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June 24, 2022

VA improves process for survivor dependency claims

Dependency and indemnity compensation (DIC) is possible for surviving spouses, children, or parents of a veteran who passed away during service or from a service-related disability. Until recently the VA took an average of sixty plus days to review and process a DIC claim. The VA is now looking at automation to accelerate the processing time of these claims. While using automation, the VA can approve completed applications of the claims “within about four hours.” The deputy director of the VA’s pension and fiduciary service, Kevin Friel, states that once a DIC claim is received, data from the claim is pushed through an automated process, and if automation can fully process the claim, an award will be given and paid. If the application is complete, and a death certificate submitted, this process can take under four hours. Friel reiterates the importance of a complete and accurate application and the timeliness of submitting it. If the process runs correctly, a human need not touch the application at all. Friel also encourages those submitting applications to reach out to veteran service organizations or VA call centers if assistance is needed in completing forms for claims.

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