38 CFR 3.262 - Evaluation of income.

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§ 3.262 Evaluation of income.
(a) Total income. All income from sources such as wages, salaries, earnings, bonuses from employers, income from a business or profession or from investments or rents as well as the fair value of personal services, goods or room and board received in lieu thereof will be included.
(1) Salary is not determined by “takehome” pay, but includes deductions made under a retirement act or plan and amounts withheld by virtue of income tax laws.
(2) The gross income from a business or profession may be reduced by the necessary operating expenses, such as cost of goods sold, or expenditures for rent, taxes, and upkeep. Depreciation is not a deductible expense. The cost of repairs or replacement may be deducted. The value of an increase in stock inventory of a business is not considered income.
(3) A loss sustained in operating a business, profession, or farm or from investments may not be deducted from income derived from any other source.
(b) Income of spouse. Income of the spouse will be determined under the rules applicable to income of the claimant.
(1) Parents. Where the mother and father, or remarried parent and spouse are living together, the total combined income will be considered in determining dependency, or in determining the rate of dependency and indemnity compensation payable to the parent. This rule is equally applicable where both parents have remarried and each is living with his or her spouse. If the remarriage of a parent has been terminated, or the parent is separated from his or her spouse, income of the spouse will be excluded.
(2) Veterans. The separate income of the spouse of a disabled veteran who is entitled to pension under laws in effect on June 30, 1960, will not be considered. Where pension is payable under section 306(a) ofPub. L. 95-588, to a veteran who is living with a spouse there will be included as income of the veteran all income of the spouse in excess of whichever is the greater, the amount of the spouse income exclusion specified in section 306(a)(2)(B) ofPub. L. 95-588 as increased from time to time under section 306 (a)(3) ofPub. L. 95-588 or the total earned income of the spouse, which is reasonably available to or for the veteran, unless hardship to the veteran would result. Each time there is an increase in the spouse income exclusion pursuant to section 306(a)(3) ofPub. L. 95-588, the actual amount of the exclusion will be published in the “Notices” section of the Federal Register. The presumption that inclusion of such income is available to the veteran and would not work a hardship on him or her may be rebutted by evidence of unavailability or of expenses beyond the usual family requirements.
(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 1521(f); sec. 306(a)(2)(B) ofPub. L. 95-588)
(c) Maintenance. The value of maintenance furnished by a relative, friend, or a charitable organization (civic or governmental) will not be considered income. Where the claimant is maintained in a rest home or other community institution or facility, public or private, because of impaired health or advanced age, money paid to the home or to the claimant to cover the cost of maintenance will not be considered income, regardless of whether it is furnished by a relative, friend or charitable organization. The expense of maintenance is not deductible if it is paid from the claimant's income, except as provided in paragraph (l) of this section in claims for dependency and indemnity compensation.
(d) Charitable donations. Charitable donations from public or private relief or welfare organizations will not be considered income except in claims for pension under laws in effect on June 30, 1960. In the latter cases, additional charitable allowances received by a claimant for members of his or her family may not be divided per capita in determining the amount of the claimant's income.
(e) Retirement benefits; general. Retirement benefits, including an annuity or endowment, paid under a Federal, State, municipal, or private business or industrial plan are considered income as limited by this paragraph. Where the payments received consist of part principal and part interest, interest will not be counted separately.
(1) Protected pension. Except as provided in this paragraph (e)(1), effective January 1, 1965, in determining income for pension purposes under laws in effect on June 30, 1960, 10 percent of the retirement payments received by a veteran, surviving spouse, or child will be excluded. The remaining 90 percent will be considered income as received. Where the retirement benefit is based on the claimant's own employment, payments will not be considered income until the amount of the claimant's personal contribution (as distinguished from amounts contributed by the employer) has been received. Thereafter the 10 percent exclusion will apply.
(2) Pension; Pub. L. 86-211. Except as provided in this subparagraph, effective January 1, 1965, in determining income for pension purposes, under Pub. L. 86-211 (73 Stat. 432), 10 percent of the retirement payments received by a veteran, the veteran's spouse, surviving spouse, or child will be excluded. The remaining 90 percent will be considered income as received. Where a person was receiving or entitled to receive pension and retirement benefits based on his or her own employment on December 31, 1964, the retirement payments will not be considered income until the amount of the claimant personal contribution (as distinguished from amounts contributed by the employer) has been received. Thereafter the 10 percent exclusion will apply.
(3) Compensation. In determining dependency of a parent for compensation purposes, all payments will be considered income as received.
(4) Dependency and indemnity compensation. Except as provided in this subparagraph, effective January 1, 1967, in determining income for dependency and indemnity compensation purposes, 10 percent of the retirement payments received by a deceased veteran's parent or by the parent's spouse will be excluded. The remaining 90 percent will be considered income as received. Where a parent was receiving or entitled to receive dependency and indemnity compensation and retirement benefits based on his or her own employment on December 31, 1966, the retirement payments will not be considered income until the amount of the claimant's personal contribution (as distinguished from amounts contributed by the employer) has been received. Thereafter the 10 percent exclusion will apply.
(f) Social security benefits. Old age and survivor's insurance and disability insurance under title II of the Social Security Act will be considered income as a retirement benefit under the rules contained in paragraph (e) of this section. Benefits received under noncontributory programs, such as old age assistance, aid to dependent children, and supplemental security income are subject to the rules contained in paragraph (d) of this section applicable to charitable donations. The lumpsum death payment under title II of the Social Security Act will be considered as income except in claims for dependency and indemnity compensation and for pension under Pub. L. 86-211 (73 Stat. 432).
(g) Railroad retirement benefits—
(1) Parents, surviving spouses and children. Retirement benefits received from the Railroad Retirement Board will be considered as income under the rules contained in paragraph (e) of this section. (See paragraph (h) of this section as to waivers.)
(2) Veterans. Effective July 1, 1959, retirement benefits received from the Railroad Retirement Board were excluded from consideration as income in determining eligibility for disability pension. (45 U.S.C. 228s-1) This exclusion continues to be applicable to claims under laws in effect on June 30, 1960. For purposes of section 306 pension, such retirement benefits will be considered as income under the rules contained in paragraph (e) of this section.
(h) Retirement benefits waived. Except as provided in this paragraph, retirement benefits (pension or retirement payments) which have been waived will be included as income. For the purpose of determining dependency of a parent, or eligibility of a parent for dependency and indemnity compensation or eligibility of a veteran, surviving spouse, or child for pension under laws in effect on June 30, 1960, retirement benefits from the following sources which have been waived pursuant to Federal statute will not be considered as income:
(1) Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund;
(2) Railroad Retirement Board (see paragraph (g)(2) of this section);
(3) District of Columbia, firemen, policemen, or public school teachers;
(4) Former lighthouse service.
(i) Compensation (civilian) for injury or death. (1) Compensation paid by the Bureau of Employees' Compensation, Department of Labor (of the United States), or by Social Security Administration, or by Railroad Retirement Board, or pursuant to any workmen's compensation or employer's liability statute, or damages collected because of personal injury or death, less medical, legal, or other expenses incident to the injury or death, or the collection or recovery of such moneys will be considered income as received, except as provided in paragraph (i)(2) of this section. The criteria of paragraph (i)(1) of this section are for application as to all medical expenditures after such award or settlement.
(Authority: Pub. L. 92-198, 85 Stat. 663)
(2) For pension, effective October 7, 1966, and for dependency and indemnity compensation effective January 1, 1967, if payments based on permanent and total disability or death are received from the Bureau of Employees' Compensation, Social Security Administration or Railroad Retirement Board, or pursuant to any workmen's compensation or employer's liability statute, there will be excluded 10 percent of the payments received after deduction of medical, legal, and other expenses as authorized by paragraph (i)(1) of this section. The 10 percent exclusion does not apply to damages collected incident to a tort suit under other than an employer's liability law of the United States or a political subdivision of the United States, or to determinations of dependency for compensation purposes.
(j) Commercial insurance—
(1) Annuity or endowment insurance. For pension, effective January 1, 1965, or for dependency and indemnity compensation, effective January 1, 1967, the provisions of paragraph (e) of this section apply. In such cases, 10 percent of the payments received will be excluded. In dependency and indemnity compensation claims, where the parent is receiving or entitled to receive dependency and indemnity compensation on December 31, 1966, and is also receiving or entitled to receive annuity payments on that date, or endowment insurance matures on or before that date, no part of the payments received will be considered income until the full amount of the consideration has been received, after which 10 percent of the amount received will be excluded. For compensation, the full amount of each payment is considered income as received.
(2) Life insurance; general. In determining dependency, or eligibility for dependency and indemnity compensation, or for section 306 pension the full amount of payments is considered income as received. For section 306 pension, effective October 7, 1966, and for dependency and indemnity compensation, effective January 1, 1967, 10 percent of the payments received will be excluded.
(3) Life insurance; old-law pension. For pension under laws in effect on June 30, 1960, 10 percent of the payments received will be excluded. Where it is considered that life insurance was received in a lump sum in the calendar year in which the veteran died and payments are actually received in succeeding years, no part of the payments received in succeeding years will be considered income until an amount equal to the lump-sum face value of the policy has been received, after which 10 percent of the payments received will be excluded. The 10 percent exclusion is authorized effective October 7, 1966.
(4) Disability, accident or health insurance. For pension, effective October 7, 1966, and for dependency and indemnity compensation, effective January 1, 1967, there will be excluded 10 percent of the payments received for disability after deduction of medical, legal, or other expenses incident to the disability. For compensation, after deduction of such expenses, the full amount of payments is considered income as received.
(k) Property—
(1) Ownership. The terms of the recorded deed or other evidence of title will constitute evidence of ownership of real or personal property. This includes property acquired through purchase, bequest or inheritance except that, effective January 1, 1971, amounts in joint accounts in banks and similar institutions acquired by reason of the death of another joint owner shall not be considered income of a survivor for section 306 pension purposes. With the foregoing exception, if property is owned jointly each person will be considered as owning a proportionate share. The claimant's share of property held in partnership will be determined on the facts found. In the absence of evidence to the contrary, the claimant's statement as to the terms of ownership will be accepted.
(Authority: Sec. 306, Pub. L. 95-588; 92 Stat. 2508)
(2) Income-producing property. Income received from real or personal property owned by the claimant will be counted. The claimant's share will be determined in proportion to his right according to the rules of ownership.
(3) Sale of property. Except as provided in paragraphs (k)(4) and (5) of this section, net profit from the sale of real or personal property will be counted. In determining net profit from the sale of property owned prior to the date of entitlement, the value at the date of entitlement will be considered in relation to the selling price. Where payments are received in installments, payments will not be considered income until the claimant has received amounts equal to the value of the property at the date of entitlement. Principal and interest will not be counted separately.
(4) Homes. Net profit from the sale of the claimant's residence which is received during the calendar year of sale will not be considered as income under the following conditions:
(i) To the extent that it is applied within the calendar year of the sale, or the succeeding calendar year, to the purchase price of another residence as his principal dwelling;
(ii) Such application of the net profit is reported within 1 year following the date so applied, and
(iii) The net profit is so applied after January 10, 1962, to a purchase made after said date.
This exclusion will not apply where the net profit is applied to the price of a home purchased earlier than the calendar year preceding the calendar year of sale of the old residence.
(5) Sale of property; section 306 pension and dependency and indemnity compensation. For pension under section 306 pension and for dependency and indemnity compensation, profit from the sale of real or personal property other than in the course of a business will not be considered income. This applies to property acquired either before or after the date of entitlement. Any amounts received in excess of the sales price will be counted as income. Where payments are received in installments, principal and interest will not be counted separately. For pension, this provision is effective January 1, 1965; for dependency and indemnity compensation, January 1, 1967.
(6) Payments on mortgages on real property; section 306 pension. Effective January 1, 1971, for the purposes of section 306 pension, an amount equaling any prepayments made by a veteran or surviving spouse on a mortgage or similar type security instrument in existence at the death of veteran or spouse on real property which prior to the death was the principal residence of the veteran and spouse will be excluded from consideration as income if such payment was made after the death and prior to the close of the year succeeding the year of death.
(l) Unusual medical expenses. Within the provisions of paragraphs (l)(1) through (4) of this section there will be excluded from the amount of the claimant's annual income any unreimbursed amounts which have been paid within the calendar year for unusual medical expenses regardless of the year the indebtedness was incurred. The term unusual means excessive. It does not describe the nature of a medical condition but rather the amount expended for medical treatment in relationship to the claimant's resources available for sustaining a reasonable mode of life. Unreimbursed expenditures which exceed 5 percent of the claimant's reported annual income will be considered unusual. Health, accident, sickness and hospitalization insurance premiums will be included as medical expenses in determining whether the claimant's unreimbursed medical expenses meet the criterion for unusual. A claimant's statement as to amounts expended for medical expenses ordinarily will be accepted unless the circumstances create doubt as to its credibility. An estimate based on a clear and reasonable expectation that unusual medical expenditure will be realized may be accepted for the purpose of authorizing prospective payments of benefits subject to necessary adjustment in the award upon receipt of an amended estimate or after the end of the calendar year upon receipt of an income questionnaire.
(1) Veterans. For the purpose of section 306 pension, there will be excluded unreimbursed amounts paid by the veteran for unusual medical expenses of self, spouse, and other relatives of the veteran in the ascending as well as descending class who are members or constructive members of the veteran's household and whom the veteran has a moral or legal obligation to support.
(2) Surviving spouses. For the purpose of section 306 pension, there will be excluded unreimbursed amounts paid by the surviving spouse for the unusual medical expenses of self, the veteran's children, and other relatives of the surviving spouse in the ascending as well as descending class who are members or constructive members of the surviving spouse's household and whom the surviving spouse has a moral or legal obligation to support.
(3) Children. For the purpose of section 306 pension, there will be excluded unreimbursed amounts paid by a child for the unusual medical expenses of self, parent, and brothers and sisters of the child.
(4) Parents. For dependency and indemnity compensation purposes there will be excluded unreimbursed amounts paid by the parent for the unusual medical expenses of self, spouse, and other relatives of the parent in the ascending as well as descending class who are members or constructive members of the parent's household and whom the parent has a moral or legal obligation to support. If the combined annual income of the parent and the parent's spouse is the basis for dependency and indemnity compensation, the exclusion is applicable to the combined annual income and extends to the unusual unreimbursed medical expenses of the spouse's relatives in the ascending as well as descending class who are members or constructive members of the household and whom the parent's spouse has a moral or legal obligation to support.
(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 1315(f)(3); Sec. 306, Pub. L. 95-588; 92 Stat. 2508)
(m) Veteran's final expenses; pension. In claims for pension under section 306, there will be excluded, as provided in paragraph (p) of this section:
(1) From the income of a surviving spouse, amounts equal to amounts paid for the expenses of the veteran's last illness;
(2) From the income of a surviving spouse, or of a child of a deceased veteran where there is no surviving spouse, amounts equal to amounts paid by the surviving spouse or child for the veteran's just debts, for the expenses of the veteran's last illness, and burial to the extent such expenses are not reimbursed by the Department of Veterans Affairs. The term “just debts” does not include any debt that is secured by real or personal property.
(Authority: Sec. 306, Pub. L. 95-588; 92 Stat. 2508)
(n) Final expenses of veteran's spouse or child; pension. In claims for pension under section 306, there will be excluded, as provided in paragraph (p) of this section:
(1) From the income of a veteran, amounts equal to amounts paid by the veteran for the last illness and burial of the veteran's deceased spouse or child; and
(2) From the income of a spouse or surviving spouse, amounts equal to amounts paid by her as spouse or surviving spouse of the deceased veteran for the last illness and burial of a child of such veteran.
(Authority: Sec. 306, Pub. L. 95-588; 92 Stat. 2508)
(o) Final expenses of veteran or parent's spouse; dependency and indemnity compensation. In claims for dependency and indemnity compensation there will be excluded from the income of a parent, as provided in paragraph (p) of this section, amounts equal to amounts paid by the parent for:
(1) The expenses of the veteran's last illness and burial to the extent that such expenses are not reimbursed under 38 U.S.C. ch. 23.
(2) The parent's deceased spouse's just debts, the expenses of the spouse's last illness to the extent such expenses are not reimbursed under 38 U.S.C. ch. 51 and the expenses of the spouse's burial to the extent that such expenses are not reimbursed under 38 U.S.C. ch. 23 or 51. The term “just debts” does not include any debt that is secured by real or personal property.
(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 1315(f))
(p) Final expenses; year of exclusion. For the purpose of paragraphs (m), (n) and (o) of this section, in the absence of contradictory information, the claimant's statement will be accepted as to the nature, amount and date of payment, and identity of the creditor. Except as provided in this paragraph, payments will be deducted from annual income for the year in which such payments are made. Payments made by a veteran, the spouse or surviving spouse of a veteran, child or, in dependency and indemnity compensation claims, by a parent during the calendar year following the year in which the veteran, spouse or child died may be deducted from the claimant's income for the year of last illness or burial if this deduction is advantageous to the claimant.
(q) Volunteer programs—
(1) Payments under Foster Grandparent Program and Older Americans Community Service Programs. Effective May 3, 1973, compensation received under the Foster Grandparent Program and the Older Americans Community Service Programs will be excluded from income in claims for compensation, pension and dependency and indemnity compensation.
(Authority: Pub. L. 93-29; 87 Stat. 55)
(2) Payments under domestic volunteer service act programs. Effective October 1, 1973, compensation or reimbursement received under a Domestic Volunteer Service Act Program (including Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA), University Year for ACTION (UYA), Program for Local Services (PLS), ACTION Cooperative Volunteers (ACV), Foster Grandparent Program (FGP) and Older American Community Service Program, Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP), Senior Companion Program, Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) and Active Corps of Executives (ACE), will be excluded from income in claims for compensation, pension and dependency and indemnity compensation.
(Authority: Pub. L. 93-113; 87 Stat. 394)
(r) Survivor benefit annuity. For the purposes of old law pension and section 306 pension, there shall be excluded from computation of income annuity paid by the Department of Defense under the authority of section 653, Public Law 100-456 to qualified surviving spouses of veterans who died prior to November 1, 1953. (September 29, 1988)
(Authority: Sec. 653, Pub. L. 100-456; 102 Stat. 1991)
(s) Agent Orange settlement payments. In claims for pension and parents' dependency and indemnity income, there shall be excluded from computation of income payments received by any person in the case of In re Agent Orange Product Liability Litigation in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York (MDL No. 381). (January 1, 1989)
(Authority: Pub. L. 101-201, 103 Stat. 1795)
(t) Reimbursement for casualty loss. The following sources of reimbursements for casualty loss will not be considered as income in determining entitlement to benefits under the programs specified. Amounts to be excluded from computation in parens' dependency and indemnity compensation claims are limited to amounts of reimbursement which do not exceed the greater of the fair market value or the reasonable replacement cost of the property involved at the time immediately preceding the loss.
(1) Reimbursement for casualty loss of any kind in determining entitlement to parents' dependency and indemnity compensation benefits. For purposes of paragraph (t) of this section, the term “casualty loss” means the complete or partial destruction of property resulting from an identifiable event of a sudden, unexpected or unusual nature.
(2) Proceeds from fire insurance in determining dependency of a parent for compensation purposes or in determining entitlement to old-law and section 306 pension benefits.
(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 1315(f))
(u) Restitution to individuals of Japanese ancestry. Effective August 10, 1988, for the purposes of old law pension, section 306 pension, parents' death compensation, and parents' dependency and indemnity compensation, there shall be excluded from income computation any payment made as restitution under Public Law 100-383 to individuals of Japanese ancestry who were interned, evacuated, or relocated during the period December 7, 1941, through June 30, 1946, pursuant to any law, Executive order, Presidential proclamation, directive, or other official action respecting these individuals.
(v) Income received by American Indian beneficiaries from trust or restricted lands. There shall be excluded from income computation payments of up to $2,000 per calendar year to an individual Indian from trust lands or restricted lands as defined in 25 CFR 151.2. (January 1, 1994)
(Authority: Sec. 13736, Pub. L. 103-66; 107 Stat. 663)
(w) Radiation Exposure Compensation Act. For the purposes of parents' dependency and indemnity compensation, there shall be excluded from income computation payments under Section 6 of the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act of 1990.
(x) Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act. There shall be excluded from income computation any cash (including cash dividends on stock received from a Native Corporation) to the extent that it does not, in the aggregate, exceed $2,000 per individual per annum; stock (including stock issued or distributed by a Native Corporation as a dividend or distribution on stock); a partnership interest; land or an interest in land (including land or an interest in land received from a Native Corporation as a dividend or distribution on stock); and an interest in a settlement trust. (November 2, 1994)
(Authority: Sec. 506, Pub. L. 103-446)
(y) Monetary allowance under 38 U.S.C. chapter 18 for certain individuals who are children of Vietnam veterans or children of veterans with covered service in Korea. There shall be excluded from income computation any allowance paid under the provisions of 38 U.S.C. chapter 18 to or for an individual who is a child of a Vietnam veteran or a child of a veteran with covered service in Korea.
(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 1833(c))
(z) Victims of Crime Act. For purposes of old law pension, section 306 pension, and parents' dependency and indemnity compensation, amounts received as compensation under the Victims of Crime Act of 1984 will not be considered income unless the total amount of assistance received from all federally funded programs is sufficient to fully compensate the claimant for losses suffered as a result of the crime.
(Authority: 42 U.S.C. 10602(c))
(aa) Medicare Prescription Drug Discount Card and Transitional Assistance Program. For purposes of old law pension, section 306 pension, and parents' dependency and indemnity compensation, the payments received under the Medicare transitional assistance program and any savings associated with the Medicare prescription drug discount card will not be considered income.
[28 FR 32, Jan. 1, 1963]
Editorial Note:
For Federal Register citations affecting § 3.262, see the List of CFR Sections Affected, which appears in the Finding Aids section of the printed volume and at www.fdsys.gov.

Title 38 published on 2014-07-01

The following are only the Rules published in the Federal Register after the published date of Title 38.

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  • 2014-09-25; vol. 79 # 186 - Thursday, September 25, 2014
    1. 79 FR 57660 - Standard Claims and Appeals Forms
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      DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS
      Final rule.
      Effective Date: This final rule is effective March 24, 2015.
      38 CFR Parts 3, 19, and 20

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United States Code
U.S. Code: Title 10 - ARMED FORCES
U.S. Code: Title 28 - JUDICIARY AND JUDICIAL PROCEDURE
U.S. Code: Title 38 - VETERANS’ BENEFITS
Statutes at Large
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Title 38 published on 2014-07-01

The following are ALL rules, proposed rules, and notices (chronologically) published in the Federal Register relating to 38 CFR 3 after this date.

  • 2014-12-02; vol. 79 # 231 - Tuesday, December 2, 2014
    1. 79 FR 71366 - Additional Compensation on Account of Children Adopted Out of Veteran's Family
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      DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS
      Proposed rule.
      Comments must be received on or before February 2, 2015.
      38 CFR Part 3