Apportionment of the Veteran's Benefits to Dependents
Veterans benefits are exempt from taxation, claims of creditors, and cannot be attached, levied, or seized by or under any legal or equitable process.
However, under special circumstances defined by federal law, the Department of Veterans Affairs may apportion a veteran’s benefits.
The Department of Veterans Affairs may apportion a veteran’s monthly disability benefits when a veteran is not living with his or her spouse or the veteran's children are not living with the veteran and the Department of Veterans Affairs determines that the veteran is not reasonably discharging his or her responsibility for support of his or her spouse and/or dependent children.
The Department of Veterans Affairs may also apportion the veteran’s monthly disability benefits when the veteran is incompetent and is receiving hospital treatment, institutional care, or domiciliary care by the United States.
- An estranged spouse and child(ren);
- A child(ren) in an estrange spouse’s custody; or
- A child(ren) not living with the veteran or surviving spouse of a veteran and to whom the Veteran or surviving spouse of a veteran is not reasonably contributing to the child(ren) support; or
- A dependent parent
No. A court order from a Texas court may be used as support for a claim that a Veteran’s benefits should be apportioned, but the order is not binding on the Department of Veterans Affairs.
After notice to the veteran, the Department of Veterans Affairs may apportion benefits without the permission of the veteran if the claimant [person filing the claim] can provide evidence that:
- The estranged spouse and/or child(ren) live apart from the veteran;
- The veteran is not reasonably contributing to their support; and
- The estranged spouse and/or child(ren) have a financial need for a portion of the veteran’s benefits.
Yes. The Department of Veterans Affairs primary obligation is to the veteran. Even if the estranged spouse and/or child(ren) can show a financial need, the Department of Veterans Affairs cannot impose an undue hardship on the veteran.
Yes. The Department of Veterans Affairs will determine if apportionment is needed based on the amount of Department of Veterans Affairs benefits payable to the veteran, other resources and income of the veteran and his or her dependents in whose behalf apportionment is claimed, and special needs of the veteran, his or her dependents, and the apportionment claimant(s).
The Department of Veterans Affairs will not approve an apportionment that results in an undue hardship to the veteran or is not a reasonable amount payable to the apportionee.
Ordinarily, apportionment of more than 50 percent of the veteran's benefits would constitute undue hardship on him or her. An apportionment of less than 20 percent of the veteran’s benefits generally does not provide a reasonable amount for any apportionee.