TN 124 (10-17)

SI 00830.304 Veterans Affairs (VA) Compensation Payments

Citations: Social Security Act, as amended — Sections 1612(a)(2)(B) and 1612(b)(2)(A); Regulations 20 CFR — 416.1103(a)(7) and 416.1103(b)(1),416.1121(a), 416.1123(e), and 416.1124(c)(12)

A. Introduction for VA compensation payments

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) pays compensation payments based on a service-connected disability or death. VA compensation payments may or may not be a needs-based benefit.

1. Disability compensation

Veterans are eligible for disability compensation when they have disabilities that result from diseases or injuries incurred or aggravated during active military service. VA graduates the disability compensation benefit amount according to the degree of a veteran’s disability on a scale from 10 to 100 percent (in increments of 10).

NOTE: VA disability compensation payments are not a needs-based benefit.

2. Surviving spouse Dependency Indemnity Compensation (DIC)

The VA provides monthly surviving spouse DIC payments to surviving spouses and surviving children of veterans who died during military service or after discharge from military service because of a service-connected disability.

NOTE: Surviving spouse DIC payments are not a needs-based benefit.

3. Surviving child DIC

The VA provides monthly surviving child DIC payments to independent surviving children of veterans who died during military service or after discharge from military service because of a service-connected disability. Independent means a surviving child is independent of the surviving spouse of a deceased veteran (e.g., the surviving child is no longer in the custody of the surviving parent or the surviving parent is deceased).

An independent surviving child receives VA benefits on his or her own award. To be eligible for surviving child DIC, a child must be:

  • under age 18;

  • under age 23 if attending a VA-approved school; or

  • determined permanently incapable of self-support by the VA because of a disability before age 18.

NOTE: Surviving child DIC payments are not a needs-based benefit.

4. Parents’ DIC

The VA provides a needs-based monthly benefit to surviving parent(s) of a deceased veteran whose death was service-connected. A surviving parent can be single, married to the deceased veteran’s other surviving parent, or remarried to the deceased veteran’s step-parent. To be eligible, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) must determine the surviving parent(s) is financially dependent on the deceased veteran. Congress establishes the maximum annual parents’ Dependency Indemnity Compensation (DIC) compensation rates.

NOTE: Parents’ DIC payments are a needs-based benefit.

B. Dependent disability compensation payments

The VA considers dependents’ needs when determining a compensation payment. The VA does not normally make a compensation payment directly to a dependent during the lifetime of the veteran. Instead, the VA increases the amount of the veteran’s basic compensation award if the veteran has dependents. For disability compensation, the veteran is the beneficiary.

Veterans with disability ratings of at least 30 percent are eligible for increased allowances for dependents. Dependents include parents, spouses, or children who are:

  • under age 18;

  • under age 23 if attending a VA-approved school; or

  • determined permanently incapable of self-support by the VA because of a disability before age 18.

The increased amount depends on the veteran’s disability rating and number of dependents.

When the VA increases a disability compensation payment for dependents, it is an augmented VA payment.

An apportioned payment is a VA disability compensation payment made directly to the dependent of a living veteran.

For a discussion of augmented and apportioned payments, see SI 00830.314B.2.

1. Surviving spouse DIC

When a veteran is deceased, the VA considers surviving dependents’ needs to determine a survivor’s compensation payment. For surviving spouse DIC, the VA considers the surviving spouse as the beneficiary and they consider eligible children as dependent children. Normally, the VA does not make a compensation payment directly to a dependent child during the lifetime of the surviving spouse. Instead, the VA increases the amount of the surviving spouse’s basic compensation award if the surviving spouse has dependent children.

When the VA increases a surviving spouse DIC payment for dependent children, it is an augmented VA payment. A surviving spouse DIC payment made directly to a dependent child of a surviving spouse is an apportioned payment.

For information on augmented and apportioned payments, see SI 00830.314.

NOTE: The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) removes the augmented or apportioned portion (if applicable) for each dependent child from the surviving spouse’s award when the child attains age 18.

2. Surviving child Dependency Indemnity Compensation (DIC)

When a veteran is deceased, the VA may consider surviving dependents’ needs when determining a survivor’s compensation payment. For surviving child DIC, the VA considers the surviving child as the beneficiary and the VA does not increase benefits for dependents of the surviving child.

3. Parents’ DIC

When a veteran is deceased, the VA considers surviving dependents’ needs when determining a survivor’s compensation payment. For parents’ DIC, the VA considers the surviving parent(s) as the beneficiary and the VA does not increase benefits for dependents of the surviving parent(s).

4. Payment frequency of VA compensation payments

The VA makes monthly compensation payments that are not needs-based. The VA pays Parents’ DIC (needs-based) payments monthly; however, when the monthly payment due is less than $19, the VA pays quarterly, biannually, or annually.

5. Unreimbursed medical expenses

For needs-based compensation payments (Parents’ DIC), VA may deduct unreimbursed medical expenses from any countable income. For information on unreimbursed medical expenses, see SI 00830.312.

C. Policy for VA compensation payments

1. Special monthly compensation

Veterans with certain specific, very severe disabilities can receive a higher special monthly compensation (SMC) rate that is above the 100 percent disability rating. The VA pays the SMC to cover the veteran’s need of daily aid and attendance assistance, or regular health services.

Special monthly compensation is not income for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) purposes.

For rules on medical and social services payments, see SI 00815.050.

2. Parents’ DIC

Compensation payments to the surviving parent(s) of a veteran are federally funded income based on need. These payments are unearned income and the $20 general income exclusion does not apply; see SI 00810.420.

EXCEPTION: Compensation payments resulting from unreimbursed medical expenses, aid and attendance allowances, and housebound allowances are not income.

For information on unreimbursed medical expenses and aid and attendance or housebound allowances, see SI 00830.308 and SI 00830.312. All or part of a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) compensation payment may be subject to this rule.

3. All other compensation

Compensation payments to a veteran, spouse, child, or surviving spouse are unearned income subject to the $20 general income exclusion.

For information on per month general income exclusion, see SI 00810.420.

EXCEPTION: Any portion of a VA compensation payment that is a special monthly compensation, aid and attendance allowance, or housebound allowance is not income.

For information on aid and attendance or housebound allowance, see SI 00830.308.

D. Procedure for VA compensation payments

Follow the procedure in this chart to develop and verify compensation payments:

Step

Action

1

For Parents’ Dependency Indemnity Compensation (DIC) only, screen for unreimbursed medical expenses per SI 00830.312.

2

Develop for augmentation if dependents are involved per SI 00830.314.

3

Screen for an aid and attendance or housebound allowance per SI 00830.308.

NOTE: Check the VAA field in PRSN line on the Social Security Record (SSR) or ask the individual; see SM 01601.475.

4

Are unreimbursed medical expenses, augmentation, aid and attendance or housebound allowance, or special monthly compensation at issue in the case?

If yes, go to Step 5.

If no, go to Step 6.

5

Verify the gross amount and payment frequency on the SSA-L1103-U3 (Supplemental Security Income Request for Information) used to verify the issue in Step 1, 2, or 3. STOP.

6

Verify the gross amount and frequency of payment (in order of priority), using:

  • A VA award letter or comparable document in the individual’s possession;

  • A benefit check in combination with a signed statement from the individual who provides the frequency of payment and affirms that VA makes no deductions (such as insurance premiums, loan payments, and overpayment deductions); or

  • An SSA-L1103-U3 from the Veterans Affairs Regional Office (VARO). For instructions on use of Form SSA-L1103-U3, see SI 00830.320.

NOTE: To verify current benefit information for veterans and surviving spouses, call the VA at 1-800-827-1000. Information about payment history, augmentation, educational benefits, unreimbursed medical expenses, special monthly compensation, aid and attendance, or housebound allowances is not available by phone.

E. Procedure for systems coding

1. SSI claim system (i.e., MSSICS/SSI Claim)

a. Compensation payments based on need

To code Veterans Affairs (VA) compensation payments on the SSI claims system, select “Yes” for Department of Veterans Affairs on the Income Selection page. The Income Selection page takes you to the VETERANS AFFAIRS PAYMENT page. On the VETERANS AFFAIRS PAYMENT page, select the appropriate VA “based on need” payment “TYPE” on the drop-down list.

If the VA “based on need” payment “TYPE” is not on the drop-down list, select “Other VA Payment – Based On Need.” If the VA “BASED ON NEED” payment “TYPE” is unknown, select “Unknown.”

Complete the fields on the VETERANS AFFAIRS PAYMENTS page:

  • “Name of beneficiary” field- First name, middle initial, and last name of the beneficiary. If the name of the beneficiary is unknown, select the “Unknown” checkbox.

  • “ID” field - Veterans Affairs Payment claim number in the “ID” field. If the ID is unknown, select “Unknown.”

  • Monthly Values (of alleged amount or verified amount), if available:

    Date From

    Date To

    Alleged Amount

    Verified Amount

    Court Ordered or IV-D Support Amount

    Double Counting Overpayment Recovery Amount

    Double Counting Applies

    Other Deduction Amount

    Unknown

    Countable Amount

    Actions

For more information on the Veterans Affairs Payment page, see MS INTRANETSSI 014.052.

b. Compensation payments not based on need

To code Veterans Affairs (VA) compensation payments on the SSI claims system, select “Yes” for “Department of Veterans Affairs” on the Income Selection page for the following types of Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) “not based on need” payment:

  • Disability compensation;

  • Surviving spouse Dependency Indemnity Compensation (DIC); or

  • Surviving child DIC.

On the VETERANS AFFAIRS PAYMENT page, select the appropriate VA “not based on need” payment “TYPE” from the drop-down list.

If the VA “not based on need” payment “TYPE” is not on the drop-down list, select “Other VA Payment – Not Based On Need.” If the VA “not based on need” payment “TYPE” is unknown, select “Unknown.”

Enter the fields on the Veterans Affairs Payment page:

  • “Name of beneficiary” field - First name, middle initial, and last name of the beneficiary. If the name of the beneficiary is unknown, select “Unknown.”

  • “ID” field - Veterans Affairs Payment claim number. If the ID is unknown, select the “Unknown.” checkbox.

  • Monthly Values (of alleged amount or verified amount), if available:

    Date From

    Date To

    Alleged Amount

    Verified Amount

    Court Ordered or IV-D Support Amount

    Double Counting Overpayment Recovery Amount

    Double Counting Applies

    Other Deduction Amount

    Unknown

    Countable Amount

    Actions

For more information on the Veterans Affairs Payment page, see MS INTRANETSSI 014.052.

2. Non-SSI claim system

a. Compensation payments based on need

On the SSA-1719-B (Supplemental Security Income Post-Entitlement Input) or SSA-450-SI (SSI Data Input and Determination), enter “E” for the unearned income type, amount, and the appropriate unearned income identification for parents’ DIC.

b. Compensation payments not based on need

On the SSA-1719-B (Supplemental Security Income Post-Entitlement Input) or SSA-450-SI (SSI Data Input and Determination), enter “C” for the unearned income type, amount, and the appropriate unearned income identification for payment types:

  • Disability compensation;

  • Surviving spouse Dependency Indemnity Compensation (DIC); or

  • Surviving child DIC.

F. References

  • SI 00810.030 When Income Is Counted

  • MS INTRANETSSI 014.003 Income Selection

  • MS INTRANET 014.052 Veterans Affairs Payment


To Link to this section - Use this URL:
http://policy.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0500830304
SI 00830.304 - Veterans Affairs (VA) Compensation Payments - 11/28/2017
Batch run: 11/28/2017
Rev:11/28/2017