When Do VA Disability Benefits Stop?

The United States Department of Veterans Affairs is the administration that handles veterans' services. Two types of VA disability benefits exist: Compensation and pension. The eligibility requirements for each one are different. However, the guidelines to keep them are the same. Three situations can cause your VA disability benefits to stop, no matter what type of VA disability benefits you receive.

Death

VA disability benefits stop upon the death of the veteran. Although the veteran's family may remain, the benefits are for the veteran, so the family cannot continue to draw the veteran's disability benefits after his death. Rather, the family should notify the VA of the veteran's death immediately and provide a copy of the death certificate. Surviving family members can apply for their own benefits.

Incarceration

If a veteran is incarcerated, her VA disability benefits will eventually stop. If the veteran draws a VA pension, then her pension will stop completely after 61 days of incarceration. How much money a veteran draws a month in compensation is determined by her disability compensation rate; this rate is simply the percentage at which the VA rates the veteran's disability. The higher a veteran's rating, the more severe her disability, and the more money she receives each month. If the incarcerated veteran draws VA compensation, her compensation will be reduced to the 10 percent disability compensation rate if she receives a disability compensation rated at 20 percent or higher. If she receives a disability compensation of 10 percent, then her compensation will be reduced by half.

Reentrance in Active Duty Military

Reentrance into the active duty military is also grounds for your VA disability benefits to stop. You might not have a physical disability that keeps you from serving in the military; your VA disability benefits might be for a mental disability. Regardless, you cannot serve in the active duty military and draw VA disability benefits at the same time.

Considerations

If you know that your VA disability benefits are supposed to stop, but the VA keeps sending you money, do not spend the money. Notify the VA immediately of any change in your situation, and return any funds that you know you are not entitled to as soon as possible. If you are overpaid by the VA, you will have to repay the funds, and you could be subject to penalties.

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