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Facts about the VA 21 534 PDF template

After a veteran passes away, their immediate family members are able to receive financial support payments through the Department of Veterans Affairs. These payments are called Dependency and Indemnity Compensation, or DIC. To receive monthly benefits from the VA, the surviving children and spouses must submit VA Form 21-534. This is everything you’ll need to know about the form.

What Is a VA Form 21 534 PDF Used For?

This form is the application for any monetary benefits that a family is entitled to after a veteran’s death. The form allows the spouses and children of recently-deceased veterans to apply for financial benefits. You can also use the form to request any type of funds that veterans were entitled to, but didn’t receive prior to their death.

The form can be used to apply for the following specific benefits:

  • DIC payments
  • Death pension
  • Accrued benefits
  • Death compensation
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Who Would Use a VA Form 21 534 PDF?

The people responsible for filling out the form are the surviving spouse and children of a deceased veteran. They’ll file the form if they want to receive any benefits following the death. There are a few eligibility requirements that applicants must meet:

  • The veteran must have passed away due to a disability related to service, or died while in training or on active duty
  • Alternatively, the veteran didn’t die in a service-related way, but they were completely disabled for at least 10 years prior to their death, or 5 years if the injury was enough to release them from active duty
  • The surviving spouse married an active member of military service who died, or they married a war veteran in at least one year prior to their death
  • Children receiving unmarried benefits must be unmarried, below the age of 18 if not attending college, below the age of 23 if attending college, and not benefiting from the VA benefits of their spouse

When Should a VA Form 21 534 PDF Be Used?

If there were any accrued disability benefits that the veteran was meant to have received before their death, the surviving children and spouses can apply to have those accrued benefits passed on to them. Even if a deceased veteran’s immediate family members don’t qualify for DIC benefits, it’s possible that they will meet the qualifications for a death pension. For this to happen, though, they must have an income that falls within the applicable limits. If a person qualifies for DIC benefits in addition to death pension benefits, the policy of the VA is to offer whichever benefit pays the largest amount of money.

Form 21-534 is eight pages long and has twelve sections. It takes about 75 minutes to complete the form fully.

What Are the Consequences of Not Using a VA Form 21 534 PDF?

If qualifying families don’t file this application, they won’t receive any accrued benefits for their loved ones. They also won’t receive any DIC payments or death pensions. The time following a loved one’s passing is difficult enough. You shouldn’t put yourself through more financial strain. It’s important to get this form filled out.

How to Fill Out a VA Form 21 534 PDF

In Section I, you’ll be asked questions regarding the reason for your application. Are you applying for accrued disability benefits or DIC benefits? You’ll need to have information regarding any previous claims that the veteran or you filed, along with your VA file numbers. You’ll need to give your relationship to the deceased veteran.

In Section II, you’ll give personal information regarding the deceased veteran. This includes their full name, date of birth and death, Social Security number, and whether they were ever held as a prisoner of war. You should also be ready to provide your own name, address, and contact information.

Section III is where you’ll give details regarding the military service of the veteran. Included is the date they entered the service, their branch number, their service number, and the date they stopped being on active duty. If they ever re-entered the service, the same information will need to be provided regarding their second period of duty.

Section IV is only for people claiming benefits as a surviving spouse. You’ll need to give information regarding your marriages, along with the marriages of the deceased veteran. Section V is only for people claiming benefits for a veteran’s qualifying children. If this is the case, you’ll have to list each child’s name, their place and date of birth, their relationship to the deceased, and their Social Security number.

Section VI is the section you’ll use to ask for any additional benefits you need. This would be used if you live in a nursing home, are housebound, or need help with the completion of daily tasks.

Section VII is where you’ll give information about your net worth, along with the net worth of your dependents. A family member can only collect the death pension if they’re experiencing financial need. Section VIII is where you’ll denote your gross income, along with whatever income you expect to receive in the following year.

Section IX is used to list any expenses that you haven’t yet received a reimbursement for. This might include education costs, burial expenses, and family medical expenses. Section X is where you’ll give your direct deposit information. In Section XI, you’ll sign and date the application.

If you need to make any additional comments, Section XII is dedicated to any remarks you haven’t gotten to put down on the application

Quick Questions

Submit the form to your regional Veterans Affairs Pension Management Center.

You’ll receive one or the other. If you qualify for both, the VA will calculate the sum of both, and you’ll be given whichever has the larger payout.

Applicants who intend to claim benefits should do so within a year after the death. If you receive eligibility for benefits, you might be able to use them to pay off debt or make down payments on a home.

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