38 CFR § 3.701 - Elections of pension or compensation.

§ 3.701 Elections of pension or compensation.

(a) General. Except as otherwise provided, a person entitled to receive pension or compensation under more than one law or section of a law administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs may elect to receive whichever benefit, regardless of whether it is the greater or lesser benefit, even though the election reduces the benefits payable to his or her dependents. Such person may at any time elect or reelect the other benefit. An election by a veteran controls the rights of all dependents in that case. An election by a surviving spouse controls the claims of all children including children over 18 and children not in the custody of the surviving spouse. The election of improved pension by a surviving spouse, however, shall not prejudice the rights of any child receiving an apportionment on December 31, 1978. Termination of a marriage or marital relationship which had been the reason for terminating an award of section 306 or old-law pension does not restore to the surviving spouse the right to receive section 306 or old-law pension. The claimant's entitlement, if otherwise established, is under the current provisions of 38 U.S.C. 1541.

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 501)

(b) Form of election. An election must be in writing and must specify the benefit the person wishes to receive.

(c) Change from one law to another. Except as otherwise provided, where payments of pension or compensation are being made to a person under one law, the right to receive benefits under another law being in suspension, and a higher rate of pension or compensation becomes payable under the other law, benefits at the higher rate will not be paid for any date prior to the date of receipt of an election.

[26 FR 1602, Feb. 24, 1961, as amended at 36 FR 12618, July 2, 1971; 44 FR 45943, Aug. 6, 1979; 79 FR 57697, Sept. 25, 2014]