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DISALLOWED DIC CLAIMS (CONT'D)

Widow Child

Parent Widow or

&

& Widow Child Children Parent(s) Child Parent

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78-195 0.76

SERVICE CONNECTED DISABILITY

CAUSE OF
DEATH

Respiratory Psychia- Neuro Musculo-
Non-Mali nant tric logical Skeletal Other Total

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NOTE:

Although 423 denials were reviewed, 3 claims from parents with excessive income were received for which a rating was unnecessary, resulting in 420 cases included in the above chart.

COMMENTS

s. 3072, which became PL 93-295, as initially presented, provided that certain non-service connected deaths would be conclusively presumed service connected if the veteran (a) was discharged or retired for a service connected disability permanent and total in nature, and at the time of his death was in receipt of or entitled to receive compensation for a service connected disability permanent and total in nature; or (b) had been in receipt of or entitled to receive compensation for a permanently and totally service connected disability for 20 or more years.

PL 93-295, as enacted, directed the Administrator of Veterans Affairs to conduct a study of claims for DIC relating to veterans who at death were receiving disability compensation from the VA based upon a rating total and permanent in nature. This study shows that the Veterans Administration has allowed 75.07% of the claims filed for Dependency and Indemnity Compensation during the period considered.

Where service connected disability is found to be the principal or contributory cause of death, such death is considered to be service connected. The se determinations are made on a very liberal basis. For example, there are disabilities which by their very nature are so overwhelming that eventual death can be anticipated irrespective of coexisting conditions. Even though such disabilities are non-service connected and are the primary cause of death, consideration is given as to whether the coexisting service connected conditions were of such severity as to have had a material influence in accelerating death. Where death has been so accelerated, it is considered service connected. Review of selected cases involved in this study confirmed that these principles were consistently adhered to and uniformly applied.

Automatic concession of service connection would place the survivors of certain veterans who die of a non-service connected cause on a parity with the survivors of veterans who die of an actually service connected cause.

In the cases of veterans with wartime service, such presumption would have the effect of providing substantially greater benefits for widows and children with no statutory requirement as to need, and would provide basic eligibility to parents for benefits where none now exists. In the cases of veterans with service during peacetime only, such presumption would provide basic eligibility for widows, children and parents for monetary death benefits where no benefit entitlement now exists.

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VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION
(Pursuant to Section 204 of Public Law 94–71)

SUBMITTED TO THE

COMMITTEE ON VETERANS' AFFAIRS

UNITED STATES SENATE

VANCE HARTKE, Chairman

SEPTEMBER 28, 1976

Printed for the use of the Committee on Veterans' Affairs

U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE

WASHINGTON : 1976

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