(a) Substitution.--(1) If a claimant dies while a claim for any benefit under a law administered by the Secretary, or an appeal of a decision with respect to such a claim, is pending, a living person who would be eligible to receive accrued benefits due to the claimant under section 5121(a) of this title may, not later than one year after the date of the death of such claimant, file a request to be substituted as the claimant for the purposes of processing the claim to completion.
(2) Any person seeking to be substituted for the claimant shall present evidence of the right to claim such status within such time as prescribed by the Secretary in regulations.
(3) Substitution under this subsection shall be in accordance with such regulations as the Secretary may prescribe.
(b) Limitation. --Those who are eligible to make a claim under this section shall be determined in accordance with section 5121 of this title.
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