with the veteran to discuss this topic. If that is not possible due to the of the divorce, then I recommend running it through your lawyer and resolving the issue through legal means. I hope this is helpful in understanding how the benefit works.

    • Carla says

      Hi Giacinia Huertas,

      I was looking for some information on this website to find out some answers to a couple of questions I had, and I saw your post. I’m not sure if you ever got your situation resolved but I think you were given incomplete information.

      Your ex-spouse’s compensation cannot be taken for child support, but because he does get paid for his biological children it is considered support. That being said, if he is not paying your child support or using the money to help support your children while he is getting money to do so you can apply for an “Apportionment” which can be paid directly to your children as they are the veteran’s biological children.

      I am a Veteran who was married to a Veteran who was not supporting our biological children. So I felt it was unfair for him to receive money that he was given to assist with the children but failed to do so. I filed an Apportionment and submitted all the required documentation requested and a portion of my ex-spouse’s compensation was assigned to my two children who receive a check for a portion of the amount he receives for them monthly. I personally do not think it should be a portion, but it is better than nothing.

      He is 100% disabled and gets paid $88 per month for them and my children get $50 each per month which is barely enough for movie money. However, it is for them so I’ll be filing another case with my attorney because he still does not pay, which is just sad. But you do have rights if the children are with you and there are a lot of people who are in our shoes who don’t know about filing an apportionment when monies are not being used the right way for dependents.

      He is entitled to his compensation but so are his dependents and that is what the money is given to the Veteran for, so there is help when the children are unfortunately left behind. I won’t tell you it did not take a while because it did. It took years. But the back pay was worth it and allowing my children to take a portion of that money to buy something they have always wanted was worth the wait. It is used for a portion of their monthly allowance but it’s something that helps them feel like they are getting something from their bio dad who promises them things and does not follow through and who’s still not helping with their financial needs.

      I hope this helps you or someone else. I am grateful for the young lady who shared this knowledge with me so I just wanted to pay it forward and diffuse the myth of some Veterans who may not be showing up for their children for one reason or another. I’m both a Veteran and a mother so right is right. We should always support our children especially if we are receiving money for them. No excuse.

      “Apportionment is the act of assigning a portion of a veteran’s disability compensation benefit to someone other than the veteran, such as a spouse, child or dependent parent. In the event of an apportionment, the VA will take a certain amount of your VA compensation and allocate it to the person it is being apportioned to.”

  45. Rob Shibley says

    Todd. Are you telling me that you didn’t notice that your benefits never got reduced? You could’ve checked your dependents in ebenefits at any time.

    The most likely scenario is that you were getting overpaid and just “let it roll”.

    Don’t take Uncle Sam’s money, he’ll find out and take it back. I hope this can be a lesson to others.

    • Romero Martinez says

      My thoughts exactly!! He knew how much money he was supposed to receive!! Every month he forgot!! Lol!! Sure pal!!

    • Frank McQuiggan says


      I was just recently contacted by the VA saying I needed to verify my dependents status. I am retired with a 30% disability and was married when the initial claim was submitted. Since then I have been divorced and remarried, divorced and remarried again. In between the first and second wives a total of 20 days elapsed, between wife number 2 and 3 a little over 5 months elapsed. Now the VA is telling me that I was overpaid from the time I divorced the first wife and the time I married the third wife. This leaves the entire time I was married to number 2 unaccounted for. This over payment is in the thousands, which was waived from my retirement account. What can i do since the VA says this is my fault the names changed, actually marital remained the same I was married legally except for 5 months, but they are claiming 8 years.

      • Ryan Guina says

        Hello Frank, I’m sorry to hear about this situation. The VA requires members to report all changes in the status of their dependents at the time of the change. You may be able to file a request to have the VA wave the 8 years and only charge you an overpayment for the 5 months. I’m not exactly certain how that waiver request works, other than sending in the form the VA sends in the mail when they arrive at a decision. It may be worth your time to hire a legal professional that specializes in Veterans Benefits or military topics. I wish you the best, and thank you for your service!

  46. Todd Soper says

    I retired in 2005 from US Navy, when I divorced in Aug 2007 I contacted the VA Benefits office and told them of my divorce. just Friday (12 years later) I was contacted by VA Benefits Office and was told I owe 15,500.00 in back pay because I divorce in 2007 and “I” failed to let VA benefits know. How can they do this to me. VA benefits says their phone records don’t go back that far and they have no proof that I called, I cant afford to pay this back. What are my options, I am sick to my stomach over this, I could use some advice…

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Todd, Sorry to hear about this situation. I recommend speaking with a Veterans Benefits Counselor or someone who has specific experience with these types of claims situations. It’s possible the VA will put you on a repayment plan or withhold a portion of future payments in order to resolve this debt. You can contact the VA directly to see if this is possible to set up, or contact a Veterans Service Organization to get assistance (DAV, AMVETS, VFW, etc.).

      I wish you the best, and thank you for your service!

    • Lyndsey says

      I had the same thing happen to me, even though they admitted to having a record of me submitting my paperwork to them. No matter what, I had to pay the money back. I talked to the debt management team and they are willing to set up a payment plan, which was fair based upon my current bills.

    • andrew clary says

      Todd, I had the same thing happen to me also. At the time of the divorce my EX got 50% of my retirement. Every month on my statement it shows the amount that goes to my “EX spouse” with her name. AT the time when my retirement amount finally settled I did not realize the VA still showed my EX as a dependent. All my monthly statements never listed extra payment for a dependent rate. My yearly VA status statement does not mention payment at a dependent rate. I only just registered onto EBenefits never had a reason to before. I see that other people replying to this site immediately think we were trying to scam the VA far from it. Just one statement or status update alerting me about dependent rate would have prompted me to make a change.

  47. Sareena says

    I am divorced from a Veteran who currently pays child support through state of Georgia. My child will turn 18 in November and graduate in May of 2018 in which the support will end. However, he will definitely be attending post secondary school. Someone told me that I can file an apportionment claim on behalf of my son if his father will be receiving benefits for him but not living with our son. The money would be allocated directly to my son or me. Is this information correct?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Sareena, Thank you for contacting me. I’m not familiar with this situation. That doesn’t mean it’s not true, I’m just not an expert in every facet of compensation benefits. I recommend contacting the VA directly, or a veterans benefits counselor who is trained in VA benefits claims assistance. I wish you the best!

  48. Andrea says

    My daughter is turning 23 and still attends college. My husband is retired disabled (but not 100%) and we receive military health care. We were told that she will no longer be covered because she will be 23 and dis-enrolled. I thought that ALL health care companies were required to cover dependent students until age 26.

  49. Ali says

    I recently got married and my husband is 100% disabled from his service and receives appropriate compensation. I have a good job – if he lists me on his VA forms will his compensation go down?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Ali, Thank you for contacting me. No, the VA disability compensation is not an income based program. The rate is fixed based on the disability rating and the number of dependents the veteran has on file. So if you are added to his VA disability claim, his compensation amount will most likely increase, not decrease. I hope this is helpful.

  50. Jim says

    Good Day,

    My daughter who turns 23 in November is currently in Grad school. I have a VA rating and receive benefit since she is still attending school. I was told that when she turned 23, that I wouldn’t receive a dependent benefit for her. Can I still receive dependent benefit from the VA on her after the age of 23 if she is still in college?

    • David says

      I also have the same question. Nothing I can find states an age limit on the dependent attending school, but the dependent benefit was cut off at age 23. If this is correct, i’d like to know it. If not, I suspect there’s an additional form to fill out.

      • Ryan Guina says

        Jim & David, I don’t believe you can continue receiving additional compensation for a dependent once they reach age 23, regardless of whether or not your child is still attending college or another educational program. I don’t have a copy of the specific reg, so this is something you may wish to verify with the VA. I wish you the best, and thank you for your service!

  51. Amanda Bowden says

    My husband is 100% and we recently added us to his VA as dependents. We thought us being in DEERS was it but recently found out it was not. My claim shows now under review for about a week now. How long does it taked to have al of us officially added to his award and will they back pay. He received his award letter oct 2015 which by then we had 2 kids together. And legally got married in april 2016 and have my 2 children from previous marriage. Just curious on how long and if they back pay. I know its probably our mistake due to thinking deers was all we needed to do. But just curious. Thank you.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Amanda, Thank you for contacting me. The VA system and DEERS are separate – the VA needs to have the required documentation to verify dependents’ status (marriage certificate, birth certificate, etc.). It’s possible the VA could award back pay, but not guaranteed. In general, the VA will only award back pay to the date they have the required claims documents. I wish you and your husband the best!

  52. Gabrielle says

    Good morning, I have a question and I am not sure if anyone can give me some information. I have been out the Army since 2016 and was awarded 70% from VA. Just recently my brother (over 21) was a victim of being severely beaten and almost didn’t make it, he had major brain trauma and now has to live the next 6 months with a piece of his skull having to be removed for the duration until his brain swelling is completely gone, he is having to learn how to walk, talk again as well as have to learn to use his memory again. He is still currently in the hospital under rehabilitation. He is from a rural area in Arizona he has no kids and no spouse, I live in Louisiana with my spouse of 7 years and three kids, I was wondering if maybe I can be able to add my brother as a dependent and bring him here with me as soon as he is able to be released from the hospital, I know this would be more of a convenience for him due to his condition and to where he has an inside bathroom and so he can have quick access to the things he needs. Of course with the help of my husband we will be able to care for him in a way that no one else can if he were to stay in Arizona. My mom is almost 65 years old and she won’t be able to take care of him especially due to her current medical conditions. Thank you in advance have a wonderful blessed day as well.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Gabrielle, Thank you for contacting me and I’m sorry to hear about your brother’s injuries. I pray he will recover.

      I believe the only way to claim someone for VA benefits is to be their legal guardian. I am not sure you can claim siblings – you will need to contact the VA to verify.

      I wish you and your family the best, and thank you for your service!

  53. Buffy Frederick says

    My ex husband is retired now as well as collecting disability. I was court ordered 20% of his retirement every month which he is now currently paying the back payments as well as the current. Now my son who is actually disabled and was on SSI, part of his money is not being sent, because they say that he should be receiving VA payments every month since March. He also has a brother who is still a minor, neither one of them have gotten any extra money at all. My disabled son is being punished for a sponsor’s issue. I have been informed all of the money has been sent to my ex husband. How do I handle this situation? He has not bothered to see them in more than 6 years, but had filed last year to lower child support, which he then withdrew because he should be paying $500 more a month. He has collected my sons money monthly since March and has not sent it to them, how do I get this situation solved?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Buffy, Thank you for contacting me. I am sorry to hear about this situation. This is outside my area of expertise. I would contact the Social Security Administration and ask how best to proceed.

      You may need to provide a divorce decree or other legal documentation to support your claim. You may also find it beneficial to consult with a lawyer or other legal representative. I hope this points you in the right direction.

  54. Caridad says

    Apparently FRAUD by veterans is not uncommon based on the comment made by Colleen Finley on May 1, 2017 at 3:37 am.
    There must be a way for dependent benefits to be verified as being received by the child. I can not for the life of me understand how our government can allow this. I will not give up until justice is served.

  55. Caridad says

    I just found out that my ex husband has been collecting additional dependent benefits based on our sons permanent disability but has been keeping it. I have been getting nowhere since the VA won’t speak to me and my ex husband is dragging his feet because he knows that he has committed fraud. I found all of this out because I applied for SSI for my son and his case is on hold because he is on file as receiving VA benefits from his father that he never got.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Caridad, The VA awards disability compensation based on a servicemember’s injuries or illnesses that occurred or were made worse while serving in the military. Those who have a rating of 30% or higher and have dependents are awarded an increased amount. The intent behind the increased compensation rate is to support their dependent(s). However, the amount is paid to the veteran, not to the dependent. The VA does have regulations regarding who qualifies as a dependent, however, I do not have a copy of those regulations. You would need to get a copy of that from the VA.

      Regarding receiving funds from the veteran – this is something the VA has no control over. To the best of my knowledge, the VA enforces patient privacy rules and does not allow other people to get information about the veteran’s claim, unless the veteran gives permission. There may be exceptions for court orders. The best I can do is recommend contacting a lawyer who is familiar with VA benefits or VA case law and see if there is anything that can be done.

  56. Heidi says

    I am 20% disabled, I got married and have 3 children. I got my rating before I was married or had children. Am I eligible for a rate increase? Can I add my family as dependents?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Heidi, Thank you for contacting me. The only way to add dependents to your claim is if your rating is 30% or higher. It may be possible to get an increased rating, but only if you can prove your condition has deteriorated and warrants an increased rating. Please note that if the VA determines your condition has improved, it may be possible for them to decrease your rating if they see fit. If the VA determines there is no change in your condition, then your rating should remain the same.

      I recommend getting assistance from a Veterans Service Organization if you decide to file for an increase. Check out the DAV, VFW< AMVETS, American Legion, or similar organizations that offer free claims assistance. I wish you the best and thank you for your service!

  57. Vincent A Vassall says

    My daughter who is in school (21 and current VA Dependent), recently got married. Does that mean her dependent status changed and I need to remove her as a dependent in the VA system?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Vincent, yes, I believe it does. However, I always recommend verifying with the VA. Be sure to update the status as soon as possible because you will be required to repay any overpayments that are made.

  58. Ronnie says

    Hi Ryan, I am retired and receiving 60% disability. In ’06 I was divorced and remarried in ’10. I never updated anything with the VA because I thought updating DEERS was all I was supposed to do. But that’s besides the point. I received a dependent update request from the VA last month and went to the Virginia VA Assistance office and had everything updated. I got a new packet from the VA stating I had to repay the overage from ’06 when I was divorced, but the spouse rate with my current wife doesn’t start until the day I updated things (last month). I was told it was the law that they backdate what I owe them but the cannot backdate what they owe me. Is this true? I understand I owe them four years worth of overpayments between divorce and remarriage, but not 11 years.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Ronnie, The VA has certain rules, and I’m not an expert at the fine print. The way I understand it is yes, you have to notify the VA immediately upon any change of status. Failure to do so can result in having overpayments withheld from future payments.

      As for back pay, it generally happens to the day you file, not the day the event occurs. There are some small exceptions (example, you can file a claim within a month or two while awaiting official documentation to prove the status change).

      In your case, you may be able to ask them to waive the time you were married. I cannot say for certain the VA will do this, but it is worth looking into. It’s also not a bad idea to seek assistance from a Veterans Service Organization to see if they have more insight into the process or any more specific advice. Here are some recommended organizations.

      I hope this points you in the right direction. I wish you the best, and thank you for your service!

  59. Sarah says

    Thanks for all you do Ryan,
    I have a simple question I hope.
    My husband have four kids and filed for benefits for dependents and wife. Does the wife and children receive money from VA or is it all one check that goes to my husband. Do the kids in college receive money too and for how long. Husband is rated 50%

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Sarah, Thank you for contacting me. The VA provides one check to the veteran. There are not separate checks. The VA has rules regarding college age children. The veteran is required to send proof of enrollment to continue receiving benefits for college age children. He should use the dependent’s form or contact the VA for more information. I hope this is helpful!

      • Amy Goley says

        I just saw my 19 year old college student was no longer listed as being an award dependent. I updated her school information for the past year but wondered if they would pay back pay since she was still on the dependent list. I think it’s around $1500, so I figured it couldn’t hurt to ask!

      • Ryan Guina says

        Hello Amy, Thank you for contacting me. I’m not sure if they will award back pay. It depends on when you filed the paperwork showing your daughter is still in school. You will need to contact the VA for a specific answer. I wish you the best, and thank you for your service!

  60. Yvonne says

    Ok so i have a question because I’m new to ask of this, i got married 12/07/2016 & sad to say but me & my husband are now living in 2 different households but he’s receiving a payment for me because I’m his dependent however he’s not supporting me in no way shape form or fashioneven after the fact he was the one that asked me not to get a job. He’s retired from the marines but my question is would i be eligible for an apportionment & how much does a spouse usually get off they do get an apportionment?

  61. Tricia says

    My husband just realized VA had him listed as single/no dep. He retired in 2009. He was told to submit our marriage license and dep birth certificates. Will this get back dated? How did this originally get over looked?

  62. Colleen Finley says

    The VA ALLOWS misuse and theft of funds by ignoring dishonest Veterans, AND honest whistleblowers. I cannot believe how naive my Government and Military is in assuming anyone, and everyone, will immediately report changes that will reduce their benefit income. The monetary COST of this ignorance, has to be astronomical!
    My ex (divorce final in 2014) disabled (60%) Veteran, REFUSES to remove me and our daughter he does not support in any way, from his monthly VA pay. I have tried to alert the VA and several other agencies, I’ve offered PROOF, and am told HE has to contact the VA. Again, he WILL NOT, as I’ve asked him many times.
    He is USING ME for personal gain, he is committing FRAUD, and the VA PROTECTS HIM. When anyone offers undeniable PROOF of a serious crime being committed against our government, it is your DUTY to take action to stop it. I cannot express how angry and violated I feel. I no longer trust and honor the government I used to without question.

  63. Kait says

    My husband and I got married last November. I have three daughters that live full time with my husband and myself. Their biological father has visitation but I have primary custody. I know someone had asked this several months ago, but can my husband claim my girls on his VA stuff and get them on insurance in addition to myself being added as spouse? It’s a confusing question because on the VA website it says, children: biological, adopted, and step children. We planned on getting a legal guardianship signed with their biological father so that he can claim them, but he doesn’t want to do that unless absolutely necessary.

  64. Emmett says

    My wife and i separated a few years back and we never divorced. Then I found out just recently she got married to someone else but cant find anything saying we are divorced. Am I supposed to let the VA know? And if we are not divorced and I am getting the extra pay for spouse do i need to report this to the VA? I am kind of in a tough spot not knowing what to do.

  65. Jama says

    My husband did divorced 2012 and we got married 2013, since that we have 3 kids, but he never added us to his benefits but he also never removed his ex (he didn’t knows that has to do that)
    Month ago we found out and now we received letter that we overpaid for his ex, because all this years i guess they paid for her
    Question, they won’t count us but count his ex? he was divorced with her but still he was married to me all that time, so basically he paid as married, so he was.
    any advices

  66. Brittany leaf says

    Hello, I got medically discharged with 10%. I’ve been out for 4 years now. I’m married and I have a child. Can I get an increase in money since I’m married and have a child?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Brittany, Thank you for contacting me. The VA only offers increased compensation rates for members with dependents once they have a rating of 30% or higher.The VA customer support can answer any further inquiries.

  67. Nancy says

    Can two veterans who are divorced and with dependents in common, claim the children and both receive pay for those dependents? How is the pay affected for both if any?

    Thanks for your help!!

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Nancy, Thank you for contacting me. I believe the only person who can claim the dependent is the primary caregiver. I am not sure how this works if time is split between both households, or if the children are claimed in alternate years for tax purposes. I recommend contacting the VA for this question.

      Sorry I don’t have a better answer, but I don’t want to lead you astray. Best of luck, and thank you for your service!


    I’m attempting to update my daughter’s misspelled name and inaccurate birthday! I have the updated VA Form 21-686C, I was wondering where do I need to send it! I’ve attempted to accomplish this on the eBenefits page but it won’t let me! I live in the Florida Pan-Handle area if there is more than one place to send it based on location!!!

  69. April L says

    Question. I was married to a veteran and I was added to his claim along with my kids( the children were mine, he didn’t adopt them), we are listed as his dependents. We have since divorced about 4 years ago. We are all still listed as his dependents. I have been trying to have us removed with no luck. Since this time the veteran is deceased. He also has another child from after our marriage. If I supply the VA with the required documents or date of our divorce who will have to pay the overpayments back? Will this harm a survivors claim for his child? Also will the VA take a divorce date or do they need a copy of the finalized divorce from the court?

  70. Shanik Bishop says

    Hello I’m a vet that receives benefits from the Va 40% I just had a divorce in 2016 and I have 2 kids so I was wondering if I would I get an increase due to the fact that I need the extra money to support 2 kids independently after removing my was-band.

  71. Joan says

    Ex spousal the Father who is the Veteran receives dependent benefits for a child under 18 in school and for child over 18 in school. Mother has full custody, Father the veteran has not been in the children’s lives since 2012 its 2017 now. Father dose not provide any financial support for the children. My only real concern is, the VA is just awarding benefits to Veteran’s for dependents that they are not providing any financial support to. When I drive down the street and see homeless Veterans that really needs the help and cant get it. That’s sad. I wish the VA would take a closer look at the benefits they are awarding.

  72. gina b says

    I’m confused, I was medically discharged from military after a deployment for the iraqi freedom, unfortunately they wanted a quick release of me.. I was in a rollover accident while deployed and now have spinal, neurological issues, added with PTSD. I was given documentation and photos of the accident, including police reports from both countries. I know someone was looking out for me, i’ve been told that alot..

    anyways, I wasn’t given retirement, nor where any of my other issues added to my release. after my release of 10% the VA ended up giving me so much more including PTSD, can i somehow add this to my release? I got the paperwork from the PEB board to reevaluate my discharge, but it also states that it doesn’t count or look at things found after release for additional issues, also reads that if i fill out to board for chance of retirement added to my medical release, that i can’t go back afterwards and appeal my discharge and add PTSD.

    should i just go for the board and hope they give me the retirement? or is there a way to add something to recharacterize my release.

  73. Emily says

    My soon-to-be ex-husband is rated at 80%. He has not been living with me, my oldest son (his step-son), or our son together for 6 months and has only been paying child support for our mutual child together. He received his rating a few months after our separation and is still claiming all three of us as dependents. Is it illegal for him to claim me and my oldest without providing for us with that financial compensation?
    Thanks for your help!

  74. Monaca says

    Ma’am or Sir, I have a daughter who is legally blind due to a genetic eye disorder. She is by definition disabled but I am still trying to figure out how that all works once she becomes an adult as far as paperwork. She can’t get a drivers license and gets services with the Louisiana Association for the Blind. She is 17 years old and wont be 18 for 7 months but will be graduating from high school this May 2017. She is planning on attending college in Winter 2018 after taking a break from school. I am rated 80% and I realize if she was a child with no disability I would remove her until she went to college but I remember somewhere that if you have a disabled dependent living with you that you can file some form to keep them as a dependent if you are still providing services for them. We will be providing everything for her and transportation as we all (like always). Is there a separate form for this if this is actually a thing? My Vet rep left the area, I know I need to get another one. If you have any ideas let me know! Thanks ahead of time!

  75. Keisha says

    I need to know how can I find information or get advice if your ex-spouse is claiming dependents on VA benefits that are not living with them or finicially taking care of those children.

  76. george ellison says

    i just found out that they update my case on jan 18 it say waiting to be sign how long will it take for that be be appoved thats for your time ssgt ellison

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello SSgt Ellison, Thank you for contacting me. These approvals can take anywhere from a couple weeks up to a couple years. In general, an online application will be processed more quickly than a paper application. I have no idea why it can take so long for these claims to be processed. The good news is the VA generally provides back pay based on the date you filed your application. I hope this is helpful. Best of luck, and thank you for your service!

    • george ellison says

      just want to said thank you for your time and yes i think it takes to long when you send email i am just waiting for them to sign it and it been its been 22 days i know there are alot of people but when you are just waiting for them to sigh it it such not take these long have a great day rangers lead the way ssgt ellison

  77. Nick says

    Can I add my girlfriends children on my claim? They have no contact with the father and I pay for their needs. So basically I am playing the role of the father without the title dad. Btw I am at a 80% rating.

    • Chris D Carlson says

      I second this, my live in girlfriend is totally dependant on me and her 3 daughters are with us 5 of the 7 days and I provide nearly everything for them except food on his 2 days. Can I claim them all as dependants? If so how???

    • Ryan Guina says

      Nick, so far as I am aware, you can only claim your legal dependents. So you would need to be their legal guardian to be able to claim them. Please contact the VA for specific details or requirements.

  78. Charles says

    Hello. I submitted a request to add my newborn in eBenefits on January 10th. The status is showing “claim received” and the estimated date of completion is between March of 2018-2019. Is it really going to take this long? Will I receive back-pay from the date of my child’s birth (December 21st 2016). Thank you!

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Charles, Thank you for contacting me. I’ve heard from veterans that adding or removing a dependent can take anywhere from a couple weeks to almost two years. I don’t know why the process can take so long, but hopefully this will be processed more quickly since you filed on eBenefits. As long as you provide all the required information, then they should provide back pay. Best of luck, and thank you for your service!

  79. Key says

    I have requested 3 times to have my ex husband removed from my benefits. It is still in the pending decision part of the process and the request that actually made it through was started in Aug 2016 is there a way to speed this up I’m being over paid and it’s not my fault but I know I’ll have to pay it back regardless which is so unfair.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Key, Thank you for contacting me. Unfortunately, I don’t know of a way to speed up the process. I’ve heard people have dependents added or removed in as little as a couple weeks, or as long as two years. The best I can do is recommend you submit all supporting documentation, such as a divorce decree or annulment paperwork. Also it’s best to submit the forms in the online form vs. paper forms. I’ve heard from others that the forms are processed more quickly with this method. I wish you the best, and thank you for your service!

  80. Cindy White says

    I have a huge concern and do not know who to ask. I hope you can help with this question or direct me to someone who can, if you would be so kind!
    My husband is a retired vet after serving 20 years in the army. He has recently added our daughters and myself to his claim. His former spouse works for the VA and received our claim. She told my husband she received it and put a RACC on the claim. This person has threatened me and our children in the past and I have zero contact with her and have never even met her. This situation seems too coincidental. I would be so grateful to gain any information and knowledge about this. I’m concerned about a former spouse having access to our personal information. We live in different states. How and why would she have been given this claim?
    Thank you so much for your time and help!

  81. Bob says

    I never married my daughters mother and she lives part time in both homes. Should I still add her as a dependent? I do pay child support if that makes a difference. The question asking if she lives in my home is confusing, because she does, just not everyday of the month.

  82. kim says

    I just got rated at 50% disability my ex husband has been out of the service for 2 or 3 yrs now and has claimed our 3 children on his VA disability . I just called today to inform them that their information was incorrect because they had me listed as single no dependants so I gave them my children’s info since they reside with me 24/7 365. My question is can my ex husband claim the children even though he’s had no contact with them for a better part of 6yrs and will it affect me being able to list them as my dependants and receiving dependant pay for them on my disability. Thank you.

  83. Carylon Tyson says

    Daughter is divorced and remarried with 2 children. She has custody. No support from ex. Found out today he EX is collecting VA disability on both kids and daughter still. What can be done? I contacted VA they said call inspector General.

    • Victor says


      Vet can still receive the dependent allowance for the children.

      There are laws that protect a veterans disability payments from creditors. However, the VA recognizes how important child support and alimony issues are to the court ordered beneficiary and they allow for a process called apportionment.

      Have your daughter contact the nearest Veteran Service Representative to find out how to submit for an apportionment.


  84. T Rob says

    Hi I have divorced and gotten re-maried and am receiving 50% with one dependent(my ex wife had a daughter before our relationship) I am now re-marrying and she also has a child. Will it hurt me(as in retro pay back to them) to unclaim my ex and her daughter and claim my new spouse and her son?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello T Rob, Thank you for contacting me. You should give the correct information to the VA, as they may come or back pay if they discover you are no longer married to your previous spouse, but are still receiving compensation as though you are. This could cause a big debt, which they would most likely withhold from future payments. There shouldn’t be an issue with claiming your new wife. I’m not sure if you will need to adopt your wife’s son in order to receive compensation – I suggest contacting the VA for verification. I wish you the best, and thank you for your service!

  85. Julie says

    My soon to be ex is collecting VA Benefits and has all six children as dependants listed, we are legal separated, the children have lived with me from day one, can he collect for these dependants that don’t live with him?

    • Victor says


      Sorry to hear about your separation. In short, yes the Veteran can still receive the dependent allowance.


  86. Michele Tinoyan says

    Me and my fiancé are both Veterans and are receiving VA benefits and he has two sons who he receives benefits for as well. When we get married, will I be able to add them to my claim too or will it just be him able to claim them?

  87. Laura says

    I am filling out VA Form 21-686c and was wondering if I am suppose put my husband down as a veteran since he is still active duty. Does the VA only consider a veteran as those who are no longer in service/receiving benefits? Sorry if it sounds like a stupid question.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Laura, Thank you for contacting me. This is not a stupid question. I would include the information since he is your spouse. This will get his information into the VA system and establish the relationship for the VA record keeping system.

      I am not sure if they pay the additional dependent rate for active duty spouses. One person who left a comment stated they didn’t. But I don’t have verification either way. I would contact the VA and make sure they are aware of his status. If they pay at the dependent rate for active duty members, great. If not, then at least he will already be in the system. Just be sure to contact the VA when your husband separates from the military.

      I hope this helps. Best of luck, and thank you for your service!

  88. Amanda says

    Good Afternoon:

    I will be marrying a 100% disabled vet in a month. The problem is that he has a fiduciary that wants me to become his spouse payee. I was told that it could take the VA a year to recognize me as his spouse in order to make me the payee. Is there anyway to speed up that process? My future husband is probably going to have to be switched to another fiduciary if we have to wait a year and he doesn’t want that to happen. I appreciate any help you can give me

    • Victor says


      Your future husband can actually start the process of making you the fiduciary even though you are not the spouse. He has to petition to the VA through the regional fiduciary hub. Depending on his regional hub and how the case is handled, it may not necessarily take a year. I have posted the website below.


  89. Tameka says

    Good morning. I just recently noticed my ex-husband has disabled vet plates. Months before this I needed proof that he has a honorable discharge from service for our daughter for college registration. He provided me with something that said discharged but not honorable. The college said it needed to be on certain form with a certain member number in the right hand corner. He didn’t want to go any further than that cause he claimed he didn’t want anyone looking further into his business. So now he show’s up with vet plates which means the VA would have this information and he would too. All I wanted was the info so his daughter could use the benefits. Which brings me to this point. Are his children eligible to receive some of those disabled benefits through child support and how can I access those benefits on my own, because he’s not just going to hand over that information to me?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Tameka, Thank you for contacting me. I don’t have a specific answer o your questions, because each benefits situation is handled on a case by case basis. I also cannot comment on child support – that should be governed by the terms of your divorce decree, or by the decision handed down by the courts. Because each situation is unique, I recommend speaking with a lawyer regarding possible benefits and the child support question.

      The form you reference is most likely his DD Form 214, which is the military discharge paperwork. This form gives the veteran’s discharge status and other information.

      I hope this points you in the right direction.

  90. HoneyBooBoo says

    I know somebody that was in the Navy, he was married at one time but has now been single for more than 10 years. He is receiving $4,000 every month.
    If he is no longer married, should he even still be receiving that much? I also forgot to mention he also has no children.

    • Victor says


      It depends on his VA disability. Is the Veteran also receiving Special Monthly Compensation (SMC) in connection with his compensation? Is the Veteran retired and receiving concurrent retirement with VA disability? Only the Veteran knows the true answer.

      However, I believe you were probably trying to ask if a Veteran is supposed to be receiving dependent allowance if he is divorced. The answer to that is no. He is actually supposed to report this to the VA upon divorce. If the Veteran has not yet reported this to the VA, the Veteran will continue to receive this allowance.


  91. Brittany says

    My husband has been active duty ever since I got out in 2014. I was told I could not claim him as a dependent for my disability. I have a rating of 60%. Can I claim him as a dependent and get the veteran with spouse rate or no?

    And will I get back paid compensation if I could have claimed him this whole time? Thanks

    • Ryan Guina says

      Brittany, The VA does offer the dependent rate if both spouses are veterans, even if they both receive disability compensation. I am not sure, however, if this applies if one member is currently on active duty. I suggest contacting the VA for specific guidance.

      Regarding back pay – the VA will normally award back pay to the date you filed the claim. However, there may be some extenuating circumstances. Again, I wold address this question with the VA. Best of luck, and thank you for your service!

  92. Laron Robertson says

    I’ve been married with children for a few years. I am just learning that I should’ve turned in some paperwork and been compensated as I am 30% and waiting to be increased. My questions- should I be turning in a copy of my marriage license, and will the VA back date my compensation for wife and children? Thanks

    • Victor says


      Unfortunately, no. The VA will retro-pay your dependent allowance 1 year from the date of your award of 30%. Once that year date expires, the VA will pay you from the date of submission.

      As far as submitting your marriage license, birth certificates of children, and SSN cards to the VA it’s usually not a bad idea.

      If you haven’t already, create an Ebenefits account and submit your dependent information online.

      If you complete VA form 21-686c and submit form to your VA regional office, it may take a while. This type of correspondence is not considered by your regional office to be “urgent”. Some regions may take up to 2 years to complete.

      If you submitted the information via Ebenefits, it could be as quick as 2 days.

      As far as submitting your marriage license, birth certificates of children, and SSN cards to the VA it’s usually not a bad idea. However, if you submit your application via Ebenefits, the system will let you know if you need to submit them or not. I have submitted the link for you below….


  93. Kenneth says

    Good day
    In March 2016 I called into the VA to inform them that my 18 year old son was still in high school so that they would add him back as a dependent. Instead I got a letter informing me that I owed them over $10000. They went back to 2006 claiming that was the last time they had any proof of any of my dependents, including my wife. I am 30%, but I am only getting $407 a month. But an audit they just sent me claims that I am due $539,75 a month from December 2014 through June 30 2016. What do you think is going on here? Thanks.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Kenneth, Thank you for contacting me. If you haven’t had any changes in your dependents status since you began receiving benefits at the with dependents rate, then there likely won’t be a problem. But it sounds like it’s now on you to prove that there have been no changes. In all likelihood, this is just a clerical error on the VA side of the house. But I wouldn’t dismiss this message from them. Find out exactly what is required of you, and provide any and all supporting paperwork to show there haven’t been any changes of status.

      It would also be a good idea to enlist the assistance of a Veterans Advocate. Several organizations provide free benefits claims assistance, including the VFW, AMVETS, DAV, and other organizations. I hope this points you in the right direction. I wish you the best of luck, and thank you for your service!

    • Richard says

      I just went through the same thing. I have a 40% rating and got divorced in December 2014, and I notified the VA within a week of the divorce being finalized. When the VA finished updating my records (over a year later), they sent me a letter saying I owed $7,500 when the actual debt should have been more like $1,100. The VA started withholding my entire check immediately and ultimately did so for a year. I was told to file an appeal and after 18 months, no progress. I finally contacted my congressman and they were able to get the VA to re-audit my file and I got a check for the $6,400 that they had overcollected, less than a month later. I learned that the VA changed computer systems in 2008 and they can’t see any dependent information that existed prior to that date; so since they couldn’t see when I originally got married, they assumed I got married in 2008 and any payments I received based on marriage prior to that date were erroneous. If you’re still dealing with this, call your congressman, it really sped things up for me.

    • Victor says

      Unless your are in arrears for any type of support and your ex-spouse is receiving an apportionment, you don’t put that information on your 21-0538.

      Your ex-spouse information should be on 21-686c.

  94. Rebecca B says

    I am 50% permanently through the VA, and was recently married. My spouse is active duty still and when I added him they told me he would be included for award as part of my claim but when i checked they have him listed as a dependant receiving no award, is this normal or do I need to have this corrected?

    • Victor says

      Good evening.

      It depends on how you submitted the information and what region you are in.

      -If you completed VA form 21-686c and submitted that to the VA, it may take a while. This type of correspondence is not considered by your regional office to be “urgent”. Some regions may take up to 2 years to complete.

      -If you submitted the information via Ebenefits, it could be as quick as 2 days.

      • kim says

        I called the 800 number for VA disability and informed them they submitted the info on each child and told me it could take 30-60days for a decision and if further info is needed they will contact me. Since the children reside with me full time and have been since January 2010 can he legally claim as,well? Can both parents have them listed as dependants on their disability and both parents receive the dependant pay for the children or only one parent is eligible to claim the children? Thank you

    • Victor says


      Unfortunately the marriage allowance expires once you got the divorce. Even if you do an NOD, the VA will still not retro-pay any dependent allowance. You can try to look for this in either 38 CFR or M21-1MR.




  96. ann says

    Hi all, I have suffered with my husband since we were married. I was a faithful wife and I even spent time in a homeless situation with my husband. I lost income, and a car and so did he. I also contributed to the marriage as well. My husband in turn , left me desolate, never added me to his benefits even though we have a valid marriage. He made me leave when he started receiving benefits unbeknownce to me. We were separated 4 years but we have reconciled. My husband sent me away with a letter that I would collect his educational benefits. I have to be married 10 years to do this. Why are veterans allowed to shrik their responsibilities ? As long as the marriage is valid their spouses should be automatically included. Why not? they are able to delete a spouse once they are divorced. My husband became colder and colder as his benefits increased and I spent all I have in the relationship however absent of benefits. He says I may use his vet info to sign up for benefits. What am I to do?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Ann, I’m sorry to hear about your troubled marriage. I am not qualified to give marital advice. The best I can recommend is to seek out a marriage counselor to help improve your marriage. As for benefits, the best thing to do is schedule a joint meeting with the VA to go over the benefits your husband is eligible to receive. They can also inform you if there are any benefits which you may also be eligible receive. I wish you both the best, and I hope this points you in the right direction.

  97. JoeCav says

    Hi I help my parents pay rent and their expenses.
    My question how much do I need to pay for their expenses so I can claim them as my dependents.
    I am 70 percent disable.
    Thank You

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello JoeCav, Thank you for contacting me. The VA has very specific guidelines. You will need to contact them for more information. You could also try contacting a veterans benefits counselor. I hope this points you in the right direction. Best of luck, and thank you for your service!

  98. Victor says

    Good afternoon.

    My daughter has started college and is using my Post 911 GI Bill (Chapter 33) benefits. I am also receiving VA disability and the additional allowance for my dependents.

    It was my understanding that if your college child was receiving ANY type of federal dollars/money for college that the Veteran was no longer eligible to receive the additional allowance for that child who is in college.

    For example: Dependent Educational Assistance (Chapter 35); states that once the child is in receipt of Chapter 35 benefits, the additional allowance for that child stops.

    Is the rule the same for Chapter 33? I have researched this myself and I keep getting different answers. Thanks.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Victor, Thank you for contacting me. To be honest, I’m not sure how to interpret the language either. I would contact the VA and ask them to give you something in writing that clearly explains the rules as they apply to your situation. You could also try contacting a veterans benefits counselor to see if they have better insight into this situation. I wish you the best, and thank you for your service!

      • Victor says

        I actually found the answer after searching for 5 hours.

        According to the M21-1 Compensation and Pension Manual, concurrent payment of educational benefits under 38 U.S.C. Chapter 33 and the additional dependent allowance is allowed. It reads;

        If a spouse and/or child is entitled to education benefits under 38 U.S.C. 3319 (transferred entitlement),

        Then concurrent payment of disability or survivors benefits to or for the same spouse and/or child is allowed.

        What this means is that I can continue to receive the additional dependent allowance while my daughter uses my Post 911 GI Bill. Payments will discontinue under the rules of 38 U.S.C. 3319.

      • Ryan Guina says

        Thank you for following up, Victor. This is great information and it will surely help other veterans. Thank you for sharing, and thank you for your service!

  99. Rosa says

    My husband updated our daughters status as a college student back in april before she even started college. It is now almost Oct & his va disability has still not been updated. I know its not as long as others have waited, but what is the problem? It still shows he’s receiving compensation on the website under her name, but he isn’t!

  100. Jason says

    I got a call from 1-877-764-0009 from a man named “George” that said he was from the VA dependency office confirming my paper form I filled out and turned in at my regional VA office. He had all of the info from the forms and I didn’t have to give him any information but I didn’t recognize the number and he called on a Saturday… I might be overreacting but is this legit? If not, how do I report it? I’ve tried the VA through the call centers for over a month and haven’t had any luck which is why I reverted to the paper form.

  101. Eric says

    I currently receive disability payments and claim my child. However my child also lives with my ex-spouse whom is also married now to a disabled veteran receiving disability payments also. Question is, am I and the step father able to claim my child? Me for the child being my kid and him for the child being a stepchild? Thank you for any help.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Eric, Thank you for contacting me. I believe the veteran claiming the dependent needs to be able to prove they provide at least 50% of the child’s living expenses. There may also be custody requirements. I recommend speaking with the VA for clarification. I wish you the best, and thank you for your service.

  102. terry says

    What Evidence Of 50% support does the VA need in order for me to add my college age step-daughter to my claim? The VA has paid for her for over 12 years and now that she is going to college; the ebenefits web site is requiring some form of proof that I am responsible for 50% of her care. She has lived with me nearly her entire life with my wife, her mother.

  103. stacey smith says

    Hello Ryan, my husband is currently only receiving 10% of benefits we recently got married with a baby is there anyway that his benefits can increase with new baby and wife?

  104. Casey Davis says

    I have a disability rating of 60%. I am married with three children. I have always be very diligent in always updating my information with my local veterans service office. Evidently they did not send the forms through the proper channels and as a result i have been getting underpaid for just shy of 9 years. Is there any hope of me getting back pay in this situation?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Casey, Thank you for contacting me. Back pay is normally given to effective date the VA approves the claim or the addition of dependents. This is often the date you file the claim or add dependents. But it’s tough to say since they never received your forms. You would have to be able to prove you filed the forms for the VA to award back pay, unless they find the forms in the file and they were just never processed. The best I can say is to contact the VA and bring this to their attention. You may need to file a new dependents claim form to make sure the VA has all dependents on file. Best of luck, and thank you for your service!

  105. Brandee says

    I am a gay Oklahoma disabled veteran. I was in a 17 year relationship with a woman before gay marriage was approved. During that time, we did artificial insemination which resulted in two daughters. Because we were not legally married when they were conceived, the only way we could establish a legal relationship between myself and the children (because I am not the birth mother) was to apply for a co-guardianship. This was granted by the Oklahoma court system and has been in place since shortly after the birth of our first child. The children are currently 9 and 11. Their mother and I separated in October 2014 prior to the approval of gay marriage. There is no custody agreement on file with the court system as we were never legally married; however, I do share 50% custody and the guardianship is still current with the court system. Last year, I claimed one child for tax purposes and the my ex-partner claimed the other child.

    I feel like at least one child should be considered my dependent in regard to my VA disability benefits, if not both. However, when I go on-line to fill out the form, my situation is not listed as a choice. The choices are as follows: biological, adopted, step child, 18-23 years old/in school, child previously married. When I talked to my VA rep, he said the VA would not recognize my children because I have not legally adopted them. However, legal adoption is not an option in Oklahoma at this point, as their mother and I are not (and will never be) legally married and she is still alive.

    Can you please advise me if my VA rep in correct on his statement?

  106. sean pringle says

    I was discharged in sep 2014 with service connected disability at 30%army and 60% va. my son was born in may 2014 and I got married to his mother in may 2015. due to my disability I was not hip to my compensation and was only receiving compensation for me and my daughter, not my entire family. I updated all dependents on ebenifit’s last month. I’m curious as to if I will receive back pay for my family back to my marriage date and my seperation date for my son. I started receiving compensation a month after I was discharged. the local college va rep said yes as well as other vets that my wife works with that have had this same issue

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Sean, Thank you for contacting me. The VA typically provides back pay to the date you add your dependents on your claim. If the VA had the supporting documentation for your dependents when you filed your claim, then you should receive back pay to that date. If they didn’t have that information, then it’s difficult to say. They may give full back pay, or they may only give back pay to a certain date. The best thing to do is contact the VA and ensure they have all required documentation, which usually includes documents such as a marriage certificate, birth certificate or adoption certificate, etc. You can ask them if you will receive back pay and from which date when you confirm they have the required documents. Best of luck, and thank you for your service!

    • Gary Morgan says

      I am wondering the same thing. I have had four more children since 2010, but I never notified the VA. I was always under the impression I was paid solely based on having dependents and having more than one would not make a difference. I already had four daughters when I was medically discharged in 2011. I only recently informed ebenefits when I went in to change my password on my account and after going through my file realized my divorce and remarriage were not in there and neither were my four new children, eight in total. I am wondering if the VA will back pay me for my four newest children since their birth. Additionally, according to the VA Compensation and Pension table and my current payment I am only receiving a check for “Veteran with Spouse and Child.” The additional payment for what should be 3 more children has not been coming to me. The amount has been the same for six years. I am wondering if they will pay me for this as well.

      • Victor says


        I don’t know if you already received the answer, however the VA will retro-pay the additional dependent allowance for no more than 1 year retroactively. If you read your award letter (even with your medical retirement) it will state that fact.

        Also, if you are not able to update your divorce and re-marriage through eBenefits, you may want to complete VA form 21-686c and submit that to the VA.

  107. Hakesa Mathews anderson says

    My husband is 100% disable and he claim me and my daughter but he don’t live with us nor do he support us how do I get compensation for this.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Hakesa, Thank you for contacting me. I wish I had an answer for you, but this is something you need to ask the VA: 1-800-827-1000. I wish you and your family the best.

  108. LaTonya says

    Hello. I have two children, ages 6 & 9, for a disabled veteran that collects a monthly VA disability check and the children live with me. Am I eligible for monthly benefits for my kids. Thanks

  109. Cate says

    What is the Additional for A/A spouse (see footnote b) – I tried to look it up but didnt’ see anything listed. Thanks

  110. Stephen says

    Hi Ryan,

    Thank you for this post! it helps answer some questions that I had. I received a VA disability rating in early 2011. My daughter was born May of 2011 and I have gone this whole time thinking that she was added to my disability claim. However, I found out recently that she was never added. She is 5 now and I have sent the info to the VA to have her added. Will I be able to get back pay from when she was born since I had a rating back then, or will it begin from when I sent in her info? Thanks for your help!

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Stephen, I’m glad you found this helpful. Back pay varies. It is generally paid back to the date you applied to have someone added to your claim. But it can be backdated prior to that date in some cases. For example, the VA will generally award back pay to the date of birth if your child is born in January, but you have to wait a few months to apply to add your child because you don’t have the SSN, official birth certificate and other required information. The same thing goes for marriages, as you need to wait for the marriage certificate.

      I don’t know what the window of opportunity is, or how far back they will back date for a birth. You may find that the VA will award back pay to the date of birth, or it may be to the date you applied to add her to your claim (or some time in between). Unfortunately, there is no way for me to tell you which will happen. Hopefully having her added to your claim will be a smooth process and won’t take long. I wish you the best and thank you for your service!

  111. Amber says

    My fiance just added our son who is 2 1/2, he was approved. we didnt think or realize to add him till now. He was recieving 100% beforw he was born will they give an backpay for our son from before we filed. since we didnt realize.

  112. Antonio says

    I’m a veteran receiving compensation at 100 percent. Long story short. I lost my rights to my first born child while I was serving in the army. Her mother married and they disappeared. My daughter now who’s 20 recently found me after 17 years! Is it possible to add her to my benefits,as to help her go to college? Her last name was changed when the marriage and adoption happened.

  113. Jeannette says

    My husband and I were divorced 42 years ago but we had one daughter together and she was born with disabilities. He is now receives 100% disability from the VA for himself and I remarried and my daughter was adopted by my husband. My ex-husband filed for disability benefits for my daughter that has disabilities but I was told that he could not receive benefits for her because he gave up for rights as a father when he gave her up for adoption is this fact or fiction? Thanks in advance for any information on this subject.

  114. Don says

    I have 30% rating. My son is 21 and graduated in December 2015 with a bachelors degree. Then in January, he went on to a community college part time to take more courses. Do I have to inform the VA of the changes? Will the VA cut him from my beneficiaries since he graduated college? Thanks in advance.

  115. Lori says

    I am a 23 year old daughter of a 100% disabled vet. My … My question is, if i get married will it cancel my collage benefits

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Lori, Thank you for contacting me. Here is a quote from the VA: “If you are a son or daughter and wish to receive benefits for attending school or job training, you must be between the ages of 18 and 26. In certain instances, it is possible to begin before age 18 and to continue after age 26. Marriage is not a bar to this benefit.” (Source). It doesn’t sound like it will cancel your benefits. I would call the VA to verify. Best of luck with your studies.

  116. Katy says

    My husband originally was awarded 100% disability in August 2014. We just added {submitted through benefits May 2016} me and our son to his award will be get back pay from August 2014?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Katy, you will need to contact the VA for a specific answer. In general, the VA awards back pay to the date the dependent is added to the claim. But sometimes they will go prior to the date the dependent was added. The VA should be able to give you a more detailed answer that is specific to your situation.

  117. Christopher P Carr says

    I added my 3rd child in may of 2015 after she was born (with documents needed, ss# card and birth certificate). it is now may of 2016 and she still hasnt been added to my claim. She IS on my champva, but not my monthly pay. Is there a number to call?

    Thank you

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Christopher, Thank you for contacting me. You can call the general VA customer service line at 1-800-827-1000

      They should be able to look into your claim and give you an update. As a side note: there is no expected timeline. I know people who had a dependent added to their claim within a couple weeks, and I know someone who had to wait over 2 years before their dependent was added. The good news is the VA should award back pay once your dependent is added to your claim. Best of luck, and thank you for your service!

      • Christopher P Carr says

        Thank you for the assistance. They finally added my daughter on july22nd. But they only back paid me to May of 2016 instead of 2015 . Would i call the same number to correct this?

  118. Amber Infante says

    Hello, my husband just received a rating of 90% last week. However, there are 14 items that state Deferred next to them. What does that mean? Will my husband’s compensation begin being paid after those items are decided? Also, one of our children was living with us and attending school when the claim was originally submitted. He has since moved out and is no longer going to school. Currently, it looks like dependency status is being decided on eBenefits. My question is this, can that son be removed on eBenefits? Since dependency is being decided, will that muck up the process? If so, will that delay the completion of claim? Thank you!

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Amber, Thank you for contacting me. Your son can be removed in eBenefits and it’s probably nest to do that now. Be sure to state the effective date your son left school. The VA should provide compensation for each month your son was a qualified dependent, but they need accurate information. So be sure to provide whichever forms you have available. I’m not sure what the “deferred” items are on his compensation claim. I would contact the VA for further information, or contact a veterans benefits counselor at a Veterans Service Organization such as the DAV, VFW, American Legion, etc. I hope this is helpful!

  119. William Fetsch says

    I’m a 100% disabled veteran receiving compensation from the VA. Our son is turning 18 but will be attending high school for another year as he was held back in first grade. How can I keep receiving compensation for him as my dependent?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello William, Here is some info for claiming children who are attending school:

      VA Form 21-674, Request for Approval of School Attendance. This form is used when your dependent child(ren) are over age 18, and are attending school. Child dependents are ineligible to be claimed past age 18 unless they are attending a qualified school, or they have special needs. You can download this form here: VA Form 21-674 (pdf).

      This form has instructions, but if you need further assistance, it would be a good idea to contact a Veteran Service Organization such as the DAV< VFW, American, Legion, etc. Best of luck, and thank you for your service!

  120. TJ says

    I’m former Air Force (10 years) and was recently approved at 100%. I got out of the service Dec 31, 1992. I first applied for compensation on March 4, 1994. I was denied. Now, some 25 years later, they approved me for the the service connected condition (Heart Disease 100% rated) which is a result of hypertension (sc but 0% rated). I simply want to know if it is possible to receive back pay for a condition (hypertension) that has caused the heart disease?

    My rate table shows:
    hypertension 0% Service Connected Dec 1992
    cardiomyopathy (also claimed as heart failure)
    100% Service Connected June 2014

    I had also re-applied in June 2014 and Oct 2015 prior to receiving my rating. Where should back pay begin? Thanks
    Thanks for your service!

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello TJ, Thank you for contacting me, and I’m sorry to hear about your health condition. Unfortunately, I don’t have a good firm for you. Your 0% rating by itself doesn’t warrant any compensation. If the condition with the 0% rating caused another health condition, then the VA will usually award compensation to the date the secondary condition was diagnosed and you were awarded the rating for that condition. So it’s possible you may receive compensation back to June 2014. However, I am not certain. I recommend speaking with a veterans benefits counselor at the DAV or a similar Veterans Service Organization. They should be able to help you understand your claim and the compensation. I hope this points you in the right direction. Best of luck, and thank you for your service!

  121. Tara Pasquini says

    I am currently receiving 10%. Back in December, the VVA assisted me with viewing my medical records and filed a new claim. I know I will not receive dependent pay until I reach the 30% mark or above, but Ebenefits did allow me to input my dependent information just last evening. It gave me the option to move forward with the request, knowing I am under the preferred rate. My question is with the information I provided, if I am accepted at a high enough rating, will dependent pay kick in, or will I have to resubmit after I reach the allowable percentage rating? My goal was to be proactive with them having the information as to prevent any further delays. Thanks for your help!

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Tara, Thank you for contacting me. The hope is that the VA would automatically give you the with-dependent rate. But if/when you get the higher rate, then it’s up to you to verify you are getting paid at the higher rate. That said, even if they don’t pay the higher rate immediately, the information should be in the system, and it should be faster to get it “turned on.” And the good news is the VA does provide back pay if you don’t get it immediately. I hope this helps. Best of luck, and thank you for your service!

  122. Garrett says

    I am rated 80%, but receiving 100% disability rate due U/I. I am claiming three dependents (wife, daughter, and son). My daughter graduates high school this May and has been accepted for college. How do I keep the dependent rate with three since she turns 18 prior to attending college? I have the form but don’t know what to put in the school section. Or do I have to submit the Request for School Approval form twice to the VA, one for the time period in high school (she turns 18 prior to graduating) and then again when she is actually attending college? Also, will I lose the with three dependents rate the period from the time she graduates high school to she starts college? Thanks.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Garrett, Thank you for contacting me. I would contact the VA for this information. They should be able to walk you through the process so you don’t miss anything. You could also enlist the services of a benefits counselor at a Veterans Service Organization such as the DAV, VFW, American Legion, etc. Most of them offer free benefits claims services. Best of luck, and thank you for your service!

    • McKnight says

      Garrett, did you ever get this answered? I am in a similar situation. My son turns 18 in a few weeks but will only be a senior in HS this year. I’m hoping they don’t stop payment for him (I am 50% disabled). Also, two years ago my daughter turned 18 on 5/31, graduated HS on 6/24, and started college in August. They stopped paying me for her in June and I am having a heck of a time straightening that out. There should be a simple way to let them know when kids are or are not in school from 18-23!

      • McKnight says

        Well, just got off the phone with VA – I completed the online change of dependents form and hopefully that will work. It was easy to change the school information. Wish I had known about this earlier (they should tell you that you can input school information under the “update dependents” tab!

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Travis, Thank you for contacting me. Yes, it looks like the form is no longer in VONAPP. Your best bet will be to fill out the form manually and submit in person or via the mail. I’ll update the article accordingly. I appreciate the head’s up. Best of luck, and thank you for your service!

  123. SB says

    The VA is completely ridiculous. Not once in 10 years has any of my paperwork regarding compensation stated that i was receiving extra benefit for a spouse. It has only had my 3 dependents as my children. If i would have seen that on any paperwork over the years, i would have called the VA right away to correct it. Now that i am going through a reevaluation, i am being told i will owe years worth of money back to the VA since they have been paying me for my ex-husband, as well as my children. Without ever knowing my ex was even being claimed as a dependent, and never seeing him on any of my paperwork – how was i supposed to know that i was supposed to notify the VA of my divorce? Does the VA pay back pay for 7-10-20 years when they make a mistake and don’t add dependents to a Veterans claim? No they don’t. Yet, they are quick to take money out of a Veterans pocket for something they weren’t even aware of!

  124. Ryan says

    Hi. I got divorced october 2011 and had two step kids as dependants and turned in my paperwork. I remarried february 2013 and had two step kids as dependants and since then had 2 more children of my own. Ive recently found out that the VA has not made any changes and thought i was waiting for the last 2 dependants to show up. I understand ill have to backpay from last divorce to this marriage but i wont have to pay for anything past my newest marriage date will I since it would be same amount payout at 70 percent disability rating?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Ryan, Thank you for contacting me. Yes, it seems like you will have to pay back the portion of the dependents pay you received between your marriages. If you filed your paperwork to have your stepchildren added to your claim, then you shouldn’t have to pay that back after your marriage date – provided the VA received that information and has updated it. The VA can update dependents in a couple weeks, up to a couple years. There is no standard, so I can’t tell you when they will be added if they haven’t already been added. You will need to contact the VA.

      As for back pay, the VA will usually just withhold a portion of your future payments instead of requesting a check from you. Again, you can contact the VA for more specific information. I hope this helps. Best of luck, and thank you for your service!

  125. SHJCUSMC says

    I had my disability rating increased from 10% to 50% disability (backdated to 8/1/14). Since it wasn’t necessary at my original rating, I never added my 6 year old daughter to the VA system. I am now adding her as a dependant, but she does not live with me full time. I was wondering if this will this affect the compensation increase? Or does it matter whether or not she lives with me 100% of the time? Also, will there be backpay for the last 1 year/7 months that I have been at 50% rating but did not have her listed? Thank you in advance for your response.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello SHJCUSMC, Thank you for contacting me. I believe you have to provide for at least 50% f the care for you to claim a dependent on your VA disability compensation. I’m not 100% certain how the VA determines this, as I haven’t been able to find the actual regulation. Back pay could be hit or miss. If the VA determines the amount of care you provide qualifies for the increased dependent rate, and you can proved your daughter was under your care at the time they approved your award date, then they may provide back pay to your initial award date. Otherwise, they may start it from the date you added her to your claim. The best thing to do is get the process started ASAP. You may find it helpful to contact a Veterans Service Organization to make sure you get this paperwork processed right the first time. Many of them also have good working relationships with the VA and may be able to help you expedite the claim. Best of luck, and thank you for your service!

  126. Krystle says

    Hello! I currently have a rating of 70%. I am married and have my step child on there also. I put in an intent to file back in November because I’m planning on making a new claim soon. My question is I’m filing for a divorce in the next few months and I will probably be divorced before my claim is processed. How will the back pay be paid? Will they give me the rate of married with one child until my divorce is final and then the rate of veteran alone for the remaining time? Thank you.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Krystle, Thank you for contacting me, and I’m sorry to hear about your divorce. The VA will calculate your back pay based on your situation for the month(s) in question. For example, if you are to receive back pay for 12 months but you were divorced at the 6 month point, you would receive back pay for the disability rate with a spouse and child for 6 months, and just a child for an additional 6 months. The VA will issue an award letter detailing how much you are paid for each month, based on your rating and number of dependents. Just make sure you send the copy of your divorce document to the VA once it becomes official. This way they have your up to date information and can have it processed accordingly. Best of luck, and thank you for your service!

  127. Kyle says

    I had my mother move in with me for 2 years now and never knew I could use this as I am 70% rated. Will the VA Back pay me for the 2 years she’s been living with me and I’ve been taking care of her? If I file the claim now will they back pay me from when I started giving her care?


    • Ryan Guina says

      Kyle, you will need to contact the VA. They have certain criteria for considering adult dependents, and which dates qualify. You will need to go through this process before they will be able to determine if they will award back pay.

  128. Johnnie Dockery says

    ..I am a veteran with 90%. Diabetes and PTSD, Vietnam. Can I claim my wife of 46 years as my dependent, and still get 10%

    • Ryan Guina says

      Johnnie, you should absolutely claim your wife as a dependent. I don’t know which 10% yo are referring to, so I’m not sure how to answer that part of your question.

  129. Byron Thomas says

    My wife and I are getting a divorce, we just recently finished the filing portion. I have 30% rating. when should i remove her from my dependents?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Byron, I’m sorry to hear about your divorce. I would remove your wife from your dependents list as soon as you have your divorce certificate and everything is official. Best of luck, and thank you for your service!

  130. Lorie says

    Hi, My husband gets VA disability compensation. We have 3 children of our own. In 2013, however, we were given court-ordered custody of his sister when their mom was terminally ill. We have been her legal guardians for 2 1/2 years. Would VA include her as a dependent under my husband or Would we have to legally adopt her? When we went to add her on e-benefits. It only gave us the option of biological, step-child, and adopted.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hi Lorie, you will need to contact the VA for more specific information. I believe the answer is she will need to be adopted. But the VA will give you the final ruling.

  131. Gloria Reid says

    I am retired from the military and rated 60% disabled. I receive a pension and a monthly disability check from the VA. I have been notified that I have not been paid for the past three months. I got married in 2005 and Divorce in 2015. I send VA eBenefits a copy of my Divorce papers . Stating that I no longer have any Dependents and send Tricare also They stated that I must pay them back money from 2005 until they stop my checks in October 2015. That is 10 years apparently I have to pay them back that money. They stated that they send me a letter but I have not got any mail from the VA only appointment letters. My rate of payment is at the single rate

    • Ryan Guina says

      Gloria, Thank you for contacting me. This isn’t something I am able to help with. I recommend contacting the VA directly. You could also try contacting a Veterans Advocate or Veterans Service Organization. They may be able to help you understand what happened, and if there is any possible recourse.

  132. Bryan says

    I am rated at 90% and have been since August of 2014. I was 30% up until then from 2008. I divorced in 2011. I knew my two children were listed as my dependents for my disability however I just noticed my ex wife is on there as well. I was poking around on the website trying to see if I needed to add my new wife (10/10/2015) and noticed my ex wife is listed. I am wondering if that is going to change anything with my pay. I thought I was only getting extra for my children because I received a letter when it was changed to 90% stating how much it will be reduced when they turn 18. Any info on that? Thanks.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Bryan, Thank you for contacting me. You will need to contact the VA to have them remove your ex-wife as a dependent. Be sure to explain the situation and let them know it was an accident. They will most likely withhold payments for some time to make up for the amount they overpaid you. Best of luck, and thank you for your service!

  133. Ro says

    My wife and I are getting a divorce. I have 2 school aged children. Right now I get paid for me, my spouse and 2 children. after the divorce is final will I get paid for myself and 2 children if she has 60% custody, or will I just be paid the single rate?

  134. Janet Jackson says

    My late husband was released from the Army in 1981 on a medical discharge and a few years later began receiving disability at 40%. Although we did see yearly COLAs, he never realized he should be adding dependents. We had 8 children between 1985 and 1997. He passed away in 1998. Is there a way to file and get back pay or is this too late and too old?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Janet, Thank you for contacting me, and I’m sorry for your loss. My understanding is that claims need to be made while they are still current. If your husband was still living and receiving benefits and the children were living at home, then he would be able to make a claim. The only exception I am aware of is if there was an error on the part of the VA. So if you can show there was an error on their end, it may be possible to file a claim. However, much time has passed and it may be difficult to prove there was an error on their part. I’m sorry I don’t have better news for you.

  135. Kristen c says

    I am a 30% veteran. I never really thought of adding dependents. I got out in December 2007, I was married in 2010, first child 2011,second child 2014, I was just informed that i could add dependents to my claim… I didn’t know this. So I added them, do I get back paid from 2010? Then when first second child was born?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Kristin, Thank you for your question. The VA typically only gives back pay to the date you originally filed your claim. If you didn’t originally include dependents in your claim, it would be the date you file a claim to add the dependents. In some cases the VA will give back pay up to a year previous to the time you filed. I don’t believe they will give back pay to 2010 unless you filed a claim at that point and they just didn’t process it until now. In the case of the child born in 2014, you may get back pay to that child’s birth.

      The best thing to do is file the claim immediately and see what happens. Keep in mind it may take several weeks, or even months for the VA to process your claim. In some cases it can take over a year. It depends which VA center processes your claim and how backed up they are. Best of luck, and thanks for your service!

    • greg gerrel says

      I’m in the same situation. Didn’t realize that it wasn’t automatic. Tax free 24 dollars for 7 years I lost. They didn’t say a word when I received compensation about needing to update. Needs to be added to compensation letter.

  136. Wilson says

    My husband and I have been married for 4 years and I have two children from a previous marraige that my husband is raising. Their dad is absent and has not seen them or paid child support in 2 years. Can my husband add my 2 children as a dependent on his VA beneifts?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Wilson, Thank you for contacting me. I believe the veteran must be a legal guardian in order to claim the children as dependents with the VA. Your husband will need to contact the VA to verify which steps need to be taken in order to legally claim your children as dependents. I hope this helps.

  137. amy says

    I am divorcing my husband can I contact the va and let them know that we are no longer together. since he was in the military and I was not? Also, how is it that he gets 100% for PTSD and work as well I am lost for words???

    • Ryan Guina says

      Amy, Thank you for contacting me, and I’m sorry to hear about your divorce. I wish you both the best going forward. Regarding contacting the VA about the divorce – I’m honestly not sure how that works. I believe it is up to the veteran to provide up to date information. I’m not sure if the VA will process information from someone who is not the actual veteran, or recognized caregiver.

      In terms of being able to work with a 100% disability rating, it can be legal to do so and still receive full benefits. If a veteran is rated 100% by the VA, they are still able to receive full VA benefits and can also work if able. If someone has a VA rating of less than 100%, but the VA determines they are unable to work, they may give them a Individual Unemployability rating, and a provisional 100% rating. In this instance, they can not hold substantial gainful employment. I hope this answers your questions, and I wish you the best going forward.

  138. Vera H says

    My husband and I are both veterans with service connected disability ratings 30% or greater. Do we both list each other and all of our children as dependents with the VA? Or should only one of us claim only our children, and not claim each other as dependents? I cannot find any information on how being married and both being disabled vets will affect how much we get paid each month.

    • Luis B says

      Hi Vera,

      From experience, I can tell you that both of you can claim your children and each other. I was in the same situation and recently found out it can be done. I was upset that I was not initially told this by my VA representative doing my claim since I had told them my wife was already claiming our children. You can add your children and your spouse through

      For the children it will be a quick process, you should have notification and pay withing a week. At least that is how long it took for me. You will also get some back pay. As for your spouse, you can add online but when its veteran adding veteran, they do it manually once they receive your claim. I am still waiting on this part myself and do not know how long it takes. I submitted mine about a month ago.

      I hope this information is helpful.

  139. Larry Sibley says

    I am retired from the military and rated 30% disabled. I receive a pension and a monthly disability check from the VA. I have been notified that I have been receiving disability at a married rate for the last 13 years and apparently I have to pay them back that money. I thought that money was taken out of my retirement to make it tax free and wouldn’t I have to pay them back tax money on that amount?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Larry, Thank you for contacting me. If the VA overpaid you, they are obligated to withhold future payments or request the amount be repaid. I’m not sure exactly how they will do this for your situation. It’s possible they will reduce future disability payments to make up for the over-payment, but I can’t say for certain. The best thing to do is contact the VA to determine exactly what they will do, when to expect the change, how long it will last, etc. After this 13-year error, you want to make sure you understand exactly what is happening so there are no more problems with your pay. Best of luck, and thanks for your service!

  140. GLENDA HELVEY says

    Is the VA checking marriage status on folks? Received letter from Louisville, KY Regional VA and I have 60 days to fill out 21-0538 or they will pay me without dependents. Have been married over 40 yrs, and drawing VA for 17 yrs! And I am retired so it isn’t coming out of their pocket since I am 40%. Too bad they cant take that “attention to detail” and focus on long overdue appeal cases as mine has been.

  141. Stefanie says

    What if you are separated from your spouse, living in different states for 3 years and he is still collecting your dependent pay? Is that legal?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Stefanie, Thank you for contacting me. I don’t have a good answer here. I’m sure it depends on whether or not it is a legal separation and other factors. I have not found an official VA reference for this, so I can’t give a direct quote or firm answer. You will need to contact the VA for further info.

  142. Tom says

    First off you have given some great advise here. My questions are.. Do my two children that currently live with there mom/ex-wife, 55% of the time, qualify under added dependents in regards to my compensation?
    If I add them will she or they receive any paper work from the VA?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Tom, Thank you for contacting me. VA Form 21-686c includes a space to list dependents who do not live with you. You should include that information in your claim. I do not know if the VA will not send either your spouse or your children any paperwork.

      As far as whether or not the children will qualify as dependents under this arrangement, I can’t say. The VA disability compensation page is vague on the subject, and the form listed above isn’t explicit either. I have previously searched for this information, but have been unable to find it. I will update this page if I find this information. Sorry I don’t have a better answer.

  143. Marlon says

    My son graduated from high school May 2015 and he is 18 yrs old. He will be attending a vocational trade school to become a automotive technician. I have a 50% disability rating. The first day of school starts on August 19, 2015. Do I wait until his school start before file I the VA Form 21-686c or should I file it now?



    • Ryan Guina says

      Hi Marlon, you should fill out VA Form 21-674, Request for Approval of School Attendance. I have updated the article to include this form. I would go ahead and send the form as soon as you have the required information. That will prevent or reduce processing delays. Thanks!

  144. brian says

    So I was divorced in October 2010 which was a very hard time for me and I completely spaced notifying the VA. However I remarried in November 2011 to my current wife and I am not sure if I should update my Ebenfits to reflect my current wife, for fear of affecting my current disability compensation amount. I don’t have a problem paying back overpayment because that is just the right thing to do, my concern is adding my now wife and the process taking a long time. I am was recently granted 100% P&T and my current wife is enrolled in CHAMPVA and has a dependent ID. What to do? Thanks Brian

    • Ryan Guina says

      Brian, Thank you for contacting me. I recommend correcting the situation as soon as possible. Explain the situation as it occurred and that it was an honest mistake. Also inform the VA you are willing to repay the amount that was overpaid, or have it deducted from future payments. The sooner you correct this, the better. Best of luck, and thanks for your service!

  145. Krystal says

    I had my son while on active duty, about two weeks later I was medically retired by in Jan. Between everything going on and my husband deployed I was unaware of the fact that I had to file through the website. I filed late May and was first told between Sept-Dec for a decision, now its Dec 15-Mar 16 for a decision. It took a friend of mine 2 years for his claim to be approve for dependents. So I have a feeling I probably wont see a decision for a very long time. I find this absolutely ridiculous that it should take so long for dependents. I understand about medical taking forever but this process should be easy and simple.

  146. Lisa says

    My daughter will be 18 in a month. Her father’s sibling told me he is receiving VA disability compensation. My daughter is owed $71,000 in back support. He was also to provide medical. She was on his military medical back in 2001. Her father is estranged and has worked under the table to avoid child support. He has not spoken to her since she was 6. Is she eligible to apply for appropriations from his disability. It looks like it is $182 a month. I believe something would be better than zero. Is she eligible???

    • Ryan Guina says

      Lisa, Thank you for contacting me. VA Disability compensation is only paid to the veteran. Veterans with a disability rating of 30% or greater are eligible to receive additional compensation if they have a qualified dependent (someone they provide financial support to). The compensation is paid to the veteran to help support the additional dependents, it is not paid to the dependent.

      If he is not claiming her as a dependent, then he should not be receiving the additional funds for having her as a dependent. If he is claiming her as a dependent through the VA, but he is not actually providing for her, then he may be committing fraud. This is something the VA would need to determine.

      I don’t know the situation here, so I can’t tell you what is happening, or what to expect. The best thing to do may be to contact a lawyer who specializes in these types of situations. I wish you the best.

  147. Reece Anderson says

    Hello. I am retired and rated at 80% disability. I recently got engaged, so my question is after we are married, what VA benefits will my wife be entitled to? I’m not 60 yet, so Tricare isn’t a concern. I really don’t know (and don’t know where to find the information) what medical, financial, etc. benefits she will be eligible for. Thank you for your help.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Reece, Thank you for contacting me. Military and veterans benefits often vary for each person, depending on various factors, including their discharge status, when and where they served, disability rating, etc. The best thing you can do is get an individualized benefits counseling session. You can do this through the VA, or through a Veterans Service Organization such as the DAV, VFW, American Legion, etc.

      Once you are married, you should add your spouse to your claim, this will increase your monthly compensation payment, because your rating is over 30%. You will also want to enroll your spouse in DEERS to make sure she can obtain a military dependent ID card, which will allow her base access, and will be required when you add her to TRICARE. I hope this points you in the right direction.

  148. nelson says

    Hello. I retired last July 2014. I have a stepchild (19 y/o) who is in college,and currently residing and studying in the Philippines. She has a green card, a dependent ID and a SSN. I have put in a claim for her as my dependent last Nov 2014. Does VA approve claims and provide entitlements for dependents who are studying college in the Philippines?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Nelson, Thank you for contacting me. To be honest, I’m not 100% certain the process for verifying college studies overseas. I recommend contacting the VA. Best of luck, and thanks for your service!

  149. alicia says

    Hello, when I had my son i had him added to my disability. I am rated at 100%. Now my son does not live with me and is living with his uncle. Am i still entitled to receiving dependent pay even though he is not living with me. I do pay child support.

  150. Joel says

    I filed my claim at retirement in Aug 2014, and got my rating back in Jan 2015. When I got my rating back I noticed that none of my dependent children were on my claim and re-filed to add them that same week. My question is will I get back pay for them to the date of retirement or do I only get it from the date that I noticed the error and re-filed?

  151. RENEE says

    My husband just recvd his letter in the mail from VA, he is 100% disabled, Can I as the spouse return to college and recv another degree in another field, I already have a Masters degree in Management and would like to get a degree in Human Reource? Also is their a stipend with the education benefits? We reside in Georgia.

  152. Matt Pavlisko says

    Just curious- I am rated at 30% disability, but my wife is at 50%. We have 3 children, and she just claims them? Can I also claim them as well? Can she claim me as a spouse and vise versa?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hi Matt, based on my understanding, you can both claim each other and your children because you are all qualified dependents. It’s not like active duty where only one servicemember can claim BAH with dependent rate, or anything like that. Each VA claim is considered independently of anything else.

  153. Ruben Frias says

    Is there a maximum amount of dependents you can claim? When I retired medically in 2011, the VA did so as single with no spouse or dependents. Go figure. We had been married for 16 yrs with 6 children at that point. It took me three years to fix it and when it was done, the VA had the numbers wrong again. They added my wife and 4 of the 5 that were under 18, and never included my oldest that was under 18 for two years, then went to college,then got married in her 3rd yr of college.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Ruben, Thank you for contacting me. To my knowledge there is no limit on the number of dependents, provided they are all qualified by the VA’s definition. Regarding your college age child – they should have counted her up until the age of 18, at which point you would have been required to send in a form stating she was still in college. Then she would have been a qualifying dependent until she got married.

  154. Robyn White says

    Hello Ryan,
    Please help. My ex husband has been receiving disability from the military for years. My question is, is our son supposed to be receiving support also ?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Robyn, No, your son would not receive direct support from the VA. Here is how the process works: Disability compensation is only given to the veteran if the veteran has a disability rating of 10% or higher. The veteran will also be eligible to receive additional compensation if they have a rating of 30% or higher, and they have what the VA considers to be a qualified dependent. However, any additional compensation for dependents is only paid to the veteran, so the veteran can better provided for his/her dependents.

  155. Dustin says

    I just discovered today that I should be getting more money. I have four children ages 3 to 7. No one ever told me i could get money for them. So I called the VA and they said I was receiving benefits at a rating for 100 percent for myself and my spouse, no children. All of my children were born when I was given my rating and effective date, when I add them will I get get retro pay to the date I started receiving benefits?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Dustin, Thank you for contacting me. The VA normally gives back pay when you file to add a dependent within a few months of the dependent being born. I’m not sure how it works when 7 or 3 years have passed. Sometimes the back pay only goes back to the date you file to add the dependents to your claim. Your best bet is to ask the VA how this will work.

  156. Mary says

    Hello Ryan,

    Thank you for your service too! Sorry for the delay but I wanted to thank you for checking on that information for me.

    Take care,

  157. sam says

    I have been married since Sept 2009. I got out of the Marine Corps after 6 years of service in October 2012. I filed my VA claim just before I got out. I was approved for VA healthcare December 2013. Just a few months ago I was told by a VA rep I was not receiving pay for my spouse. I filed to add my spouse and the rep said I would get back pay. Is this true? That would be around sixty bucks over a thirty month period coming to about 1800$. I don’t know if that’s true and I am asking for some verification. I will appreciate the help. Thank you

    • Ryan Guina says

      Sam, The VA will normally give back pay to the date you filed your paperwork, provided you included all the correct information. For example, if your dependents were correctly listed on your VA claim when you originally filed it, they should give you back pay to the date you filed. If you later added a dependent, back pay is normally given to the date you filed to add the dependent. I’ve heard there can be some exceptions, but that is how things normally work. I hope this helps. Best of luck, and thanks for your service!

  158. Mary says

    Thank you Ryan! Is there any documents that I can goggle on this? My husband and daughter lives with me but since he is still on active duty, he (my husband) was never my dependent in the eyes of the Navy and my daughter he claims as his dependent on his page two. However, they are still my spouse and child… Thank you again, Mary

    • Ryan Guina says

      Mary, I couldn’t find the specific documents that show the law concerning dependents for VA purposes. However, the claim form doesn’t list any questions regarding whether or not the spouse can claim you or your children as a dependent for military purposes, or for VA purposes. The VA is separate from the military system, and in this case, you should be able to claim your spouse and children as dependents for VA purposes. Best of luck with your claim!

  159. Mary says

    Hello, I just retired and became a veteran. My husband is active duty so do I get to claim he as my spouse. What about my children, he claims them as his dependents so does that mean I cannot claim as my children?

    Thank you!

    • Ryan Guina says

      Mary, The VA allows you to claim all legal dependents on your VA disability claim. This includes your spouse, children, or other authorized dependents (for example if you care for another adult). Typically, this means the dependents must live with you and you must provide for them financially. The VA will be able to assist you with any questions you may have when you fill out your claim. Or you can use the assistance of a Veterans Service Organization, many of which offer free benefits claims assistance. Some examples include the DAV, VFW, American Legion, etc. Best of luck with your claim, and thank you for your service!

  160. Deborah says

    Has anyone had the VA drop one of your eligible dependents? My husband has a 50% disability rating. When our oldest son turned 18 in Nov 2012, his benefit amount was reduced despite the fact that he was a senior in high school. My husband filed a claim to reestablish him as a dependent. However, it still has not happened. Our son is currently in his second year of college and our youngest son will turn 18 in the fall and will also be a senior in high school.

  161. Ernest says

    I was married(2006) prior to receiving disability when I file(2009) and now I am getting a divorce and I went to look at the difference of pay for the first time and I notice I have never been getting paid with spouse for my disability.. I am sure when I file that my marriage was accounted for what could I do about that?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Ernest, Thank you for contacting me. If you have a record of your original disability claim and you can prove that your spouse was on your claim, then the VA should give you back pay for the dates your spouse was on your claim, but you didn’t receive that additional compensation. If you don’t have proof that your spouse was on your claim, I’m not sure there is anything you can do, other than add your spouse now, then remove her from your claim after your divorce is finalized.

  162. Peter says

    I have been maried for 30 years and retired for five. I receive disability and noticed the pay chart on line. I am not receiving the amount for spouse. Will the VA back pay the five years or just back to today when I noticed the error?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Peter, Thank you for contacting me. The VA will usually only back pay to the day the claim was filed, or the date the dependent was added to the claim. So if you had your dependent on your initial claim and there was a clerical error on the VA’s part, you may receive back pay to the date you began receiving your VA compensation. If you are just adding your dependent to your claim now, then you would likely only receive back pay to the date you filed to add your dependent.

  163. Ryan says


    I receive 100% C&P and just had a daughter January of 2014. I filed to add her as a dependent February 2015. Its March, and they have increased my payment by hundred dollars. My question is, will the VA back pay me from the date of my daughters birth or from when I filed to add her.Thanks


    • Ryan Guina says

      Ryan, Thank you for contacting me. The VA will typically provide back pay to the date you file the dependency request. Sometimes they will go back to the birth date or marriage date if you were awaiting documentation to provide the VA (such as a SSN, birth certificate, marriage certificate, etc.). In your case, I’m not certain which way it will go. Back pay is normally made separately from your regular payment, so if they do give you back pay, it would come in a different payment. The best I can tell you is to contact the VA and ask them to look at your profile. They should be able to give you a definite answer. Best of luck, and thanks for your service!

  164. Gary McKnight says

    Ok, I have a question. I have read some of the answers with regard to the date of retro pay when filing a dependent claim. And the response is “you should receive back pay from the date you filed”. My question, is that date from the time the ORIGINAL disability claim was filed or the date the DEPENDENCY claim was filed? If anyone could clarify this, I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you

    • Ryan Guina says

      Gary, Thank you for contacting me. If you included your dependents on your original claim, then the back pay should be to your original claim date (provided you met the minimum 30% disability rate or higher). If you did not have dependents on your claim when you filed, then the back pay would be to the date the dependency claim was filed. I hope this answers your question.

  165. Anthony says

    So, I am a disabled veteran with 40% rating. I am engaged to a woman who is pregnant with my child, and has one of her own. Can I receive additional compensation for her and the children?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Anthony, Thank you for contacting me. You can only receive additional compensation for legal dependents. So you would only be eligible to receive compensation for your fiance if the two of you get married. To receive compensation for her daughter, I believe you would have to legally adopt her – but you may wish to verify. You would, however, be eligible to receive additional compensation for your daughter after she is born, because she would be your legal dependent upon birth. I hope this helps. Best of luck, and thanks for your service!

  166. Tena says

    I am a 60% disabled veteran. I waited 10 years after I retired to submit my claim, I submitted it and receive compensation currently. My problem is when I applied, I annotated on the first page of the app my husband, also a disabled veteran, his SSN etc. On the second page I entered my prior marriage. When I was approved for compensation they paid me at the single rate. I immediately called the VA and asked why I was not receiving the additional for my husband, I was told I could not claim him as a dependent because he is claiming me. Nothing I could do about that. Recently here at work we had a VA rep come in for training, he told all of us that if you are two veterans, disabled and married you can claim each other. I immediately called the VA, I was approved immediately, not to when I originally was approved but to when I called and reported my husband. It is frustrating because I did in fact call, I have no reason to make that up. I can file a NOD, but I think they will deny me because the form was filled out wrong, which was deceiving to begin with. A person would think by filling out the page with all the info about your present spouse, you would have to enter it again under marriages. Any recommendation? thank you very much

    • Ryan Guina says

      Tena, I recommend contacting a Veterans Service Officer at a veterans organization such as the DAV, VFW, American Legion, etc. They generally offer free veterans benefits claims assistance and can help you one on one. Best of luck, and thanks for your service!

  167. Natalie says

    I was divorced in August of 2011. I submitted my VA Form to have my spouse taken off of my record. Unfortunately, when I received a letter in Mar 2012 showing my summary of benefits I thought it was an update because of my divorce. I received a call last month telling me my claim for the divorce was being handled now. Due to the backlog it took 40 months to be processed. I now owe quite a bit of money back to the VA. Had I have went on the VA website much earlier and checked the compensation rates ( I honestly didn’t know they were posted) I would have known I was being paid too much. Im not sure if VONAPP was available in 2011 to change my records online but that is probably the way to go for anyone in the future.

  168. heather phelps says

    1. Im currently recieving disability compensation with a 70% rating. Im recieveing $1142.89 for vereran only but noticed the pay table shows $1331. Is there a reason im not recieving the $1331?

    2. How can I remove previous husband and add my current husband and 2 step children both under 18.

    3. Can I add my mother in law as a dependant if she is under my care?

  169. Blas says

    Do I need to submit copies of my divorce papers along with the declaration of status of dependents? I got divorced last week. Thanks.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Blas, Sorry to hear about your divorce. I know you are required to submit official documentation when you add a dependent, but I am not sure if that is required to remove a dependent. I recommend contacting the VA to double-check.

  170. Antoine says

    Hello…. My question is my lil sister is 30 years old & just met her dad who is in his 60’s now. At the time when she was born he was active in the service. He now is a disabled veteran.. Is there any way she can get backpay for ages 1-18 for being the only child of a vet?? I know its been a while.. I was just curious & we are trying to figure this out… Thanks..

    • Ryan Guina says

      Antoine, I hope your sister is able to form a lasting relationship with her father. Unfortunately, the VA does not give back pay to dependents. The additional income is given to the veteran, and is to be used to help support the dependent. In addition, the veteran must have submitted a claim for the dependent while she was of an eligible age. In this case, I do not believe it is possible to make a claim for these benefits.

  171. Mr. Nelson says

    Hello Ryan,

    Great News!!!! My wife was finally approved as a dependent:) I was retro paid from the date I filed my paper work. I was told several times again and again that she would not be approved due to no SSN (legal status). I filed her iTIN with the VA and sent my Marriage Cert via ebenfits and the regional office in los angeles. Also on a separated note the VA said that they made an error on my 0% IBS and raised it to the full max which is 30% (retro for that also). So just save all your paper work and constantly do follow ups. DO NOT GIVE UP!!!

  172. Dawn says


    Have you heard that the VA has hired an contractor to help process claims to add dependents? I call the VA yesterday and was told about this. The VA rep copied my information from the form I sent in to another new sheet and emailed to the contractor to process. I was told I will receive a letter in the email, in about 15 days.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Great news, Dawn! I know several people who had to wait over two years to have a dependent added or removed from their claim. Best of luck, and thanks for your service!

  173. Jeremy says

    In December 2014 my son turned 2 years old and I added him to my dependents. Will I receive retro from the date he was born or no? Thanks

    • Ryan Guina says

      Jeremy, Normally, you will only get back pay to the date you filed. Sometimes back pay will be back to the date the status changed, if filed right away (for example, you could file a month or two after birth and still get the back pay to the birth month if you are awaiting a birth certificate). My recommendation is to call the VA and ask for the official policy, so you know how to plan for it. Also, keep in mind that some people have reported it taking up to two years to have a dependent added to a claim. Other people have had it go through in a couple months. So it’s best to stay up on things. Best of luck, and thanks for your service!

  174. Courtney Prudhomme says

    I came across this article doing a search on this dependent form. My daughter’s biological father sent me this form and said he needed my daughter’s information (social security number and such) to get HER money. I need to add he has abandoned her since she was 2 yrs old and has not contributed to her care since she was born. He claims that if I give this info to him and he fills it out – they will mail the money to my daughter. I dont think this is true but wanted to get second opinion before calling V.A. office. From what I have read online it seems it increases HIS check. Also it seems she couldnt’ be called a dependent of his since he pays zero dollars and cares for her zero amount of time. Do you have any clue about this type situation?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Courtney, Your assumption is correct – additional payments for dependents are made to the veteran, and not to the dependent. There are no separate payments made. These additional payments are designed to help the veteran better support their dependents. To legally claim a dependent, the veteran must financially support the dependent. Based on the scenario you explain, I would not give this information to the veteran unless there was a court order stipulating he is required to provide financial support for his daughter.

  175. Mr. Nelson says

    Hi Ryan,

    I applied for VA benefits in May 2013 and was approved in June 2013. When I applied for my benefits I was already married and my son was 5 months old.

    My wife is not from the United States, but she does have an iTIN number.

    Also according to the rules for the VA , “spousal status is predicated on a valid marriage under state law”

    We were Married in the State of California in March 2013.

    Is she still accepted as a dependent according to the VA?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Mr. Nelson, Based on the information you provided, I would think so. But I recommend double-checking with the VA. You can also try contacting e Veterans Service Officer to help you with this topic. They will be able to help you file any additional paperwork if required. Best of luck, and thanks for your service!

  176. Mr. Nelson says

    To all the people that are waiting for their dependents to be added. I waited about 20 months and my son was added, finally! (this is not including my wife).

    I was retro paid and the money we received we went out to Disneyland as a family 🙂

    I know it becomes stressful, as long its pending you should be good.

    A trick I discovered was I went to talk to my Voc Rehab counselor and she was a able assist me in adding my dependents. (I hope that can help someone).

    • Matt Coyne says

      My Rehab Rep said no I can’t help that’s a “VA thing” When I originally applied and received my 70% I was told I had to wait to ad my wife… It’s been over two years and when I reapplied, the second time they changed the application date to the later application time. Games? No One cares

  177. Mr. Nelson says

    Hi John,

    I applied for VA benefits in May 2013 and was approved in June 2013. When I applied for my benefits I was already married and my son was 5 months old.

    My wife is not from the United States, but she does have an iTIN number.

    Also according to the rules for the VA , “spousal status is predicated on a valid marriage under state law”

    We were Married in the State of California in March 2013.

    Is she still accepted as a dependent according to the VA?

  178. John says

    My son turned 18 in July 2012 and began college full time the next month. The VA has not yet added him to the compensation. All I get is the claim is received. I actually have letters from my Congressman, the VP Joe Biden and the former head of the VA. I have been calling quarterly and no joy. I even offered to go in person but my Congressman said it would not do any good. Is there nothing we can do? One sheet of paper?

    • Ryan Guina says

      John, I’ve heard reports that adding and removing dependents can take over two years, or as little as a month. Unfortunately, I’m not aware of anything that can be done to speed up the process. I hope this is resolved for you ASAP. Best of luck, and thanks for your service!

  179. Rebecca Coleman says

    Fortunately, I was able to add my new husband relatively quickly. Married in Mar 2014, attempted filing online in Jun 2014, finally filed online in October 2014…received VA letter in late Nov 2014 with new amount.

    Ryan: Will I get retroactive increase w/depn back to date of marriage? or only back to date of claim? All was done within a year…I see conflicting posts.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Rebecca, I have seen conflicting information as well. Typically you will receive back pay to the date you filed, however, it can sometimes be extended a little before that if you were waiting on documentation to add the dependent for your claim. In your case, I would expect to receive back pay to the date you filed, and consider it a bonus if you get it back to your wedding date. Sorry I don’t have a more exact answer.

  180. Kim says

    My daughter is a full time college student and I am rated at 70%. she is currently registering for the next semester but is having problems with the classes she needs to remain full time which will problem take her 3/4 time. VA is still adding her to my compensation AGAIN (her 18th birthday was one month after they added her–literally took 2 years). Will she be dropped if she is not full time? I rather not take unnecessary classes just to remain on my compensation I am not receiving for her.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Kim, I believe she needs to attend college full-time to be considered a dependent. However, it is best that you contact the VA to verify this. The difference at a 70% disability rating is $182 per month. So it’s fairly substantial. Best of luck, and thanks for your service!

    • Ryan Guina says

      Jesmilee, You will need to contact the VA by phone. Some veterans have recently reported it has taken over two years to have the dependent claim updated. You should receive back pay to the effective date of claim if you are adding a dependent. Best of luck.

  181. Spc. Jack Smith says

    I am going through the same thing. My son is over 2 years old now, and has yet to be added to my disability compensation. Every time I contact the VA they provide different information about this so called “process”. If they are so backlogged then why? Seems like nobody is doing there job there at all. Logon to E-benefits, it tells you the estimated wait time on dependency claims is 4 months. This badly needs updating. Anyone that has any information at all about how to actually get a dependent added to your compensation please share.

  182. Jeff says

    My compensation has been changed from 20 to 30%, therefore I am adding my dependents. My spouse and one child lives with me while my other daughter lives with her mother. Are both children used in the calculation of the compensation? Both children are under 18 years old.

    Thank you

  183. JShoe says

    What do you do when you sent the information to be changed but it was not changed by the VA? I recently received a verification form in the mail and it still listed my ex wife that I previously submitted to be removed.

  184. George Taxiarhopoulos says

    I am 40% disabled and got married 5 years ago. I was not aware there are higher rates for veterans with dependents. I also have 2 step children and 3 year old of my own. I believe I will receive higher rates when I apply, but will I receive retro pay from the time I was married?

    • Ryan Guina says

      George, You will normally receive back pay from the date you file your claim, not to the day you were married or first eligible. So you should file as soon as possible. Best of luck, and thanks for your service!

  185. Robert says

    Hi , I am at 20% and have been since 1991. I had a child, of whom I have sole custody, in 2005 that has been diagnosed with severe ADHD and Anxiety. He is currently on a meds cocktail to help him, but it only helps a bit. Symptoms of the ADHD and Anxiety still present themselves with the medication. The doctors and treatment really put a burden on my finances. I recently was told by a more savvy compensated vet that I may get dependent level VA Disability payments vs. Non-dependent. You had mentioned that under 30% compensation may be awarded under certain circumstances. Do you think I would qualify or is each case based upon their own set of circumstances?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Robert, Thanks for contacting me. Unfortunately, this isn’t something I am aware of. I recommend contacting a Veterans Service Officer at a Veterans Service Organization such as the VFW, DAV, American Legion, etc. They offer free benefits claims assistance and can help you with your specific situation.

  186. Ashley says

    I filed a paper claim thru mail to add my spouse and my son, and haven’t gotten confirmation that it was received, how long does that take? I’m concerned I didn’t send it to the right office, I sent it to the office that sends me my veterans id.

  187. Jess says

    If an ex does not remove you as a dependent, what can be done and how by me, anonymously?
    I have reason to believe my ex has been using myself and our son to gain more money from the VA. I have had no part and want no part in this type of fraud and would like it looked into.

  188. Dj says

    If a veteran was paid for and accident that had taking place in service. Does the dependant of the veteran at that time which was 15 years ago get back compensation pay?

    • Ryan Guina says

      DJ, Compensation pay is only for the veteran. The veteran may receive additional compensation if they have a disability rating of 30% or higher. That payment would be made directly to the veteran. Under certain circumstances, there may be additional benefits which are paid to the veteran. The dependent does not receive any direct monetary compensation.

  189. Casey says

    My husband and I had our first daughter while he was still active duty and so when he was done with his active duty she was automatically added onto his disability. In October 2012 we had our second daughter and we are still fighting to get her added on to his disability (It is now November 2014). We have daughter #3 on the way also and I fear it will take years to get her added on as it has taken with our second daughter. Is it normal for it to take this long to get a child added onto the veteran’s disability? Is there something he can do to make this process go faster? Someone he can contact directly about the fact this has taken so long?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Casey, Unfortunately, this is relatively common. I’ve heard of it taking over two years to get a dependent added to a compensation claim. I am unaware of how this can be pushed through more quickly (the VA is seriously backlogged with claims). My only recommendation is to contact the VA and ask them about the process, how long it should take, and if someone can push it through for you.

      The good news is the VA will give you back pay dated to the date of your child’s birth if you filed the claim right away. So you may be in for a several hundred dollar payment when the claim goes through. Future payments would be at the full rate. I hope this helps.

      • Paul Besendorf says

        Casey don’t feel bad my wife and I have been working to get her added now for the last year or so, I cant remember the number of calls I have placed just to get told that they are not sure why it hasn’t gone through, at one point in time they had my ex- girl friend and I listed as married and were wanting our divorce paper’s that alone took 3 months to clear up I just hope and pray they got it all taken care of for a change.

        God Bless and congratulations on the 3rd child
        Paul A.Besendorf

  190. Shanon says

    My ex husband is claiming our daughter on his VA, and doesn’t have any custody of her, and she has never lived with him since our divorce. Can he legally do this? And what do I do to report this? I found out through the VA office that he was claiming her and I told them about this and they said they could not talk about his claim at all with me.

  191. Crystal says

    I may add my son lives with me and always has. My husband also gives a mutual agreed allotment amount to my bank account

  192. Crystal says

    My husband and I are separated and have been since he joined the military. We do not have any legal paper work and I still receive Tricare and am listed as his wife in DEERS. We have a 6 year old son. We live in 2 different states. He was hurt last year and got back his second offer of 0%navy 80%VA. He sent it back. My question is are me and my son entitled to anything and if so how would I find out. As he keeps me in the dark about everything. I’m not sure he listed me as a spouse idk how it works. Thanks

  193. David Dittiger says

    I am getting full custody of two of my grandchildren. Can I add them as dependents to increase my disability compensation income? Also can I add them to DEERS for my Tricare health insurance so they can be seen by same doctors as my wife and children?

  194. Vera says

    We filed paperwork to add me as a dependent to my husband’s disability claim in August 2012. I never did change my name through social security. Will that delay the claim? Lord knows we have already waited long enough. Also, we contacted our congressman who said that it might be possible for me to receive champva benefits and also school compensation while we wait, providing I file the paperwork. Is there any truth in this? Thank you for any help you can offer.

    • Ryan Guina says


      To be honest, I don’t know if not changing your name will cause any issues. Regarding additional compensation such as CHAMP VA or education benefits, I can’t really answer that. Your best bet is to visit a veterans benefits counselor in person to go over all the benefits you may be eligible to receive. This is the only way someone can give you specific answers to your queries.

      The good news is there are many organizations that offer free assistance for veterans benefits claims and they should be able to answer your questions. Here is a link to some of those Veterans Service Organizations. Best of luck!

  195. TECK says

    I submitted my disability claim 8/26/2013 with the VA and after almost a year 8/19/2014 my claim was finally complete (or so i thought). I was given a rating of 30% but only receiving pay for the single persons rate. So after i realized this i finally found the application to add dependents.

    First. Why in the world would I have to file a separate application to show that I am married and have dependents when they are clearly listed in DEERS, and I am sure many other places that the VA has access to?

    Second. Because I filled out an application 8/25/2014 for dependency does this mean i will only be back paid from this date or will back pay be awarded from my original compensation date of 8/26/2013 like it should be?

  196. TJ says

    I had submitted my claim 8/1/2013 to RE-instate my child (1 (graduated high school and going to collage)) on my claim, it has been a a year now and nothing! My child is starting her second year in collage and still nothing! I get a different answer from these people every time I call ( all Lies!). its now 8/1/2014 and still nothing……all I can say is, its a good thing I served all these years fighting for these peoples rights to jerk around and lie to a disabled Vet!

  197. Shane says

    Thanks Ryan. I have been service connected since 2006. But I just added my wife and dependents. So I was optimistic they would backpay me for the time I was married and hadn’t notified them. Thanks.

  198. Shane says


    Thanks for all that you do. I just recently found out that you receive more pay for dependents. I’ve been married for exactly 3 years, with 1 step son who is 6 and a son who is almost 2. I just submitted my claim today. Will I receive backpay to the time I was married? Thanky you!

    • Ryan Guina says

      Shane, thanks for sending in your question. Typically, back pay is only good back to the date you originally filed your claim. There are times when they will back date the claim before your filing date, but usually not more than a couple months. An example would be when you have a child and need to wait a month or so to get the required paperwork, such as the child’s Social Security Number. A similar example could be made for awaiting a marriage certificate. The key is to file as soon as you can.

      Right now some claims are taking over two years to be processed (and some are being processed within a week; it depends on your region, the complexity of your claim, and other factors). If your claim is approved several months from now (or longer) they will back date your pay to the date of the claim. In your case, it’s possible your claim will only be backdated to the date you made the claim, or possibly a short amount before that. It’s unlikely they will backdate your pay the full three years unless you can provide a reason for the delay.

  199. Drew says

    Hello all. I filed a dependency claim in May 2013 and Ebenefits still says it is under review. I contacted my V.A. rep and he told me to file a new claim on Ebenefits. I have since filed a new claim and it got approved in 1 day. My question is will I get back pay for the claim I filed in 2013 or since I filed a new claim will I not receive any back pay? Thanks!

    • Ryan Guina says

      Drew, Congrats on getting your claim approved – it has taken some people over two years to get a claim approved, so a claim approval in one day is amazingly fast! Normally you will receive back pay from the date of your initial claim request. However, they may not consider your first claim since it was your second claim that was approved. You may need to contact the VA to ensure they have the date of record for your initial claim. You should be able to fight this if it isn’t approved, but you may need to enlist the assistance of a Veterans Service Officer. Here are some recommendations of groups that offer free assistance from VSO’s.

      Best of luck, and thanks for your service!

  200. Johnie says

    Ryan, I filled out the VA Form 21-686c to add my son as a dependent back on May 31 2012. It is now July 1 2014 and I still have not gotten my son added onto my disability compensation. Every time I have called to ask questions I have to leave a message so the VA can call me back at a later date. Is there a good number to call to discuss dependent status claims? I appreciate your time.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Johnie, it is taking some people at least two years to receive word of their claim. Hopefully your claim will be resolved soon. AS for a call-in number, I don’t have one, other than the standard 1-800 number. Best of luck, and thanks for your service!

  201. James says

    I want to add my newborn son and I am waiting for his SSN. If I do it through ebenefits to get an earlier start date, can put the SSN in later?

    Regards, James

    • Ryan Guina says

      To be honest, I’m not positive, James. My recommendation is to make the claims request with all the information complete at the time you make the request. There is a serious backlog processing these claims and you want to have everything complete so your claim isn’t rejected. (by serious backlog, I’ve heard stories of some claims taking well over two years to complete, even with all claims information complete at the time it was submitted). Don’t give the VA a reason to deny your claim, or place it back on the processing pile. Best of luck!

  202. eraptor76 says

    I sent a letter to my congressman and the VA said that my case was with a counselor 1 month ago for my dependency claim and still nothing two years later they cannot fix sorry problems

  203. Tony says

    I filed a dependantcy claim Dec 2012 and still haven’t gotten compensation for it yet. Still says sorry for the delay etc. 1 year and 6 months so far. I was told by a va rep on the phone that it’s taking between 18 months and 2 years for dependantcy claims. So ridiculous! ! I might write my Congressman because this is so unamerican!

  204. Rebecca says

    When my husband’s enlistment was up, he retrieved a 65% disability rating. At that time he only had 2 dependents. Me, and our oldest son. We recently sent in the form to add our other 2 children that we have had since then. He then got a letter in the mail stating he had to be re-evaluated for his disability. Should we be worried about that? we are kind of worried they will try to take away some of his rating to lower his monthly payment he receives. We are now feeling like we messed with a good thing and shouldn’t have tried to add our other children.

  205. David says

    Thanks Ryan. I just hate the fact of women trying to get their ex’s military disability benefits. Another question. How much can dependents be alloted?

    • Ryan Guina says

      David, Here is the rate chart for disability benefits. In 2014, a 60% rating is $1,041.39 per month. With one child dependent, the rate is $1,105.34. The difference is $63.95 per month. Each additional child under age 18 is $47.50 per month. The rates are also different if you have a spouse, adult dependent (such as a parent), etc.

  206. David says

    I am a Veteran rated at 60%. My ex says she has a child that is mine and wants a dna test. After the child is proven to be mine she said she will go to the VA and add him as my dependant. Can she do that without my consent?
    Navy Vet

    • Ryan Guina says

      David, So far as I am aware, another individual cannot submit a claim to the VA on your behalf. However, this may not be the case if there is a court order. At that point it would be up to the courts. Also, I believe the VA disability rate with dependents assumes you have custody of the dependent. So for her to force the benefit to go through, I believe you would have to have partial custody of the child. It may be a good idea to visit with a lawyer if it goes that far.

  207. Orianne Hyppolyte-Glover says

    The form is now available on ebenefits. I filed for an additional dependent on yesterday. Wonder how long this process will take and if I will receive backpay.

  208. Jeremy says

    Hello Ryan

    Thanks for the info. After logging into Vonapp there is not an option in the drop down tab for form 21-686c. The only thing I see is to the left of the page that gives a brief description about the form, but nothing else. I sure hate calling VA or mailing the form in. Can you help me with this please.


  209. Michael Palmer says

    I was divorced in 1998 and remarried in 2005. I was in VA VOC REHAB at the time and filed the paper form to update my dependency status. I have been sent the paper form several times when either my disability status has changed or when my eldest son turned 18. Each time, I have filled the form out and sent it in. Now, February 2014, the VA is processing a change to remove my ex-wife. I don’t think they got the information for the change from one of the forms I filed years ago, so I think it is from signing up for service disabled life insurance and naming my current wife as beneficiary. Thus, they will probably take my ex-wife off and not add my current wife. They will probably not process my claim to add my disabled son (over 18) back on. And they will probably require me to repay (at least) from 1998 to 2005 when I was not married. I did not keep copies of the forms that I filed. How can I prove it was the VA that was in error?

  210. oifvet76 says

    I recently had filed a change to my status over year and a half ago sep 2012 VA has the claim how many years do I have to wait for them to fix this

  211. dan says

    I sent in the form to add a dependent Jan. 2014, for my daughter born Feb. 2012. Will I get back pay back through her birthday, or will it be based off my date of dependent change, Jan. 2013.

  212. Samek says

    So….I submitted my dependency claim on November 18, 2012…..Today is December 23, 2013. I have contacted them numerous times only to be told that they have the claim and are in the process of working claims that are 1 year and old. For pete’s sake, it is a dependency claim adding ONE dependent!

  213. Rebecca Hagemann says

    I’m facing the same issue as all the above. My orginal claim when in OCT 2011 when I retired after 25 yrs 11 months and 27 days of service. When I got my results in April of 2012 (pretty quick by most standards) they did not authorize me at the dependant rate. Said they didn’t have enough evidence. So I reapplied April of 2012 and found out in August 2012 (after poking the beast) that they needed “more information”. Apparently I didn’t put the number of times my husband had been married on block 8 of the form. I had filled out all the info below but had missed counting the times and puting the number in the box. I filled this out via paper or I may not have missed it if I used the electronic version. There is very little space to put any info and I totally overlooked it. So in August I immediately uploaded and snail mailed the answer they were looking for. My claim has been in “Pending decision approval” phase since then. DAV can’t even help. Still waiting. I’m sure if and when they do approve it they will bone it up and not give me back pay to OCT 2011. I will haunt them with more and more paperwork if that does happen.

  214. Andi says

    Just FYI: I am a vet who has been receiving benefits since 2007 with 1 dependent.

    I put in a claim on Nov. 19, 2012 for my second child who was born May 2010 (yes, I lost track of time).
    TODAY..December 17, 2013 I received the first payment and info in the mail.
    Under the “What we decided” part of the info pack it states: “…we added your child to your award effective Nov 19, 2012, the date we received your claim. We used November 19, 2012 as the date of establishment because the claim was received more than one year after child’s birthday”. WHAT??!!
    Because I’ve noticed on here that some of you were given compensation from the date of birth no matter what date you put in a claim. DID SOMETHING CHANGE??? Can someone enlighten me? I am also wondering where the “rules” to this claim are? Thanks for any help!

  215. Mary Ann says

    My son was dropped as a dependent Feb 2011 while he was in High School. Contacted Va and turned in paperwork Mar 2011. Son entered College in Fall 2011. Va added him back as dependent on 1 July 2013 per letter received along with large amount to be recouped. (TIME= 2 Years and 5 months later). Retroactive benefits still not received. Dfas finished review and sent back to Va on Aug 19th ,but, Va has still not sent payment and it been over 120 days. QUESTION? How long can the VA legally keep money that it owes you? Does VA have to follow any regulations.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Mary Ann, This is a great question, and one I do not have an answer to. The VA has different policies in place, and I don’t have access to their regulations. My recommendation is to get a single point of contact and make a weekly or monthly phone call to follow up on the matter. Always be polite, of course. But it won’t take long before the representative gets tired of hearing from you and will get you a concrete answer, at the minimum.

  216. Joe says

    The forms available in the drop down list are: 21-530, 22-1990, 22-1990N, 22-1990E, 22-1995, 22-5490, 22-5495, 28-1900 and 10-10EZ

    • Ryan Guina says

      The VA needs a Tax Id number, so I believe that will work. But double-check with the VA to be certain. You will also need a copy of your marriage certificate or other proof of marriage.

  217. charles noeltner says

    My son will turn 18 when he is still in High School. My question will he drop of my as a dependent while he us still in school. Also he will be attending college will I be able to carry him as a dependent.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Ray, generally not, unless the veteran is the primary provider of financial support. In this case, I recommend contacting the VA for verification.

  218. Concerned parent says

    Is the VA Form 21-686c no longer available on VONAPP? Today it was not in the drop-down box.

  219. theodore alfano says

    That’s crazy. .I wonder why…well thanks for the effort, if you hear of anything else let me know asap!

  220. Nick says

    Theodore- I’m not really sure if you can claim your son if you do not have custody… I would assume you can but what makes sense with the VA????

    As for being back paid until he was born, I’m not really sure about that either… you see my ex-wife (an Army vet) claimed all three of our kids (two hers and one mine) and she was paid back pay from the day they were born… and they were 2, 3 and 4 at the time….. Now get this….. when I filled out the paperwork to claim them, I was only paid from the date that I filed to add them to my disability. How does that work!?!?!?!? Not only that, but she was never asked to prove any kind of relationship and prove they were hers…. but yet I had have to. It is a very sexist system.

  221. theodore says

    i have one son on my compensation and disability. i recently was blessed with another boy jan 23 2012. unfortunately his mother and i aren’t together, but regardless we were never married. todays date is may 4th 2013. if i finally add him as my dependent, would i get back pay from when he was born, or when i filed?
    and also can i be the noncustodial parent and still receive? even if both their mothers claim him as a dependent? it would be amazing if anybody could help! thanks,


  222. Efrem Jenkins says

    The compensation for my son was automatically stopped the month after his 18th birthday, but he started college the next semester after high school. I went to the regional office in Atlanta and completed the proper paper work. How long does it take to be reinstated?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Efrem, Unfortunately, I don’t have a firm answer for you. I’ve heard some people are able to get it reinstated quickly, while in other cases, it can take several months. My recommendation is to wait a month or two and them contact your regional center if you haven’t heard back.

  223. charlie says

    Hi there. 11 months just to add a dependent, and as of today, nothing yet. It’s incredible how this system works. This type of claim should take no more than 6 months, not a year and a half!

  224. George W. Smith says

    I was trying to get my benefits going. I went to the V A office and got my picture taken for my I.D. card. It’s been a couple of months and still no card. Do I need to go back over there?

    • Ryan Guina says

      George, I would try calling them to ask how long it usually takes to get your ID Card. IT shouldn’t take that long, but they may have had an issue or a backlog. Best of luck, and thanks for your service!

  225. elizabeth says

    I know exactly how the rest of you feel. I filed my claims back in May 2011 and was told that one of the issues I had claimed was defered. So months go by and I got letters that they were still working on it. Few more months go by and I got a letter asking for what hospital those records would be at and any information I had about that specific claim. They also wanted a wittness signature. So I filled it all out with the signature and sent it back. Of course I made sure to make a copy first. Then later in the fall of 2012 I get another letter same as the very first one I got way back in 2011 when I first filed everything stating they received my claim and where to send any additional information. Seriously???????!!!! I have done that twice already! If I email or call about it I am told it takes time we are backed up. Wth? It has been two years! I just going to call my Va Rep, and all state county offices in my area i.e. congress because two years is unsat. Makes me think of the Dr. Phil show I saw. If you haven’t seen it I strongly suggest you do.

  226. Jess says

    Had my babies 4-2-12 and their fixing to turn a year old. Filed the claim right after they were born I even sent them their birth certificates and socials. I sent the form in like 3 times to get it sped up. Still nothing. I also submitted it voa DONAPP and called them. Nothing!! WTH?? How long does this take?? And yes i had triplets. What do they need? A pic for proof?

  227. Nick says

    I originally filed to have my three kids added to my compensation back in 2009. They said I need to submit proof that they were my kids…ie birth certificates. So I did and I kept getting the run around that they did not receive the documents and I eventually just completely forgot about it. Fast forward to now. I refilled to add them in June of 2011. Well I just received the same notice I did the first time requesting proof (7 months later). So this time, I made sure they received the documents. Now they are telling me that it could take another four months to get this completed. Are you kidding me????? So it’s going to take a year to add dependents to my compensation….. not counting the two years I’ve waited to have them even receive the documents I’ve sent over and over again.
    To say the least, I’m fed up with this kind of work ethic from the VA. Yes I understand that they have thousands upon thousands of Vets that they are taking care of, but does that stop any corporation or business that has thousands of customers from completing the simplest of tasks in a timely manner? The answer is no, because if they did they wouldn’t be in business. Now I can understand an actual compensation claim taking longer because they have to have their medical review board look everything over and make a determination…. But an entire year to just add dependents… Really?
    And one more thing, and this one really gets me…. My wife who is also a veteran and who has been given a disability rating filed to have our kids added as dependents a little before mine and was never asked a single time to prove any sort of proof that they actually are her kids…. Her claim flew through, was back-dated until the day they were born with no questions asked. Yet I have to submit proof that they are my kids. Does that make sense? It really doesn’t to me.
    Is there anyone, other than my congressperson who I can get this stuff to and hopefully move this along? Or are we all just doomed to be treated like our claims and issues are just not important to them? I really could use any kind of help to get this finished before June as they are saying it is going to take.

    Thank you for reading/helping….

    A vet you feels that the people who should care really…..well just don’t.

  228. Kenneth says

    Thank you ryan

    It looks as though I am going to lose out on a couple months, because I won’t be able to find the proof that I had submitted earlier. Lesson to all register all important mail that you send someone, or keep a digital copy of all electronic correspondences. Thanks again

  229. Kenneth says

    Good day Ryan, My daughter turned 18 in Jan 2011 during her senior year of high school, she graduated in June 2011. She entered college in Sept 2011, and is now a sophomore. I wasn’t aware that she was dropped from my disability claim. I submitted the form to have her reinstated, but VA never received it, so I resubmitted in may 2012. A VA representative informed me that I filed after a year of her being dropped, so that I would only receive back compensation from may 2012. You mentioned that in some cases you can receive I assume full compensation. Can you please add any insight on this? Thank you.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Kenneth, Backdating for pay usually only happens back to the date you filed a claim that the VA accepts. For example, say you file a claim on January 2012 and the VA accepts it on July 2012, they would normally give you back pay to that January. In this case, the VA doesn’t have a record of your previous claim, so they would only backdate your pay to the claim they received and accepted, which was May 2012. The only way I know that you might be able to get back pay to a previous date would be if you had a record of the prior claim you sent, such as a digital receipt if you filed electronically, or something similar.

  230. Anoymous says

    My question is what happens to a veteran receiving disability money but he has kept his ex wife and son on and altered his marriage license to his current wife and submitted that to the VA. The marriage license to his current wife was altered to reflect 3 years of marriage instead of the correct and legal 10 ears. What if he also lied by saying her resided with his ex and son, but in actuality was living for the past 15 years with his current wife. The current wife just found out and the couple now live in another state as well. Is this an interstate issue now, and is the current wife liable even she just became aware of the duplicitous act? What should she do she’s petrified. Se has the legal license and a copy of the prior divorce which occurred in 1999, he’s live with his current wife since 1998 and married her in 2003

  231. Brian T says

    I just got married and submitted the form over the Internet. I wonder how long it will take me to see an increase in benefits. I am currently rated 70 percent SC due to injuries overseas a few years ago. i hope its quicker than the initial phase to get the benefits.

  232. MattW says

    Ryan wrote, “The status of your dependents is recorded by the VA when they process your initial disability compensation claim, but they are not able to automatically make changes to your dependent’s status. It is up to you to notify the VA when something changes which affects the eligibility of your dependents – this can include both adding or removing one or more dependents from your VA disability compensation benefits.”

    This is not entirely true. I filled out my 21-686c when I made my initial claim, but the VA assumes after years of your claim sitting and collecting dust, that you’ve become divorced, or your children have grown past 18 (or died themselves…) and, in my case at least, they make you resubmit the 686c. Thanks, so now my new dependency claim gets to await another 14+ months at least before approval. I wonder if they’ll make me resubmit a second time after it has taken so long again!

  233. Samuel Sumner says

    I submitted my paperwork to add my dependents in June 2011. I still have not received any follow up and the status on ebenefits says “under review” and a estimated completion date of 4/8/12. It is currently 12/18/12, why does it take so long and is there a way to speed it up?

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