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Topic PD, Death and VA benefits Go to previous topic Go to next topic Go to higher level

By Trusting On 2015.03.01 20:36
I have been trying to put our affairs in order in the event of my husbands death due to PD or my own if it should come first.

I have a question that is troubling me. After speaking with the VA I was told that "unless my husband should die from PD, I would receive no survivor benefits from the Veterans Administration. (that is why he receives his disability). I'm wondering if some of you have gone through this process? When we first began this PD journey I asked what it was that actually caused the death in PD and most of you said it wasn't the PD it is complications. So if my husband died from dementia, pneumonia, a fall, etc, would they say that PD wasn't the cause of death? This has me greatly concerned. I know my God shall supply my every need but I'm wondering if any of you have ever been down this road or know of someone who has. Thanks in advance for your replies.

By parkinit On 2015.03.01 20:55
Just make sure they put on the death certificate something like:
Pneumonia as a result of Parkinson's disease. This is acceptable to the VA.

I've been in your shoes. Unfortunately.

By Trusting On 2015.03.02 11:14
Parknit, would I have any control over what doctors put on a death certificate? He is ususally treated at the VA hospitals only so would they do this or would they be instructed to avoid the word PD if possible? I know my name is Trusting but I'm not so trusting when it comes to the govt. Can you elaborate a little more on your experience. If it is too painful I understand. Thank you.

By JulieB On 2015.03.04 08:00
I have just been through this very thing. My husband was a 100% disabled Vietnam vet, service-connected, they call it. When Michael died on the 9th of February I called my county veteran's representative who has been a lifeline for us, to let her know so that Michael's monthly disability benefit could be stopped. She said, "Now we will apply for spousal benefits for you (a little over $1000 per month), but his death certificate must state that his death was in direct relation to his service connected disabilities. (Michael's service-connected disabilties were Parkinson's Disease and Lewy Body Dementia).

I was worried about this because his actual cause of death was a CVA -- Cerebral Vascular Accident, or stroke. She advised me to call the attending physician who would sign the death certificate and talk to him. I found out who he was through the funeral home, left a message with his practice and he called me that night. He was so kind and had apparently been through this before. He said he was going to put CVA as cause of death, with the second line being "Underlying causes: Parkinson's Disease with Lewy Body Dementia."

I brought those death certificates to our county veteran's representative and she said that was exactly what was needed. The actual death or the underlying cause of death, both lines of which are on all death certificates, need to state the veteran's disability in order for the spouse to receive the spousal support.

I hope this helps.

By Trusting On 2015.03.04 22:17
Thank you so much. That helps me a lot.

Also, I'm sorry for your loss. I hope everything works out for you.

By carman96 On 2015.03.06 21:46
Sorry you have to go through all that Julie. It must be so painful for you. But the advice does help those of us that will be going through that in the future. Thanks and hugs to you.


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