Union County Veterans Service Officer Mike Bennett is informing the public why it is important to list a VA service connected disability on the death certificate.
A prime example of service connection is coronary artery disease as a result of being exposed to Agent Orange. If such a service connected disability was a contributing factor in the veteran’s death, the surviving spouse and/or dependent children may be eligible for Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC). A death certificate indicating that the cause of death was due to a service connected condition is evidence needed by survivors when applying for the DIC benefit.
Veterans and their spouses need to be proactive with physicians if they are currently receiving service connected disability benefits. They should:
- Provide a copy of the VA Disability Rating Letter to all physicians the veteran sees to include in his medical file.
- Review the disability with the physicians so they are personally familiar with it.
- Maintain the VA Disability Rating Letter in a safe place so it is available whenever it might be needed.
- In the event of the veteran’s death, the family should mention to the attending physician or coroner that there may have been a service connected condition which was a direct or underlying cause of death. If so, this should be listed in Part I (not Part II) of the Cause of Death section on the death record.
For more information, please contact Bennett at 662-534-1982.
death benefits, New Albany, Northeast Mississippi, service-related disabilities, Union County, VA, veterans