Citation Nr: 18124059
Decision Date: 08/03/18	Archive Date: 08/03/18

DOCKET NO. 15-07 531
DATE:	August 3, 2018
REMANDED
The issue of whether the apportionment of the Veteran's disability compensation in the amount of $750.00 per month is proper is remanded.
REASONS FOR REMAND
The Veteran served on active duty from August 1968 to November 1970. 
This matter comes before the Board of Veterans’ Appeals (Board) on appeal from a rating decision issued in July 2014 by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Regional Office (RO) in Manila, Republic of the Philippines that granted apportionment of the Veteran’s compensation benefits to his estranged spouse, who is the appellant.  The Board notes that this is a simultaneously contested claim between the Veteran and the appellant.
In January 2016, a Board hearing was held at the RO before the undersigned.  A transcript of the hearing is of record.    

The issue of whether the apportionment of the Veteran's disability compensation in the amount of $750.00 is proper is remanded.
In the July 2014 decision, the RO granted special apportionment of the Veteran’s VA compensation benefits at a rate of $750.00 per month effective August 1, 2013.  The decision noted that the appellant was no longer living with the Veteran and had custody of A.T., the biological son of the Veteran and the appellant, for whom the Veteran has been consistently receiving a monthly VA dependency allowance, and custody of C.T, appellant’s daughter, for whom the Veteran has consistently been receiving a monthly VA dependency allowance.  (The Veteran reports that C.T. is not his biological daughter but regardless, she has been considered his dependent for VA purposes from July 2010 to the present).  The decision found that welfare was the only current support that appellant and the children were receiving and that the Veteran was not contributing to the support of appellant and did not appear to be contributing to the support of the children.
In a February 2017 order, a Manila Regional Trial Court found the Veteran guilty of four counts of the Philippine Anti-Violence Against Women and Their Children Act based on findings of abuse against appellant and the children.  The order sentenced the Veteran to imprisonment for a total of 16 months and to “pay the cost.”  He was also ordered to pay the appellant a total of 16,000 Philippine pesos in damages.  Additionally, he was ordered to pay a fine of 100,000 Philippine pesos. Further, in a separate February 2017 civil decision, the Regional Trial Court granted a protective order for the appellant and the children against the Veteran and ordered the Veteran to pay 30,000 Philippine pesos monthly to the appellant for support of the children.  (The decision noted that it would be possible for the support payment for C.T. to be subsequently canceled if an appropriate proceeding found that she was not the Veteran’s biological child).  
If implemented, the Regional Trial Court orders change the financial status of the appellant and the Veteran, which in turn affect the appropriate amount of any apportionment.  Thus, a remand is necessary to determine if these orders have been implemented.  The agency of original jurisdiction (AOJ) should attempt to determine whether the Veteran is paying the appellant monthly support for one or both children and the amount of any such support.  Moreover, C.T. is turning 18 on June [redacted], 2018.  However, it appears that she may still be attending a course of instruction approved or approvable by VA, which would allow for her continued classification as a dependent.  Consequently, as her VA dependency status is directly related to the amount of any apportionment award, this status should be clarified on remand.        
The matter is REMANDED for the following action:
1.  Ensure that all simultaneous contested claims procedures are followed, including appropriate notice to the parties and to the Veteran’s representative.
2.  Make all reasonable attempts to determine whether the Veteran is paying the appellant monthly support for one or both children; the amount of any such support; when any such support payments commenced or stopped; and whether any retroactive support payments were made.     
3.  Make all reasonable attempts to determine whether C.T. is attending a course of instruction approved or approvable by VA or may otherwise still qualify as a dependent of the Veteran for VA compensation purposes.  
4.  Obtain any additional information necessary, to include any additional updated financial information from the Veteran and the appellant.
5.  Readjudicate the claim, to include consideration of all additional information obtained pursuant to the remand instructions above.  Then issue an appropriate supplemental statement of the case to the appellant, the 


Veteran, the Veteran’s representative and C.T. (if appropriate).  The case should then be returned to the Board for further appellate review, if otherwise in order.  
 
K. OSBORNE
Veterans Law Judge
Board of Veterans’ Appeals
ATTORNEY FOR THE BOARD	Dan Brook, Counsel

For A Complete Guide To VA Disability Claims and to find out more about your potential VA disability case and how to obtain favorable VA Rating Decision! Visit: VA-Claims.org

For More Information on Veterans Disability Compensation Benefits! Visit: DisableVeteran.org ~ A Non-Profit Non Governmental Agency


Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.