For veterans who die on or after October 10, 2008, with a pending claim or appeal the qualified survivor can request to substitute himself or herself in the place of the veteran.  Substitution allows the qualified survivor to “step in the shoes” of the veteran, and process any pending claim to completion.  The request to substitute must also be filed within one year of death, and removes the requirement to file a new claim for accrued benefits.  When a qualified survivor is substituted for the deceased veteran, he or she is not limited to the evidence in the file at death.  Rather, he or she can add any new evidence to the claim.


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