Can You Lose VA Benefits?

Many disabled veterans in the United States take advantage of disability benefits and financial assistance that is provided by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). One form of veterans disability benefits is the VA pension for non-service connected disability. Eligible veterans who are age 65 or older and are totally or permanently disabled due to a non-service connected disability and have very low income levels can seek compensation through a VA pension. Because many rely on these benefits to supplement their livelihood, it’s important to know the conditions in which you can lose VA benefits.

Losing VA Benefits

Even if you are a veteran who is eligible for disability compensation through a VA pension, you should know that your VA pension is not guaranteed. It is possible for the VA to take away your veterans’ disability by taking away your VA pension. There are limited circumstances under which the VA will take away your VA pension benefits. These circumstances include:

  • When The Veteran Can Return To Service. Sometimes a veteran’s condition improves, and the VA determines that the veteran is capable of returning to active-duty service. Once returned to service, a veteran has no need for a VA pension, so the VA will take the pension away. If the veteran ever becomes disabled again due to non-service connected disability, the veteran may reapply for the VA pension.
  • When The Veteran Is Incarcerated. If a disabled veteran is incarcerated for more than 61 days, the VA will terminate their VA pension. If the disabled veteran is in the prison system, then the veteran no longer requires the benefits received through the VA pension because the veteran does not have any living expenses while in prison. Once the disabled veteran is released from prison, it is possible to apply for the VA pension reinstatement.
  • Veteran’s Pension Has Been Overpaid. Circumstances could arise where the VA will take away pension benefits due to overpayments made to the disabled veteran. Disabled veterans who are collecting a VA pension have an obligation to report any change in their family’s countable income that could result in an overpayment or underpayment of pension benefits. A failure to report an increase in the veteran’s family countable income can result in overpayment of VA pension benefits. The VA will collect any overpayments made on a pension once they are discovered.
  • The Disabled Veteran Passes Away. When a disabled veteran passes away, their VA pension benefits are also terminated. The surviving family members are no longer able to collect on the veteran’s pension. Instead, the surviving family has an obligation to report to the VA that the veteran has become deceased. The surviving family members should also provide a copy of the veteran’s death certificate. Once the VA has established that the veteran has passed away, the veteran’s surviving family members may apply for survivor’s benefits.

Contact An Experienced Veterans’ Disability Lawyer

Any disabled veteran who has had disability benefits taken away by the VA should speak to an experienced veterans’ disability attorney as soon as possible about their situation. Let the disability attorneys at Klok Law Firm, LLC help you with your VA pension or any other veterans’ disability issue you may have. Contact us today for a free consultation.

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