How to Claim a Dependent for VA Disability Compensation

If you are rated permanently and totally disabled (P&T) by the Department of Veterans Affairs, and you qualify to sponsor your loved ones for CHAMPVA benefits, you should claim them as dependents before enrolling them in CHAMPVA.  Eligible veterans are entitled to monthly disability compensation as determined by the VA.  This compensation is tax-free and income-independent (unless one is assigned 100% status due to “individual unemployability”, in which case your income may impact your status).  To claim a child or spouse, you must submit a form listing all of your current family dependents to your VA regional office.

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*** IMPORTANT!***

CHAMPVA and government programs and policies are subject to change. For the most CURRENT information, please visit the OFFICIAL website for CHAMPVA at http://www.va.gov/PURCHASEDCARE/programs/dependents/champva/index.asp . We are an unofficial, privately owned website, so we cannot guarantee that the information here is 100% and up-to-date. Please always check with official sources for the latest information before you do anything relating to CHAMPVA health coverage. See also the CHAMPVA Program Guide, the CHAMPVA Policy Manual and the VA Chief Business Office Purchase Care page.

To Add Or Remove a Dependent Spouse or Child

To update your VA record of dependents, you can either:

  • Submit VA Form 21-686c: Declaration of Status of Dependents (download from VA website)
  • Use VONAPP to submit your application online

When filling out the form, you must provide information such as:

  • Veteran’s (or claimant’s if other then the veteran)  name, address, C-file number and Social Security Number
  • Marital status
  • Name and Social Security Number of present spouse
  • Dates and places of current and previous marriages
  • Name, birth date and Social Security Number of each child
  • Whether the child is a biological child, stepchild, 18-23 years old, “seriously disabled” (medical evidence required), etc.
  • Address of child if one does not live with you

You use the same VA form to either add or remove a dependent from your record.  That means you must update your status of dependents to reflect a marriage, a divorce or death of spouse, a birth, adoption, etc. and other changes that may impact your dependents’ status.

Once your record is updated, you should receive a written notice from the VA informing you of the change, and when your new VA disability compensation rate will take effect.  You may get a back pay from the time the change took effect, or you may get over-compensated, which of course, must be adjusted.  It’s a good idea to submit your paperwork as soon as possible.

Having claimed your dependents, you can then apply for CHAMPVA benefits.  You might also want to shop around for a good CHAMPVA supplemental health insurance plan.

Information on Claiming Parents as Dependents in VA Compensation

For information about adding parents as dependents, see VA Dependent Benefit for Parents and also the rates table here.

Parents are NOT eligible for CHAMPVA health coverage.

 

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*** IMPORTANT!***


CHAMPVA and government programs and policies are subject to change. For the most CURRENT information, please visit the OFFICIAL website for CHAMPVA at http://www.va.gov/PURCHASEDCARE/programs/dependents/champva/index.asp . We are an unofficial, privately owned website, so we cannot guarantee that the information here is 100% and up-to-date. Please always check with official sources for the latest information before you do anything relating to CHAMPVA health coverage. See also the CHAMPVA Program Guide, the CHAMPVA Policy Manual and the VA Chief Business Office Purchase Care page.

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