38 CFR § 3.1009 - Personal funds of patients.
The provisions of this section are applicable to gratuitous benefits deposited by the Department of Veterans Affairs either before, on, or after December 1, 1959, in a personal funds of patients account for an incompetent veteran who was incompetent at the date of death. Where the veteran died after November 30, 1959:
(a) Eligible persons. Gratuitous benefits shall be paid to the living person first listed as follows:
(1) His or her spouse, as defined in § 3.1000(d)(1);
(2) His or her children (in equal shares), as defined in § 3.57 but without regard to their age or marital status;
(3) His or her dependent parents (in equal shares) as defined in § 3.59 or the surviving parent, provided that the parent was dependent within the meaning of § 3.250 at the date of the veteran's death.
(4) In all other cases, only so much may be paid as may be necessary to reimburse a person who bore the expense of last sickness or burial. (See § 3.1002.)
(b) Claim. Application 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 for the submission of 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.