VA Dependent Benefits for Parents

Although some VA benefits do not apply to a veteran’s parents – such as CHAMPVA health coverage – there are others available.  You may be entitled to additional compensation if your parents rely on you financially. 

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The VA Dependent Benefit for Parents

This type of dependent benefit pays extra to a veteran whose parent(s) are financially dependent on him or her.  The Dependent Benefit for Parents is based on need, which means that it is income- and net worth – dependent.

Veterans Eligibility Requirements

To qualify for this benefit, a veteran must meet either of the following criteria:

  • Receives compensation with a total evaluation rating of 30% or greater OR
  • Receives VA educational benefits based on enrollment of 1/2 or greater

Parents Eligibility Requirements

The following meet the definition of parent for VA purposes:

  • A biological parent
  • An adoptive parent OR
  • A foster parent, step-parent, etc. who was the veteran’s parent for at least 1 year prior to the veteran’s entering the service

A parent can be considered dependent if:

  • His or her income and net worth are very small OR
  • His or her income, assets etc. are considerable but his/her expenses are also quite high

Evidence of Net Worth and Income

In order for the VA to evaluate the parents’ financial worth, they must report income from all sources such as:

  • wages
  • pension
  • investments
  • stocks
  • bonds
  • dividends
  • bank accounts

Reducing Countable Income

The veteran’s parents can report the following expenses when submitting a claim:

  • Non-reimbursed medical expenses that the parents spent on themselves and family members they support for the past 12 months
  • Expenses related to housing, clothing, utilities, groceries, taxes, etc.

How to File a Claim for Parents As Dependents

Fill out and submit VA Form 21-509, Statement of Dependency of Parents to your local VA Regional Office or VARO.

For more information, please click here.

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