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M21-1, Part V, Subpart iii, Chapter 1, Section D – Parents DIC

Overview


In This Section

This section contains the following topics:
Topic
Topic Name
1
2
3
4
5
6
7

1.  Original, New and Reopened Awards


Introduction

This topic contains information on Parents’ DIC original, new and reopened awards, including

Change Date

December 6, 2017

V.iii.1.D.1.a.  IVAP Determined on Calendar-Year Basis

Income for Department of Veterans Affairs purposes (IVAP) for Parents’ Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) is calculated on a calendar- year basis.  IVAP is based on income received and expenses paid during the period January 1 through December 31 of the same year.
Note:  This is true regardless of when the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) receives the claim.  There is no “initial year” for Parents’ DIC as there is for pension.
Example:  If a Parents’ DIC claim is received in June 2006, VA first considers IVAP for all of calendar-year 2006.

V.iii.1.D.1.b.  Determination of Parents’ DIC Income Limit

The annual income limit for a Parents’ DIC claimant is determined by marital status.  A change in the claimant’s marital status may change both the income limit and the monthly rate of DIC payable.
Note:  Parents’ DIC granted under 38 USC 1151 requires income calculation just as if Parents’ DIC was granted for direct service-connected death.
Reference:  For information about income limits, refer to the Parents’ DIC rate charts.

V.iii.1.D.1.c.  How to Manually Calculate Parents’ DIC Monthly Payments

After choosing the correct Parents’ DIC rate chart, use the table below to assist in calculating Parents’ DIC monthly payments.
Column Headings on Chart
How to Use
Income Not Over
If the IVAP is not greater than the specified amount in the row but is greater than the amount in the prior row, this is the row to use.
Example:  If a parent’s IVAP is $1,350, choose the row Income Not Over $1,400.
Monthly Rate
This is the beginning monthly rate to use within the calculation of the payment.  The claimant is entitled to a rate between the beginning rate and the prior row’s rate.
Each $1 Decrement
For each $1 that IVAP is less than the beginning monthly rate, the payment rate is increased by the decimal amount shown.  The given decimal is multiplied by the difference between the Income Not Overamount and the claimant’s IVAP.

V.iii.1.D.1.d.  Example of calculating Parents’ DIC Monthly Payment
Situation:  A DIC parent (one of two parents not living with spouse) submitted an original application which VA received on November 15, 2014.  After reviewing all evidence of record, an end user determined the parent has an IVAP of $1,160.  Additionally, VA has rated the parent to be in need of aid and attendance (A&A).
Use the below table to calculate the Parents’ DIC montly payment.
Step
Calculation
Description
1
$1,200.00
– $1,160.00
$40.00
Income Not Over amount
Subtract claimant’s IVAP
Difference
2
$40.00
x 0.08
$3.20
Difference from Step 1
Times the decimal for Each $1 Decrement
Amount of extra monthly income
3
$421.00
+ $3.20
$424.20
+ $336.00
$760.20
Claimant’s beginning monthly rate
Add amount of extra monthly income
Claimant’s basic monthly rate
Add additional amount for A&A
Monthly Parents’ DIC payment rate
Note:  Do not drop the cents.

V.iii.1.D.1.e.    COLA Adjustments

If Social Security benefits are increased as a result of a Social Security cost-of-living adjustment (COLA), Parents’ DIC income limits and rates are increased also.  Not all beneficiaries get an increase as a result of the COLA.
Example:  A beneficiary who is receiving the minimum monthly rate of $5 may continue to receive $5 per month.

V.iii.1.D.1.f.  Countable Income for Parents’ DIC

The following types of income constitute countable income for Parents’ DIC purposes:
  • total income from employment, business (minus operating expenses), investments, interest, or rents
  • income of a parent’s spouse with whom the parent lives
  • inheritances of money (but not property)
  • gifts of property or money, including contributions from adult children
  • unemployment compensation
  • retirement type benefits are counted at the rate of 90 cents on the dollar
  • life insurance proceeds and the proceeds of commercial annuities are counted at the rate of 90 cents on the dollar, and
  • compensation for injury or death is countable.
Notes:
  • Social Security, Railroad Retirement, Civil Service Annuity, military retired pay and other public or private retirement benefits are all counted at the rate of 90 cents on the dollar under 38 CFR 3.262(e)(4).
  • The beneficiary may deduct medical expenses and legal expenses incident to recovery for the injury or death for which compensation was paid.
  • Although certain income is counted at 90 cents on the dollar, the system automatically deducts the 10 percent, therefore, enter gross amounts.
 
Reference:  For specific inclusions for Parents’ DIC countable income, see

V.iii.1.D.1.g.  Income That Is Not Countable for Parents’ DIC

The following types of income are not countable for Parents’ DIC purposes:
  • income of children (children are not dependents on Parents’ DIC awards)
  • inheritances of property (as opposed to money)
  • the value of maintenance by a relative, friend, or organization
  • Welfare and Supplementary Security Income (SSI)
  • VA pension or compensation benefits
  • Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (SGLI), United States Government Life Insurance (USGLI), and National Service Life Insurance (NSLI) proceeds
  • proceeds of casualty insurance policies up to the fair market value of the property immediately preceding the loss
  • proceeds of cashed-in life insurance policies
  • proceeds of cashed-in savings bonds
  • payments of a bonus or similar cash gratuity by any State based upon service in the Armed Forces
  • Social Security lump-sum death benefit
  • payments received under the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA), Public Law (PL) 101-426
  • payments under section 103(c)(1) of the Ricky Ray Hemophilia Relief Fund Act of 1998
  • payments under the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program
  • payments to certain eligible Aleuts under 50 U.S.C Appx. 1989c-5.
  • the value of an increase of stock inventory of a business
  • an employer’s contributions to health and hospitalization plans for either an active or retired employee, and
  • any other payment excluded by statute.
References:  For more information on

V.iii.1.D.1.h.  Spouse’s Income for Parents’ DIC

The income of a Parents’ DIC claimant’s spouse is a factor in determining IVAP if the claimant and spouse are living together.  This is equally the case if
  • both parents of a Veteran are living together, or
  • one or both parents have remarried and one or both are living with a new spouse.
It makes no difference whether the spouse’s income is actually available to the claimant.  If the parent is married and living with a spouse, the spouse’s income is countable.  If the parents are not living together, the not living with spouse rate chart applies and the spouse’s income is not countable.
Reference:  For more information about changes in marital status, see M21-1, Part V, Subpart iii, 1.D.6.

V.iii.1.D.1.i.  Entries for Parents’ DIC

Original and new Parents’ DIC awards must always contain complete income information for the parent.  If the parent and spouse live together, complete income information for the spouse must also be shown.
If two parents of the Veteran live together, each parent’s financial screen should mirror the financial screen for the other parent’s award and cross reference the other parent’s receipt of DIC.
Note:  Both parents have separate entitlement to Parents’ DIC, even if they live together.  For example, if each parent is entitled to the minimum Parents’ DIC payment of $5 monthly, each parent receives $5 monthly.
Reference:  For more information about entry of medical expenses, see M21-1, Part V, Subpart iii, 1.D.2.

V.iii.1.D.1.j.  Future Commencing Date for Parents’ DIC

Generally, original and new awards should not provide for a future commencing date.  However, award action may be taken to provide for a payment date as of the first day of the next year, if the evidence establishes
  • non-entitlement for the current (received) year because of excessive income, and
  • entitlement for the next calendar year based on anticipated (reduced) income for the next calendar year.

V.iii.1.D.1.k.  Scheduling Future Adjustments

Original and new awards must provide adjustments effective the beginning of the next year when it is determined that the parent’s IVAP for the next calendar year is different from current calendar year IVAP.
If there is an increased rate payable for the next year, 38 CFR 3.31 may apply.  However, do not apply the delayed payment provision of 38 CFR 3.31 if
the parent is not entitled for the year the claim is received but is entitled for the following year.  In such a case, award benefits from January 1.
Generally, awards should not reflect future income changes for any year beyond the immediate next year, even though they might be reasonably anticipated.

V.iii.1.D.1.l.  Semiannual Parents’ DIC Payments

If the parent’s monthly rate is between the minimum rate of $5 and the rate which is 4 percent of the maximum rate payable (based on $0 IVAP and A&A, the system makes payments semiannually on or about June 1 and December 1.

V.iii.1.D.1.m.  Finding Information on Deferred Determinations and Amending Income Information

For information on

2.  Deductible Expenses


Introduction

This topic contains information on deductible expenses, including

Change Date

June 12, 2015

V.iii.1.D.2.a.  Medical Expenses Exceeding 5 Percent

Unreimbursed medical expenses that exceed 5 percent of reported annual income can be deducted under 38 CFR 3.262(l).
Important:  Reported annual income refers to all countable family income beforethe 10-percent reduction for retirement income.  Reported annual income does notinclude any income that is not countable for Parents’ DIC purposes.

V.iii.1.D.2.b.  Example: Medical Expense Exceeding 5 Percent

Situation:  A DIC parent has SSI income of $5,000 per year and reports paying unreimbursed medical expenses of $2,000.  The claimant’s spouse has retirement income of $5,000 per year and earned income of $2,000 per year.
Calculation:  The table below outlines the calculation for determining the deductible medical expenses.
Step
Calculation
Description
1
$5,000
Spouse’s retirement income
+ $2,000
Spouse’s earned income
$7,000
Reported annual income
2
$7,000
Spouse’s retirement income
x 0.05
5 percent
$350
5 percent deductible
3
$2,000
Gross medical expenses
– $350
5 percent deductible
$1,650
Deductible medical expenses
 
Notes:
  • Because the parent’s SSI is not countable for Parents’ DIC, the SSI is not a factor in calculating the 5 percent deductible.
  • The claims processor should enter the gross amount of retirement and medical expenses.

V.iii.1.D.2.c.  Allowable Medical Expenses
Allow all unreimbursed medical expenses that may reasonably be related to medical care.

In general, the principles concerning current-law pension medical expenses are equally applicable in determining if a specific claimed medical expense can be allowed for Parents’ DIC.

Reference:  For more information about allowable medical expenses, see M21-1, Part V, Subpart iii, 1.G.23, and 4.


V.iii.1.D.2.d.  Whose Medical Expenses Are Deductible for Parents’ DIC
If a parent resides with a spouse, the spouse’s income is countable in determining the parent’s IVAP.  It makes no difference whether the spouse is the Veteran’s other parent.

Likewise, if a parent lives with a spouse, family medical expenses paid by the spouse are deductible.  Deductible medical expenses include amounts actually paid by the parent or the parent’s spouse (if they live together) for medical expenses of

  • the parent
  • the parent’s spouse
  • minor or disabled children of the parent, or the parent’s spouse, who are actual or constructive members of the parent’s household, and
  • parents of the parent, or the parent’s spouse, who are actual or constructive members of the parent’s household.

Notes:

  • A spouse is generally considered established for award purposes on the date the spouse is acquired, if the spouse is claimed within a year of this date.  If not claimed within one year of the date the spouse was acquired, the spouse is established effective the date the claim for the spouse is received.  Per 38 CFR 3.31, payment at the increased married rate is delayed until the first day of the following month.
  • If a parent who is on the rolls from the beginning of a calendar year acquires a spouse during that calendar year, medical expenses paid by the spouse after the spouse is established are deductible for the entire year if the spouse pays them at any time during that year.

V.iii.1.D.2.e.  Entering Medical Expenses
Use the table below to determine how to enter medical expenses.

When …

Then …

two parents live together
  • show the medical expenses actually paid by both parents on each parent’s financial screen, and
  • enter the same total medical expenses for
    • payee 50, and
    • payee 60.
the parent lives with a spouse who is not the Veteran’s other parent all allowable medical expenses paid by the parentand spouse should be entered on the parent’s financial screen.

V.iii.1.D.2.f.  Example:  Entering Medical Expenses
Situation:  Two parents live together.  The father paid medical expenses of $1,000 and the mother paid medical expenses of $2,000.

Results:  Enter $3000 as a deductible medical expense for both payee 50 and payee 60.

Notes:


V.iii.1.D.2.g.  Prospective Medical Expenses
Generally, medical expenses are allowed after the factat the end of the calendar year.  However, if income is static or can be predicted with a high degree of accuracy, and the parent requests that medical expenses be allowed prospectively, it is permissible to allow the exclusion during the current year.

Do not allow prospective medical expenses in the absence of evidence indicating a clear and reasonable expectation that they will occur.  For example, medical expenses may be prospectively allowed when the claimant is in need of regular aid and attendance or nursing home treatment or there is a history of substantial recurring expenditures for a medical condition.

If prospective medical expenses were allowed for a calendar year, but actual expenses for that calendar year were lower than projected, adjust or discontinue the award effective the beginning of that calendar year.


V.iii.1.D.2.h.  Final Expenses
Unreimbursed expenses of the Veteran’s last illness and burial may be deducted as final expenses when paid by the parent or by the parent’s spouse, if the parent and spouse live together.

Unreimbursed expenses of the parent’s deceased spouse’s last illness and burial and just debts may be deducted as final expenses when paid by the parent.

Deduct final expenses during the calendar year during which payment was made.  However, payments made by the parent during the year following the year during which the Veteran or parent’s spouse died may be deducted from income for the year of last illness and burial, if it would be more advantageous to the claimant, per38 CFR 3.262(o) and 38 CFR 3.262(p).


V.iii.1.D.2.i.  Exclusion of Income From the Operation of a Business
Expenses excluded to arrive at income from rentals, business, or a profession under 38 CFR 3.262(a)(2) are not entered as deductible.  Enter the net business income.

Note:  Depreciation is not a deductible business expense for VA, although it is for the IRS.


V.iii.1.D.2.j.  Exclusion of Disability Retirement Expenses
Under 38 CFR 3.262(i), consider medical, legal, and other expenses incurred prior to an award of, and incident to, compensation based on permanent and total disability or death from any of the following sources as deductible expenses:

  • Office of Workers’ Compensation
  • Department of Labor
  • Social Security Administration
  • Railroad Retirement Board (RRB), or
  • any workers’ compensation or employers’ liability statute or commercial insurance.

Use VA Form 21P-8416bReport of Medical, Legal or Other Expenses Incident to Recovery for Injury or Death, to develop the amounts the claimant has actually paid during the calendar year for which the claimant has not been (and will not be) reimbursed by insurance or another agency.

The exclusion applies only one time; that is, when the disability retirement or other compensation is initially awarded.  The legal as well as medical expenses are deductible from the specific disability retirement benefit under 38 CFR 3.262(i)(1).  After this one-time exclusion, any medical expense deductions in these cases are governed by 38 CFR 3.262(1).

Note:  38 CFR 3.262(i) refers to the Bureau of Employees’ Compensation; this bureau was abolished in 1974.

Reference:  For the most recent statutory income exclusions that apply to all VA income-based benefits, see M21-1, Part V, Subpart iii, 1.I.11.


V.iii.1.D.2.k.  Deductible Limit for Disability Retirement Expenses
The amount deducted may not exceed the total (annual) disability retirement or compensation payments to which the expenses are incident.  When computing countable income, only the balance, if any, remaining after deducting these expenses is subject to the 10- percent reduction for retirement type expenses.

Note:  Ten percent for retirement-type income is automatically deducted.  Enter the net amount after deducting medical or legal expenses but before deducting the 10 percent.


3.  Proportionate Calculation of IVAP


Introduction

This topic contains information on the proportionate calculation of IVAP, including

Change Date

June 12, 2015

V.iii.1.D.3.a.  General Information on Proportionate Calculation of Income

IVAP for Parents’ DIC purposes is determined on a calendar-year basis.  However, for purposes of original and reopened awards, after a period of nonentitlement, it is possible to calculate a proportionate IVAP if this would be to the claimant’s advantage.
For Parents’ DIC, income received at any time during the calendar year of entitlement counts, even if it is received before the effective date.  This is true unless VA calculates the proportionate IVAP for the partial year and bases benefits on that amount instead of the calendar-year IVAP.
When calculating the proportionate IVAP, VA disregards income received by a Parents’ DIC claimant prior to the effective date.
The proportionate IVAP is the amount that the parent(s)’ IVAP would have been if income and expenses had been received and paid at the same rate for the entire calendar year as they were from the effective date to the end of the calendar year.
Example:  A Parents’ DIC claim is received on July 15, 2006.  VA must consider all of the parent’s 2006 IVAP.  Alternatively, VA may calculate the parent’s proportionate IVAP.  This is the amount the parent’s 2006 IVAP would have been if income and expenses for all of 2006 had been proportionate to income and expenses for July 15, 2006, through December 31, 2006.

V.iii.1.D.3.b.  Advantages of Proportionate IVAP

Calculating the proportionate IVAP is only advantageous if the parent had income between the beginning of the calendar year and the effective date of the award that is proportionally greater than the income the parent received or expects to receive between the date of claim and the end of the year.
If the parent’s only income is a regular monthly income that does not change during the calendar year, the parent’s proportionate IVAP will equal the calendar-year IVAP.  Calculating the proportionate IVAP is not necessary in this case.

V.iii.1.D.3.c.  Calculating Proportionate IVAP

Follow the steps in the table below to make a proportionate computation.
Step
Action
1
Determine the IVAP from the effective date until the end of the calendar year by using normal procedures, such as 90 cents on the dollar.
Notes:
  • Do not apply 38 CFR 3.31 in this step.
  • Do not consider any income received or expenses paid before the effective date.
2
Multiply the result of Step 1 by 365.
3
Determine the number of days remaining in the calendar year from the effective date to the end of the calendar year.
Note: Count the effective date as day 1 and December 31 as the last day.
4
Divide the result of Step 2 by the number of days remaining in the year of Step 3.
5
Round down to the nearest dollar. (Drop the cents.)
Result: This is the proportionate IVAP.

V.iii.1.D.3.d.  Example:  Calculating Proportionate IVAP

Situation:  A parent files a claim for Parents’ DIC on September 29, 2005.  As of September 29, there are 94 days left in the calendar year.  The parent expects to receive $1,200 in retirement income during the remainder of the calendar year.
Calculation:  The table below outlines the steps for calculating the parent’s proportionate IVAP.
Step
Calculation
Description
1
$1,200
x $0.9
$1,080
Parent’s retirement income
90 cents on the dollar
IVAP from effective date to end of year
2
$1,080
x 365
$394,200
IVAP
Total number of days in the calendar year
3
$394,200
/ 94 
$4,193
Result from Step 2
Divide by number of days remaining in the calendar year and drop the cents
Proportionate IVAP
Note:  M21-1, Part I, Appendix C may be used for these calculations. In the example above, the factor for September 29 (3.8829) is multiplied by IVAP from the effective date until the end of the calendar year ($1,080). The end result is the same, a proportionate IVAP of $4,193.

V.iii.1.D.3.e.  Authorization to Use the Proportionate IVAP

Using the proportionate IVAP is authorized for original awards and reopened awards after a period of nonentitlement.
For the initial year of an original or reopened award, base the award on actual calendar year IVAP or proportional IVAP, whichever is lower.

V.iii.1.D.3.f.  Proportional IVAP Award Entries

When the proportionate IVAP provides the greater benefit from the effective date to the end of the initial year
  • use the proportionate IVAP as the award line IVAP
  • enter the proportionate IVAP as other annual income on the financial screen which corresponds to the initial award line, and
  • annotate the award to indicate that a proportional IVAP was used.
Note:  The first award line of the next calendar year must show the actual expected income.

V.iii.1.D.3.g.  Letter Requirements When Proportional IVAP Used

If a proportionate calculation is advantageous, prepare a locally-generated letter explaining the basis for the award.

4.  Adjustments Based on Changes in Income


Introduction

This topic contains information on adjustments of Parents’ DIC based on changes in income, including

Change Date

June 12, 2015

V.iii.1.D.4.a.  Applying the End-of-the-Month Rule to Reductions and Discontinuances
The end-of-the-month rule applies to Parents’ DIC reductions and discontinuances because of increases in income, per 38 CFR 3.660(a)(2).  However, income is still counted on a calendar year basis.  It is not annualized like Improved Pension income.  This means that for Parents’ DIC, income is often not counted for a full 12 months.
The end-of-the-month rule was made applicable to Parents’ DIC cases by PL 95-588 which was effective January 1, 1979.  Prior to January 1, 1979, the end-of-the-year rule applied to Parents’ DIC.
Note:  Although 38 CFR 3.660(a)(2) states that such reductions and discontinuances are effective the end of the month (called the “end-of-the-month rule”), VA pays benefits through that last day and therefore the actual date of reduction or discontinuance (“no-pay” date) is the first day of the following month.

V.iii.1.D.4.b.  Example 1:  Applying the End-of-the-Month Rule to Reductions and Discontinuances

Situation:  One of two parents with a spouse is being paid DIC based on $0 IVAP.  The parent reports that his spouse started receiving earned income of $600 per month on August 7, 2006.  The spouse expects to receive a total of $3,000 in earned income between August 7, 2006, and January 1, 2007.
Result:  Adjust the award as shown in the table below:
Date
DIC Rate
IVAP
Reason
09-01-2006
$251
3000
Apply the end-of-the-month rule to count IVAP of $3,000 from September 1, 2006.
01-01-2007
$5
7200
Count $600 x 12. The DIC rate decreases on January 1, 2007. If the rate had increased, the effective date would have been February 1 because of 38 CFR 3.31.

V.iii.1.D.4.c.  Example 2:  Applying the End-of-the-Month Rule to Reductions and Discontinuances

Situation:  A parent is being paid DIC based on $0 IVAP.  The parent starts receiving retirement income of $800 per month on April 1, 2005.  The parent receives retirement income of $7,200 during calendar year 2005.   In January 2006, the parent reports medical expenses of $2000 paid during the calendar year 2005.
Result:  Count IVAP of $6,480 ($7,200 x 0.9) effective May 1, 2005.  (If the parent had no other income, the parent gets no advantage from the medical expenses until May 1, 2005, the date that VA first counts the parent’s income).

V.iii.1.D.4.d.  How the End-of-the-Month Rule Requires Date of Receipt of Income or Increased Income

The end-of-the-month rule applies only when an identifiable date of receipt of income or increased income can be determined.  If development does not clearly reveal the date income was received
  • count the new or increased income from the beginning of the calendar year during which it was received, and
  • fully advise the claimant of the action taken.
If the claimant later submits evidence showing the date of receipt or increase, apply the end-of-month rule and adjust accordingly.
In most instances it is not possible to ascertain a specific date for increases in interest, dividends and irregular earned income.  Do not develop for the dates of increases in this type of income.
Example:  A parent was paid based on expected interest income of $300 during calendar year 2006.  The parent later reports that 2006 interest income was actually $321.  Count interest income of $321 from January 1, 2006.  Do not develop for the date interest income changed.

V.iii.1.D.4.e.  Adjustments Based on Reductions in Income

Parents’ DIC income is calculated on a calendar year basis.  If income is reduced for a particular calendar year, adjust as of the
  • effective date (for original and reopened awards)
  • beginning of the calendar year, or
  • date from which income was previously counted (when VA applied the end-of-the-month rule for initial income counting).
If a change in IVAP causes an increase in the monthly rate compared to the rate for the last month of the prior calendar year, 38 CFR 3.31 applies.  When 38 CFR 3.31does apply, carry forward the December rate for the month of January and pay the increased rate from February 1.

V.iii.1.D.4.f.  Example:  Adjustments Based on Reductions in Income

Situation:  A sole surviving parent was paid DIC of $207 per month effective December 1, 2004, based on IVAP of $4,300 from earnings.  At the end of 2005, the parent reported that earnings income stopped effective June 1, 2005.  The total earned income received during 2005 was $2,100.
Result:  Adjust the award as shown in the table below.
Date
Rate
IVAP
Reason
12-01-2004
$207
4300
Previous rate
Note:  This award line is not required.
02-01-2005
$383
2100
Increased rate effective 01-01-2005;38 CFR 3.31 applies
12-01-2005
$403
2100
COLA
02-01-2006
$507
0
Income removed; 38 CFR 3.31applies

V.iii.1.D.4.g.  Time Limit to Amend Income Information

A DIC parent can amend an income report any time within the calendar year for which income is received or the following calendar year, per 38 CFR 3.660(b).

V.iii.1.D.4.h.  Handling Applications After Renouncement of Parents’ DIC

Under 38 CFR 3.106, an application for Parents’ DIC filed within one year after renouncement of that benefit is not treated as an original application.  Benefits are payable as if the renouncement had not occurred.
This precludes the planned renouncement of the benefit prior to receipt of nonrecurring income to avoid having that nonrecurring income used to calculate IVAP.

5.  Waiver of Retirement Income


Introduction

This topic contains information on the waiver of retirement income, incluidng

Change Date

June 12, 2015

V.iii.1.D.5.a.  Sources of Income

Under 38 CFR 3.262(h), a Parents’ DIC claimant may waive all or part of retirement received from the following sources without counting the amount for Parents’ DIC purposes:
  • Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund
  • RRB
  • District of Columbia firemen, policemen, or public schoolteachers, and
  • Former United States Lighthouse Service.

V.iii.1.D.5.b.  Documenting the Gross Retirement Amount

When the parent reports that a waiver of retirement income has been established or amended, request a copy of the communication from the retirement source showing the gross retirement amount before the waiver and the net amount after the waiver.  If necessary, request a current income statement also.
Note:  The Gross Monthly Annuity shown on the chart on the Civil Service award notices (BRI 49-127) is actually the post-waiver amount.  Under REASON FOR ADJUSTMENT there should be a printed statement stating “WITHOUT WAIVER, YOUR GROSS WOULD BE $[amount].”  This is the gross retirement amount prior to waiver.

V.iii.1.D.5.c.  Income Considerations

When determining the optimum amount to be waived, consider income from other sources which are subject to fluctuations, such as
  • interest income
  • rental income, or
  • farm income.

V.iii.1.D.5.d.  Determining the Waiver Amount

Follow the steps in the table below if the parent requests advice in determining the amount to be waived.
Step
Action
1
Calculate the net countable income, not including the retirement benefit.
2
Subtract this net countable income from the applicable maximum DIC parent income limit.
3
  • Multiply the gross amount of the retirement benefit by 0.9
  • subtract the amount obtained in Step 2, and
  • round the result to the next higher even $10.
Result:  This is the minimum amount to waive from the annual retirement benefit.
4
Is the amount from Step 3 greater than 0?
If yes,
  • advise the parent to waive this amount, and
  • go to Step 5.
If no,
  • advise the parent that a waiver is not to his/her advantage, and
  • this ends the procedure.
5
Calculate the IVAP after the waived amount from Step 3 is determined.
6
Once the amount to be waived has been determined
  • enter the total retirement amount in the financial screen, and
  • perform a GAO to enter the calculated IVAP to determine the monthly Old-Law Pension rate.

V.iii.1.D.5.e.  Example:  Determining the Waived Amount Page 1

Situation:  A sole surviving parent (not living with a spouse) with entitlement to A&A receives $6,096 in Civil Service retirement.  The parent also receives $5,600 in Social Security and $2,400 in stock dividends.
Result:  The resulting calculations below use the income limit in effect on December 1, 2005.
Step
Calculation
Description
1
$5,040
+ $2,400
$7,440
Social Security with 10 percent deducted
Dividends
Total
2
$12,034
– $7,440
$4,594
Maximum Parents DIC Limit
Deduction
Difference
3
$6,096
x 0.9
$5,486
– $4,594
$892
$900
Civil Service retirement pay
10 percent deduction
Civil Service retirement pay with 10-percent deduction
Subtract difference from Step 2
Basis for waived amount
Minimum amount to waive from Civil Service retirement benefit.
4
$4,586
Civil Service retirement pay counted as income

V.iii.1.D.5.f.  Example:  Determining Parents DIC IVAP With Waived Retirement

Step
Data Entry Income Amount (If Applicable)
Computer Countable Income Amount
Description
1
$5,600
$6,096
+$2,400
$14,096
$5,040
$5,486
+$2,400
$12,926
Social Security (10-percent deduction)
Civil Service retirement pay (10-percent deduction)
Other income (dividends)
Subtotal
2
$14,096
$12,926
-$900
$12,096
Subtotal
Waived retirement expense
IVAP
Enter IVAP of $12,926 under GAO.
Note: IVAP of $12,026 consists of
  • $5,040 Social Security
  • $4,586 Civil Service retirement pay, and
  • $2,400 dividends.

V.iii.1.D.5.g.  Applying the End-of-the-Month Rule

Apply the end-of-the-month rule when reducing or discontinuing an award if a parent receives an additional amount of retirement income solely as the result of a legislated increase or COLA and not by reason of a change in the amount waived.
DIC cases that are discontinued may be reinstated on the basis of a revised waiver.

6.  Changes in the Marital or Dependency Status of Parents


Introduction

This topic contains information on changes in the marital or dependency status of parents, including

Change Date

June 12, 2015

V.iii.1.D.6.a.  General Information on Changes in Marital and Dependency Status

Any change in a parent’s marital status requires application of a different rate table from Parents’ DIC rate charts to determine the parent’s rate after the change in marital status.  This includes
  • death of the other surviving parent
  • death of a spouse who is not the Veteran’s other parent
  • separation
  • divorce, or
  • remarriage or reconciliation.
On receipt of notice of a change in marital status, use a locally-generated letter to request a current income statement.

V.iii.1.D.6.b.  Changes in Marital Status

If two parents were living together, “the rate payable prior to the change” means the combined rate of the two parents.
Documentary evidence of the change in marital status is required only if the change gives the parent a higher rate than the rate payable prior to the change and if the parent’s statement is not sufficient or contradicts other evidence of record.
Reference:  For information about what constitutes acceptable evidence of marriage, divorce, or death, and when the beneficiary’s statement is sufficient, seeM21-1, Part III, Subpart iii, 5.

V.iii.1.D.6.c.  Handling Situations When Evidence Is Not Received

If the required evidence concerning either income or marital status is not received within the specified period, under 38 CFR 3.652, assume that Parents’ DIC entitlement ceased to exist as of the end of the year when it was last shown by evidence of record to have existed.
Notes:
  • Under 38 CFR 3.204 or 38 CFR 3.217, the “required evidence” may be a statement.
  • If a third party reported the change in income or marital status, follow the due process procedures in M21-1, Part I, 2.B, before discontinuing the award.

V.iii.1.D.6.d.  Marital Adjustments for the Death of the Other Parent

On the death of one of two parents, discontinue the award to the deceased parent effective the first day of the month of death under 38 CFR 3.500(g)(1).
Use the table below to determine the adjustment.
If the death of the other parent …
Then …
and an accompanying income change result in the surviving parent being entitled to a higher rate of DIC
pay the increased rate to the surviving parent from the first day of the month that follows the month of death, per 38 CFR 3.31.
results in
  • no change in the rate
  • a reduction in the rate, or
  • an increase that is unrelated to a change in income
adjust the surviving parent’s award effective the first day of the month of the deceased parent’s death, per 38 CFR 3.651.
Remember: The term “effective date” for reduction or discontinuance as used in 38 CFR is the “pay through” date.

V.iii.1.D.6.e.  Handling Gain of a Spouse Resulting in an Increased Rate

If an increased rate of Parents’ DIC is payable because a parent marries, the increase is effective the date of marriage.
If an increased rate of Parents’ DIC is payable because of resumed cohabitation, the increase is effective the date VA receives notice of the resumed cohabitation, per 38 CFR 3.660(c).
Important:  In case of either marriage or reconciliation, actual payment of the increased rate is from the first day of the month that follows the event.

V.iii.1.D.6.f.  Handling the Gain of a Spouse Resulting in Increased Income

Under 38 CFR 3.660(a)(2), when a DIC parent marries, disregard income received by the spouse before the marriage.  Count income received by the spouse on or after the date the spouse is established for award purposes (usually from the date of the marriage).
Make any reduction or termination required because of increased income of the spouse effective the first day of the month that follows the date the spouse is established for award purposes.
Example:
Situation:  A sole surviving parent is receiving DIC at the rate of $507 per month, based on IVAP of $0.  The parent marries on August 7, 2006.  The spouse (who is not the Veteran’s other parent) earns $600 per month.  The spouse expects to receive $3,000 during the remainder of calendar-year 2006.
Result:  Adjust the award as shown in the table below.
Date
Rate
IVAP
Reason
09-01-2006
$331
3000
New spouse’s income counted from first day of month after marriage.
01-01-2007
$12
7200
Count spouse’s full annual wages.

V.iii.1.D.6.g.  Handling the Loss of a Spouse Resulting in a Decreased Rate or Discontinuance

Under 38 CFR 3.660(a)(2), if an award is reduced or discontinued because a spouse is lost due to death, divorce, or annulment, apply the end-of-month rule and reduce or discontinue the award effective the first day of the month that follows the month of the event.  Otherwise, reduce the award as of the date of the event.

V.iii.1.D.6.h.  Handling the Loss of a Spouse With Income Resulting in an Increased Rate

Stop counting the dependent’s income when the dependent is lost.
If the loss of the dependent and the dependent’s income result in an increased rate of DIC becoming payable, make the actual adjustment the first day of the month that follows the date of the event per 38 CFR 3.31.

V.iii.1.D.6.i.  Handling the Loss of a Spouse With Income Resulting in a Reduction, Discontinuance, or No Change in Rate

If removing the dependent and the dependent’s income does not increase the rate payable, remove the dependent’s income the same date the dependent goes off the award.
If the end-of-the-month rule applies to a reduction because the spouse was lost due to death, divorce, or annulment, remove the spouse’s income effective the first day of the month after the event.
Note:  If the loss is due to separation, the end-of-month rule does not apply.  Remove the spouse’s income the date of the separation.

V.iii.1.D.6.j.  Examples:  Loss of Spouse With Income

Example 1:  A sole surviving father with a spouse is paid DIC of $653 per month based on IVAP of $2,400 and A&A entitlement.  The $2,400 represents the spouse’s monthly earnings of $200.  The spouse dies on July 7, 2006.  Adjust the award August 1, 2006, to remove the spouse and pay the rate of $781 per month based on IVAP of $0.
Example 2:  Same situation as in Example 1, except the $2,400 IVAP is the father’s.  The spouse has no income.  The father and spouse separate on July 7, 2006.  Adjust the award July 7, 2006, to remove the spouse.  The parents’ DIC rate does not change in this situation.
Example 3:  A surviving mother lives with a surviving father.  They each receive DIC of $308 per month based on IVAP of $2,000.  The $2,000 is from the mother’s lottery winnings received February 13, 2006.  The $2,000 was first counted on the awards March 1, 2006.  On July 7, 2006, the mother dies.  Adjust the father’s award August 1, 2006, to pay the dependency code 50/50 rate of $507 per month based on IVAP of $0.  Discontinue the mother’s award on July 1, 2006.
Note:  In Example 3, the net Parents’ DIC payment is reduced from $616 monthly (two payments of $308) to $507.

V.iii.1.D.6.k.  Spouse’s Medical Expenses

If a parent who is on the rolls from the beginning of a calendar year acquires a spouse during that calendar year, medical expenses paid by the spouse after the date the spouse is established are deductible from the beginning of the calendar year.
Example:
Situation:  A sole surviving parent is receiving DIC of $491 per month based on IVAP of $1,000 from interest.  The parent marries on March 14, 2006.  The spouse earns $500 per month.  The spouse expects to receive $5,000 during the rest of calendar year 2006.  Effective April 1, 2006, the parent is paid $91 per month based on IVAP of $6,000.  At the end of the calendar year, the parent reports medical expenses of $3,000.  The expenses were paid by the parent’s spouse for the spouse’s own medical expenses.  All expenses were paid after March 14, 2006.
Result:  Allow the medical expenses from January 1, 2006.  If the recalculated rate is greater than the December 2005 rate, make the adjustment as of February 1, 2006, under 38 CFR 3.31.

V.iii.1.D.6.l.  Handling Situations When the Status of the Other Parent Is Unknown

The rate of Parents’ DIC payable is affected by whether the claimant is a sole surviving parent or one of two parents.  If a Parent’s DIC claimant cannot establish that the Veteran’s other parent is deceased, the parent must be paid as one of two parents.
Reference:  For acceptable evidence of death, see M21-1, Part III, Subpart iii, 5.B.3.

7.  Sale or Transfer of Real Estate or Personal Property


Introduction

This topic contains information on the sale or transfer of real estate or personal property, including

Change Date

June 12, 2015

V.iii.1.D.7.a.  Impact of the Sale or Transfer of Real Estate or Personal Property on Parents’ DIC
Income received from the sale of property is viewed as a conversion of assets and is not countable income for Parents’ DIC purposes except where
  • property is sold in the course of operating a business, or
  • income from the sale of property is received by the claimant in installments.

V.iii.1.D.7.b.  Sales in the Course of Business

If a beneficiary who operates a business sells property or merchandise in connection with the business, add any profit received from sale of the property to other income of the business.

V.iii.1.D.7.c.  Installment Sales

An installment sale, for the purposes of M21-1, Part V, Subpart iii, 1, is any sale in which the seller receives more than the sales price over the course of the transaction.  The actual number of installments is irrelevant.
If a beneficiary sells property and receives payment in installments, count as income any amounts received over and above the sale price, but not until an amount equal to the sale price has been received by the seller, per 38 CFR 3.262(k)(5).
Example:  A DIC father sells his residence for $80,000.  The parent receives a cash payment of $40,000 and a cash payment of $45,000.  This is an installment sale for VA pension purposes and $5,000 is countable as income when the parent receives the $45,000.

V.iii.1.D.7.d.  Ensuring Recorded Information

Ensure the following information is of record before attempting to calculate countable income from sale of property:
  • sales price
  • amount of the down payment
  • date the first installment payment is received
  • frequency of installment payments
  • amount of each installment payment, and
  • date the last installment payment is received.

V.iii.1.D.7.e.  Principal Versus Interest on Property Sales Made After DIC Entitlement

It is not necessary to distinguish between payment of principal and interest in the installment sale context.  As soon as the down payment and installment payments received by the parent equal the sales price, all amounts greater than the sales price constitute countable IVAP.
Example:  A parent reports the sale of a house for $60,000 on December 1, 2000.  The parent received $20,000 down and receives installment payments of $420 per month for the next 10 years.  The parent’s return from the sale of property exceeds $60,000 during December 2008.
Result:  Charge income of
$5,040 effective January 1, 2009.

V.iii.1.D.7.f.  Installments Made Prior to Entitlement

When installments are received as payment on a sale made prior to the date of entitlement to Parents’ DIC, count only the interest payments as income.
Secure from the parent a copy of the amortization schedule or similar document distinguishing between interest and principal.

V.iii.1.D.7.g.  Proceeds From Cashed-in Savings Bonds or Life Insurance Policies

Proceeds from cashed-in savings bonds and cashed-in life insurance policies are considered profit realized from the disposition of personal property and are therefore excluded under 38 CFR 3.262(k)(5).
Important:  Some savings bonds, such as Series HH U.S. Savings Bonds and some State or municipal bonds, pay interest to the holder without requiring the holder to redeem the bond.  If interest is paid without redemption of the bond, the interest is countable income.
Reference:  For more information on these exclusions, see VAOPGCPREC 2-2010.
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