Many challenges come with being a parent of a disabled child. This is why ensuring you receive the compensation you need and deserve is essential.
One way to do this is by claiming helpless child benefits. Here are some things to keep in mind when doing so.
Make Sure Your Child Meets The Criteria
Children of Veterans with disabilities face many obstacles in life, and sometimes, they need extra support. Luckily, the VA offers help for their families through the helpless child benefits. These are monthly compensation payments given to a child who cannot be self-sufficient due to a service-connected disability.
Understanding the complexities of navigating VA benefits can be challenging. Still, eligible families must explore resources such as VA helpless child benefits, which aim to provide financial support to children of veterans facing permanent disabilities or those who have passed away.
For a child to receive helpless child benefits, they must meet several criteria. They must be the biological, adopted, or stepchild of a Veteran and have not yet reached their 18th birthday. They must also be suffering from a mental or physical disability that was diagnosed before their 18th birthday.
The child must be unable to find employment and live with the Veteran or their surviving spouse or be in the care of someone who does. If the child marries, they will no longer be eligible for this benefit.
Check The Criteria
Many veterans do not know that they can receive benefits for their children. This is one of the reasons why it’s so vital that you check to see if your child meets the criteria for this benefit.
For instance, you need to be able to prove that your child has been rendered permanently incapable of self-support by medical evidence. In addition, your child should have yet to obtain employment or otherwise regain the ability to work. However, this is not a set-in-stone rule, as there may be a valid reason your child could not work, such as the need for long-term care.
Make A Claim
When disabled Veteran receive a rating for their service-connected disabilities, they often do not realize that their children could also be entitled to extra compensation. While this money is a great help for many families, it is not enough to cover all the expenses.
A child must be unable to support themself through work because of an unremitting physical or mental disability established before the age of 18. The medical and treatment records must show that the condition cannot reasonably be expected to improve in the future.
Additionally, a child must not receive any other income form to qualify for helpless child benefits. This includes Social Security payments, pensions, and any other income. This is a complicated issue that can be confusing.
Update Your Claim
Any child under the age of 18 can be included as a dependent for your VA claim, regardless of their physical or mental status. Once they turn 18, though, they’re automatically removed, and the financial compensation stops.
To reopen a helpless child claim, it’s necessary to prove that the child is still suffering from their condition to the point that they can’t be self-sufficient. Improvement or marriage would disqualify them, so you must keep track of their medical records.
Follow the table below to determine what action to take if evidence is received on something other than a prescribed form indicating permanent incapacity for self-support. Refer the case to a rating activity for a determination of continued eligibility.
Add Your Child
Helpless child benefits are an additional payment that can be given to a Veteran’s children. This extra money is paid in addition to a Veteran’s regular monthly compensation. This helps to ensure that the veterans’ children have the care they need. They can include dental plans, medicine, health plan coverage, and more.
The medical records of the child must indicate that they require the assistance of others to survive and are incapable of self-support. Also, the children must be enrolled, which includes healthcare for those with mental and physical disabilities. Once the child turns 18, they will no longer be considered dependents, and financial compensation for them will stop. Therefore, adding your child to the program is essential before this happens.