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Substitution of Claimant

Department of Veterans Affairs Disability Claims

Continuing the Claim of a Deceased Veteran


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(a) In General- Chapter 51 is amended by inserting after section 5121 the following new section:
‘Sec. 5121A. Substitution in case of death of claimant ‘(a) Substitution- (1) If a claimant dies while a claim for any benefit under a law administered by the Secretary, or an appeal of a decision with respect to such a claim, is pending, a living person who would be eligible to receive accrued benefits due to the claimant under section 5121(a) of this title may, not later than one year after
the date of the death of such claimant, file a request to be substituted as the claimant for the purposes of processing the claim to completion.

‘(2) Any person seeking to be substituted for the claimant shall present evidence of the right to claim such status within such time as prescribed by the Secretary in regulations.
‘(3) Substitution under this subsection shall be in accordance with such regulations as the Secretary may prescribe.
‘(b) Limitation- Those who are eligible to make a claim under this section shall be determined in accordance with section 5121 of this title.
(b) Clerical Amendment- The table of sections at the beginning of chapter 51 is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 5121 the following new item: ‘5121A. Substitution in case of death of claimant.’.
(c) Effective Date- Section 5121A of title 38, United States Code, as added by subsection (a), shall apply with respect to the claim of any claimant who dies on or after the date of the enactment of this Act.

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If a VA claimant dies (After October 10, 2008) and a  VA  benefit  is  pending, 

a  living person eligible to receive accrued benefts under 38 U.S.C.S. § 5121(a)

may file a request to be substituted for the deceased claimant.  
The request must be fled with  the VA not  later  than one year after the claimant’s death.

Substitution In Case of Death of Claimant
Veterans Benefits Improvement Act of 2008 changed how survivors of veterans

 who die while a claim is pending can handle the claim.