38 CFR 3.1001 - Hospitalized competent veterans.
(a)Basic entitlement. Where an award of disability pension for a competent veteran without dependents was reduced because of hospital treatment or institutional or domiciliary care by the Department of Veterans Affairs and the veteran dies while receiving such treatment or care or before payment of amounts withheld, the lump sum is payable to the living person first listed as follows:
(4) In all other cases, only so much of the lump sum may be paid as may be necessary to reimburse a person who bore the expenses of last sickness or burial. (See § 3.1002.)
(b)Claim. Applications must be filed with the Department of Veterans Affairs within 5 years after the death of the veteran. If, however, any person otherwise entitled is under legal disability at the time of the veteran's death, the 5-year period will run from the date of termination or removal of the legal disability.
(1) There is no time limit on the retroactive period of an award or for furnishing evidence.
(2) Failure to file timely claim, or a waiver of rights, by a preferred dependent will not serve to vest title in a person in a lower class or a claimant for reimbursement; neither will such failure or waiver by a person or persons in a joint class serve to increase the amount payable to another or others in the class.
(c)Lump sum withheld after discharge from institution. The provisions of paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section will apply in the event of the death of any veteran prior to receiving a lump sum which was withheld because treatment or care was terminated against medical advice or as the result of disciplinary action.