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Survivor wins 168K retro pay with help from Veteran Service Officer Covington

photo of Marsha-Covington-Bexar-Co.VCS

The surviving spouse of an Army veteran who served in Vietnam had been repeatedly denied Dependency Indemnity Compensation benefits. She had been denied every year since her spouse died in 2013.

In February 2023, she met with Marsha Covington, an Army veteran and Veteran County Service Officer at the Bexar County Military & Veterans Services Office.


That very month, Covington, pictured, filed an appeal for the surviving spouse. It was denied because, as Covington learned, there was not a service-connected condition on the veteran’s death certificate.

“I asked his spouse about his medical conditions and discovered he had four service connected conditions due to serving in Vietnam and being exposed to the toxic chemical Agent Orange,” said Covington.

After learning this, Covington recommended to the spouse that she meet with her late husband’s doctor and see if the doctor would include those service-connected conditions on an amended death certificate. “In November 2023, the spouse returned and the amended death certificate had all those service-connected conditions,” said Covington.

“In February 2024, she was granted Dependency Indemnity Compensation and in March 2024, she was awarded retro pay over $168,000,” said Covington. “The retro pay went back to the day of his death, August 13, 2013. She will continue to receive compensation monthly.  She was super excited, in shock, in tears and very thankful.”

The experience touched Covington too. “I am so happy that I assisted her. This is more than a job! We are changing lives! As a retired Army veteran, I love taking care of veterans and their families!”

Covington encourages the surviving spouses and children of veterans “Please never give up!” She further advises spouses “talk to your veteran’s doctors about all the veteran’s medical conditions. It would be very helpful when you are seeking survivor’s benefits.”

And, to veterans, Covington encourages them to discover all the compensation they have earned for themselves and their families. “Please seek mental health specialists, you can file a claim for possible PTSD, anxiety and depression, this can help you and your family members receive benefits.”

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