Official: VA changes policy on declaring veterans dead

Veterans Administration

SEMINOLE, Fla. (AP) — A congressman says the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is changing its procedures to avoid wrongly declaring veterans deceased and cutting off their benefits.

U.S. Rep. David Jolly told The Associated Press on Tuesday that in response to a letter he sent in November, the VA said it erroneously stopped benefits to 115 people between July 7, 2014, and April 1, 2015, because the department had wrongly declared them dead.

In a letter dated Dec. 10, the VA told Jolly’s office that from now on, the agency will send a letter to the veteran’s address and request confirmation of the veteran’s death from a surviving family member. If the VA doesn’t hear from the family — or from a veteran erroneously declared dead — only then will the department terminate payments.

Jolly’s office is scheduled to hold a news conference on the issue Tuesday morning in Seminole. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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