Estate Planning

Eligibility for Veteran’s Spouse Benefits: What You Need to Know

Joel Lim

April 4, 2024

|

eligibility for veteran’s spouse benefits

The intelligent digital vault for families

Trustworthy protects and optimizes important family information so you can save time, money, and enjoy peace of mind

Being the spouse of a veteran comes with some sacrifice while your partner is away from home on duty. But did you know you’re entitled to support through veteran spouse benefits?

As a veteran spouse, you’ll become acquainted with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and will need to know how to navigate VA benefits. This guide will explore what benefits you’re eligible for and how to apply for them. 


Key Takeaways 

  • The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has a number of benefits spouses are entitled to.

  • Three factors must be considered for spouses to be eligible for VA benefits: marital status, health status, and veteran service.

  • Spouses have access to health benefits, education benefits, and pension benefits. 


Does the Wife of a Veteran Get Benefits?

does the wife of a veteran get benefits

Veterans’ spouses spend a lot of their emotional well-being and time supporting their partners, and to honor this, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has many benefits they’re entitled to. 

These benefits can range from assisting with medical care to the VA Aid and Attendance for Spouses program. This can provide financial aid for daily living activities to ensure a better quality of life.  

Many people think spouses only have access to benefits once the veteran passes away, and that is incorrect. Spouses have access to certain benefits only after the passing of a veteran, such as the VA Survivor Pension benefit and the Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC), but may be entitled to other forms of VA Aid before that, especially relating to disability compensation. 

Other benefits spouses can get are health plans and programs for family members with special needs. There are also some educational and training benefits, home loan benefits, and counseling benefits during a veteran spouse’s passing. 

Keep track of all the benefits you’re entitled to as a veteran’s spouse on a family operating system like Trustworthy. Trustworthy allows you to store all your important documents in a secure location and easily access them. The collaboration features make sharing access to family members or estate planning attorneys quick and secure. 


Eligibility for Veteran’s Spouse Benefits

eligibility for veteran’s spouse benefits

In a perfect world, accessing these benefits should be quick and simple. However, there are some eligibility requirements you need to meet.

Marital Status 

To qualify for many VA benefits, you must have been married to a veteran at some point. You also need to be currently married to use health care programs like TRICARE and education programs.

However, there are some instances where this is not enforced. If the veteran dies, the surviving spouse will receive DIC payments, which include spouses who remarried before the ages of 55-57. For TRICARE, remarried spouses will have access to those benefits as long as they were previously married to the veteran for at least 20 years or the veteran had at least 20 years of service. 

Health Status 

The VA Aid and Attendance benefits provide monetary assistance for help with daily living activities if the family member is disabled or has some other condition preventing them from being able to care for themselves. To be eligible for this benefit, you need to prove you need help performing daily activities, be bedridden, be in a nursing home, or have limited eyesight.

Veteran Service

To be eligible for spousal benefits, your veteran spouse must have served for a certain amount of time in specific wartime periods. Their discharge status also matters. 

For example, some scholarship benefits spouses have access to are determined by the circumstances of the veteran's death. The Fry Scholarship only allows spouses access to this benefit if their spouse died during duty on or after September 11, 2001. 

You’ll likely encounter lots of paperwork and applications you need to file to prove eligibility for these benefits. Stay on top of things by using Trustworthy to organize and store your documents in one secure location. 


Veteran Spouse Benefits List

veteran spouse benefits list

There are a lot of benefits spouses have access to, but it’s a matter of knowing which ones and how to apply for them. 

VA Aid and Attendance for Spouses

As discussed above, this type of benefit provides monetary assistance to help with performing daily living activities to remove the financial burden on veteran spouses. This type of benefit ultimately improves the quality of life.   

TRICARE 

TRICARE is a benefits program providing veteran spouses with health benefits, including health and dental plans. These benefits will assist with expenses associated with medical prescriptions and prescriptions for special needs persons. 

Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs (CHAMPVA)

For those who don't qualify, the VA offers spouses and children access to the Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs (CHAMPVA). These benefits cover inpatient and outpatient care, medical prescriptions, and supplies. Some co-payments will be applied. 

Pharmacy Benefits

As a veteran spouse, you can access pharmacy benefits covering the cost of prescriptions at your local pharmacy or the VA’s Meds by Mail program. 

Education Benefits

The VA honors your support and sacrifice as a veteran spouse by giving you access to a number of different education benefits. These include: 

  • Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship (Fry Scholarship)

  • Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance (DEA) program

  • Employment help through programs like the Military Spouse Career Advancement Account (MyCAA)

  • G.I. Bill

In addition, some programs, like the Post-9/11 GI Bill, assist with tuition fees, general stipends, and even a housing allowance. 

Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC)

Should your veteran spouse pass away during active duty, you can receive monthly payments from the Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) of around $1,612. This payment is tax-free. 

Survivors Pension 

Widowed veteran spouses can access the survivor's pension, which is paid out monthly to lower-income spouses. Your Maximum Amount of Pension Payable (MAPR) determines the amount you get paid, so if it is less than $155,356, you can access this benefit. 

Suzette Graham, founder and CEO of Patriot Angels explains:

“The MAPR is calculated on income versus medical expenses… The way you would calculate the MAPR is liquid assets — assets that can be turned into cash — plus income after you have subtracted medical expenses.”

Home Loan Guaranty and Home Adaptation Grants

Surviving spouses also have access to a VA-backed home loan and VA-backed mortgage, which come with lower monthly repayments. You can get loans for home improvements, building, and repairs. If you need to build ramps for wheelchair access or other aids, these benefits will help cover the cost. 

Burial Benefits and Memorial Items

It’s a traumatic time when a loved one passes away. Finding money for burial costs is added stress you don’t need. The VA provides benefits to help with the costs of a veteran burial, a headstone, and the gravesite. They also assist in planning a memorial service. 

Keep a list of these benefits in a secure location like Trustworthy so you can access them easily when the time comes. 


How to Apply for Veteran’s Spouse Benefits

how to apply for veteran’s spouse benefits

Now that you know what benefits you can access as a veteran spouse, you need to know how to apply for them. You must be patient during this process, as the VA is not known for its speed.

File the Claim 

To start the process, you must file the claim with the VA. This can be done online, by mail, or in person at your nearest office. Before you submit the claim, you need to correctly fill out the application for DIC, survivor's pension, and accrued benefits. 

Include all supporting documents, such as evidence (if claiming health benefits), your spouse's veteran details, and supporting statements from the relevant people. 

Claim Received Notification 

After you submit the claim, you will receive a notification from the VA saying they have received your application. Online submissions have instant notifications, and if you submit via mail, your notification could take at least one week if there are no delays.  

The Claim Is Reviewed

At this stage in the process, you have nothing else to do but wait for the VA to do its job. During this time, they will review your application, gather their own evidence, and review the evidence you provided. 

Receive Your Claim Packet 

Once your claim has been decided, your claim packet, which includes the details of the decision, will be sent to you through the U.S. mail. This process can take 7 to 10 business days. 


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the most common 100% VA disability?

The most common 100% approved VA disability is one caused by a loss of body parts. 

What is the most approved VA disability?

The most commonly approved VA disability claims are for Tinnitus, an ear condition commonly experienced by soldiers on active duty. 

What is the easiest VA claim to win?

The easiest VA claim to win is the condition of Tinnitus. 

What is a VA surviving spouse?

A VA surviving spouse is the spouse of a veteran who has died during active duty or service-related activities.

Estate Planning

Eligibility for Veteran’s Spouse Benefits: What You Need to Know

Joel Lim

April 4, 2024

|

eligibility for veteran’s spouse benefits

Being the spouse of a veteran comes with some sacrifice while your partner is away from home on duty. But did you know you’re entitled to support through veteran spouse benefits?

As a veteran spouse, you’ll become acquainted with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and will need to know how to navigate VA benefits. This guide will explore what benefits you’re eligible for and how to apply for them. 


Key Takeaways 

  • The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has a number of benefits spouses are entitled to.

  • Three factors must be considered for spouses to be eligible for VA benefits: marital status, health status, and veteran service.

  • Spouses have access to health benefits, education benefits, and pension benefits. 


Does the Wife of a Veteran Get Benefits?

does the wife of a veteran get benefits

Veterans’ spouses spend a lot of their emotional well-being and time supporting their partners, and to honor this, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has many benefits they’re entitled to. 

These benefits can range from assisting with medical care to the VA Aid and Attendance for Spouses program. This can provide financial aid for daily living activities to ensure a better quality of life.  

Many people think spouses only have access to benefits once the veteran passes away, and that is incorrect. Spouses have access to certain benefits only after the passing of a veteran, such as the VA Survivor Pension benefit and the Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC), but may be entitled to other forms of VA Aid before that, especially relating to disability compensation. 

Other benefits spouses can get are health plans and programs for family members with special needs. There are also some educational and training benefits, home loan benefits, and counseling benefits during a veteran spouse’s passing. 

Keep track of all the benefits you’re entitled to as a veteran’s spouse on a family operating system like Trustworthy. Trustworthy allows you to store all your important documents in a secure location and easily access them. The collaboration features make sharing access to family members or estate planning attorneys quick and secure. 


Eligibility for Veteran’s Spouse Benefits

eligibility for veteran’s spouse benefits

In a perfect world, accessing these benefits should be quick and simple. However, there are some eligibility requirements you need to meet.

Marital Status 

To qualify for many VA benefits, you must have been married to a veteran at some point. You also need to be currently married to use health care programs like TRICARE and education programs.

However, there are some instances where this is not enforced. If the veteran dies, the surviving spouse will receive DIC payments, which include spouses who remarried before the ages of 55-57. For TRICARE, remarried spouses will have access to those benefits as long as they were previously married to the veteran for at least 20 years or the veteran had at least 20 years of service. 

Health Status 

The VA Aid and Attendance benefits provide monetary assistance for help with daily living activities if the family member is disabled or has some other condition preventing them from being able to care for themselves. To be eligible for this benefit, you need to prove you need help performing daily activities, be bedridden, be in a nursing home, or have limited eyesight.

Veteran Service

To be eligible for spousal benefits, your veteran spouse must have served for a certain amount of time in specific wartime periods. Their discharge status also matters. 

For example, some scholarship benefits spouses have access to are determined by the circumstances of the veteran's death. The Fry Scholarship only allows spouses access to this benefit if their spouse died during duty on or after September 11, 2001. 

You’ll likely encounter lots of paperwork and applications you need to file to prove eligibility for these benefits. Stay on top of things by using Trustworthy to organize and store your documents in one secure location. 


Veteran Spouse Benefits List

veteran spouse benefits list

There are a lot of benefits spouses have access to, but it’s a matter of knowing which ones and how to apply for them. 

VA Aid and Attendance for Spouses

As discussed above, this type of benefit provides monetary assistance to help with performing daily living activities to remove the financial burden on veteran spouses. This type of benefit ultimately improves the quality of life.   

TRICARE 

TRICARE is a benefits program providing veteran spouses with health benefits, including health and dental plans. These benefits will assist with expenses associated with medical prescriptions and prescriptions for special needs persons. 

Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs (CHAMPVA)

For those who don't qualify, the VA offers spouses and children access to the Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs (CHAMPVA). These benefits cover inpatient and outpatient care, medical prescriptions, and supplies. Some co-payments will be applied. 

Pharmacy Benefits

As a veteran spouse, you can access pharmacy benefits covering the cost of prescriptions at your local pharmacy or the VA’s Meds by Mail program. 

Education Benefits

The VA honors your support and sacrifice as a veteran spouse by giving you access to a number of different education benefits. These include: 

  • Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship (Fry Scholarship)

  • Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance (DEA) program

  • Employment help through programs like the Military Spouse Career Advancement Account (MyCAA)

  • G.I. Bill

In addition, some programs, like the Post-9/11 GI Bill, assist with tuition fees, general stipends, and even a housing allowance. 

Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC)

Should your veteran spouse pass away during active duty, you can receive monthly payments from the Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) of around $1,612. This payment is tax-free. 

Survivors Pension 

Widowed veteran spouses can access the survivor's pension, which is paid out monthly to lower-income spouses. Your Maximum Amount of Pension Payable (MAPR) determines the amount you get paid, so if it is less than $155,356, you can access this benefit. 

Suzette Graham, founder and CEO of Patriot Angels explains:

“The MAPR is calculated on income versus medical expenses… The way you would calculate the MAPR is liquid assets — assets that can be turned into cash — plus income after you have subtracted medical expenses.”

Home Loan Guaranty and Home Adaptation Grants

Surviving spouses also have access to a VA-backed home loan and VA-backed mortgage, which come with lower monthly repayments. You can get loans for home improvements, building, and repairs. If you need to build ramps for wheelchair access or other aids, these benefits will help cover the cost. 

Burial Benefits and Memorial Items

It’s a traumatic time when a loved one passes away. Finding money for burial costs is added stress you don’t need. The VA provides benefits to help with the costs of a veteran burial, a headstone, and the gravesite. They also assist in planning a memorial service. 

Keep a list of these benefits in a secure location like Trustworthy so you can access them easily when the time comes. 


How to Apply for Veteran’s Spouse Benefits

how to apply for veteran’s spouse benefits

Now that you know what benefits you can access as a veteran spouse, you need to know how to apply for them. You must be patient during this process, as the VA is not known for its speed.

File the Claim 

To start the process, you must file the claim with the VA. This can be done online, by mail, or in person at your nearest office. Before you submit the claim, you need to correctly fill out the application for DIC, survivor's pension, and accrued benefits. 

Include all supporting documents, such as evidence (if claiming health benefits), your spouse's veteran details, and supporting statements from the relevant people. 

Claim Received Notification 

After you submit the claim, you will receive a notification from the VA saying they have received your application. Online submissions have instant notifications, and if you submit via mail, your notification could take at least one week if there are no delays.  

The Claim Is Reviewed

At this stage in the process, you have nothing else to do but wait for the VA to do its job. During this time, they will review your application, gather their own evidence, and review the evidence you provided. 

Receive Your Claim Packet 

Once your claim has been decided, your claim packet, which includes the details of the decision, will be sent to you through the U.S. mail. This process can take 7 to 10 business days. 


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the most common 100% VA disability?

The most common 100% approved VA disability is one caused by a loss of body parts. 

What is the most approved VA disability?

The most commonly approved VA disability claims are for Tinnitus, an ear condition commonly experienced by soldiers on active duty. 

What is the easiest VA claim to win?

The easiest VA claim to win is the condition of Tinnitus. 

What is a VA surviving spouse?

A VA surviving spouse is the spouse of a veteran who has died during active duty or service-related activities.

Estate Planning

Eligibility for Veteran’s Spouse Benefits: What You Need to Know

Joel Lim

April 4, 2024

|

eligibility for veteran’s spouse benefits

The intelligent digital vault for families

Trustworthy protects and optimizes important family information so you can save time, money, and enjoy peace of mind

Being the spouse of a veteran comes with some sacrifice while your partner is away from home on duty. But did you know you’re entitled to support through veteran spouse benefits?

As a veteran spouse, you’ll become acquainted with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and will need to know how to navigate VA benefits. This guide will explore what benefits you’re eligible for and how to apply for them. 


Key Takeaways 

  • The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has a number of benefits spouses are entitled to.

  • Three factors must be considered for spouses to be eligible for VA benefits: marital status, health status, and veteran service.

  • Spouses have access to health benefits, education benefits, and pension benefits. 


Does the Wife of a Veteran Get Benefits?

does the wife of a veteran get benefits

Veterans’ spouses spend a lot of their emotional well-being and time supporting their partners, and to honor this, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has many benefits they’re entitled to. 

These benefits can range from assisting with medical care to the VA Aid and Attendance for Spouses program. This can provide financial aid for daily living activities to ensure a better quality of life.  

Many people think spouses only have access to benefits once the veteran passes away, and that is incorrect. Spouses have access to certain benefits only after the passing of a veteran, such as the VA Survivor Pension benefit and the Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC), but may be entitled to other forms of VA Aid before that, especially relating to disability compensation. 

Other benefits spouses can get are health plans and programs for family members with special needs. There are also some educational and training benefits, home loan benefits, and counseling benefits during a veteran spouse’s passing. 

Keep track of all the benefits you’re entitled to as a veteran’s spouse on a family operating system like Trustworthy. Trustworthy allows you to store all your important documents in a secure location and easily access them. The collaboration features make sharing access to family members or estate planning attorneys quick and secure. 


Eligibility for Veteran’s Spouse Benefits

eligibility for veteran’s spouse benefits

In a perfect world, accessing these benefits should be quick and simple. However, there are some eligibility requirements you need to meet.

Marital Status 

To qualify for many VA benefits, you must have been married to a veteran at some point. You also need to be currently married to use health care programs like TRICARE and education programs.

However, there are some instances where this is not enforced. If the veteran dies, the surviving spouse will receive DIC payments, which include spouses who remarried before the ages of 55-57. For TRICARE, remarried spouses will have access to those benefits as long as they were previously married to the veteran for at least 20 years or the veteran had at least 20 years of service. 

Health Status 

The VA Aid and Attendance benefits provide monetary assistance for help with daily living activities if the family member is disabled or has some other condition preventing them from being able to care for themselves. To be eligible for this benefit, you need to prove you need help performing daily activities, be bedridden, be in a nursing home, or have limited eyesight.

Veteran Service

To be eligible for spousal benefits, your veteran spouse must have served for a certain amount of time in specific wartime periods. Their discharge status also matters. 

For example, some scholarship benefits spouses have access to are determined by the circumstances of the veteran's death. The Fry Scholarship only allows spouses access to this benefit if their spouse died during duty on or after September 11, 2001. 

You’ll likely encounter lots of paperwork and applications you need to file to prove eligibility for these benefits. Stay on top of things by using Trustworthy to organize and store your documents in one secure location. 


Veteran Spouse Benefits List

veteran spouse benefits list

There are a lot of benefits spouses have access to, but it’s a matter of knowing which ones and how to apply for them. 

VA Aid and Attendance for Spouses

As discussed above, this type of benefit provides monetary assistance to help with performing daily living activities to remove the financial burden on veteran spouses. This type of benefit ultimately improves the quality of life.   

TRICARE 

TRICARE is a benefits program providing veteran spouses with health benefits, including health and dental plans. These benefits will assist with expenses associated with medical prescriptions and prescriptions for special needs persons. 

Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs (CHAMPVA)

For those who don't qualify, the VA offers spouses and children access to the Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs (CHAMPVA). These benefits cover inpatient and outpatient care, medical prescriptions, and supplies. Some co-payments will be applied. 

Pharmacy Benefits

As a veteran spouse, you can access pharmacy benefits covering the cost of prescriptions at your local pharmacy or the VA’s Meds by Mail program. 

Education Benefits

The VA honors your support and sacrifice as a veteran spouse by giving you access to a number of different education benefits. These include: 

  • Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship (Fry Scholarship)

  • Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance (DEA) program

  • Employment help through programs like the Military Spouse Career Advancement Account (MyCAA)

  • G.I. Bill

In addition, some programs, like the Post-9/11 GI Bill, assist with tuition fees, general stipends, and even a housing allowance. 

Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC)

Should your veteran spouse pass away during active duty, you can receive monthly payments from the Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) of around $1,612. This payment is tax-free. 

Survivors Pension 

Widowed veteran spouses can access the survivor's pension, which is paid out monthly to lower-income spouses. Your Maximum Amount of Pension Payable (MAPR) determines the amount you get paid, so if it is less than $155,356, you can access this benefit. 

Suzette Graham, founder and CEO of Patriot Angels explains:

“The MAPR is calculated on income versus medical expenses… The way you would calculate the MAPR is liquid assets — assets that can be turned into cash — plus income after you have subtracted medical expenses.”

Home Loan Guaranty and Home Adaptation Grants

Surviving spouses also have access to a VA-backed home loan and VA-backed mortgage, which come with lower monthly repayments. You can get loans for home improvements, building, and repairs. If you need to build ramps for wheelchair access or other aids, these benefits will help cover the cost. 

Burial Benefits and Memorial Items

It’s a traumatic time when a loved one passes away. Finding money for burial costs is added stress you don’t need. The VA provides benefits to help with the costs of a veteran burial, a headstone, and the gravesite. They also assist in planning a memorial service. 

Keep a list of these benefits in a secure location like Trustworthy so you can access them easily when the time comes. 


How to Apply for Veteran’s Spouse Benefits

how to apply for veteran’s spouse benefits

Now that you know what benefits you can access as a veteran spouse, you need to know how to apply for them. You must be patient during this process, as the VA is not known for its speed.

File the Claim 

To start the process, you must file the claim with the VA. This can be done online, by mail, or in person at your nearest office. Before you submit the claim, you need to correctly fill out the application for DIC, survivor's pension, and accrued benefits. 

Include all supporting documents, such as evidence (if claiming health benefits), your spouse's veteran details, and supporting statements from the relevant people. 

Claim Received Notification 

After you submit the claim, you will receive a notification from the VA saying they have received your application. Online submissions have instant notifications, and if you submit via mail, your notification could take at least one week if there are no delays.  

The Claim Is Reviewed

At this stage in the process, you have nothing else to do but wait for the VA to do its job. During this time, they will review your application, gather their own evidence, and review the evidence you provided. 

Receive Your Claim Packet 

Once your claim has been decided, your claim packet, which includes the details of the decision, will be sent to you through the U.S. mail. This process can take 7 to 10 business days. 


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the most common 100% VA disability?

The most common 100% approved VA disability is one caused by a loss of body parts. 

What is the most approved VA disability?

The most commonly approved VA disability claims are for Tinnitus, an ear condition commonly experienced by soldiers on active duty. 

What is the easiest VA claim to win?

The easiest VA claim to win is the condition of Tinnitus. 

What is a VA surviving spouse?

A VA surviving spouse is the spouse of a veteran who has died during active duty or service-related activities.

Estate Planning

Eligibility for Veteran’s Spouse Benefits: What You Need to Know

Joel Lim

April 4, 2024

|

eligibility for veteran’s spouse benefits

The intelligent digital vault for families

Trustworthy protects and optimizes important family information so you can save time, money, and enjoy peace of mind

Being the spouse of a veteran comes with some sacrifice while your partner is away from home on duty. But did you know you’re entitled to support through veteran spouse benefits?

As a veteran spouse, you’ll become acquainted with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and will need to know how to navigate VA benefits. This guide will explore what benefits you’re eligible for and how to apply for them. 


Key Takeaways 

  • The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has a number of benefits spouses are entitled to.

  • Three factors must be considered for spouses to be eligible for VA benefits: marital status, health status, and veteran service.

  • Spouses have access to health benefits, education benefits, and pension benefits. 


Does the Wife of a Veteran Get Benefits?

does the wife of a veteran get benefits

Veterans’ spouses spend a lot of their emotional well-being and time supporting their partners, and to honor this, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has many benefits they’re entitled to. 

These benefits can range from assisting with medical care to the VA Aid and Attendance for Spouses program. This can provide financial aid for daily living activities to ensure a better quality of life.  

Many people think spouses only have access to benefits once the veteran passes away, and that is incorrect. Spouses have access to certain benefits only after the passing of a veteran, such as the VA Survivor Pension benefit and the Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC), but may be entitled to other forms of VA Aid before that, especially relating to disability compensation. 

Other benefits spouses can get are health plans and programs for family members with special needs. There are also some educational and training benefits, home loan benefits, and counseling benefits during a veteran spouse’s passing. 

Keep track of all the benefits you’re entitled to as a veteran’s spouse on a family operating system like Trustworthy. Trustworthy allows you to store all your important documents in a secure location and easily access them. The collaboration features make sharing access to family members or estate planning attorneys quick and secure. 


Eligibility for Veteran’s Spouse Benefits

eligibility for veteran’s spouse benefits

In a perfect world, accessing these benefits should be quick and simple. However, there are some eligibility requirements you need to meet.

Marital Status 

To qualify for many VA benefits, you must have been married to a veteran at some point. You also need to be currently married to use health care programs like TRICARE and education programs.

However, there are some instances where this is not enforced. If the veteran dies, the surviving spouse will receive DIC payments, which include spouses who remarried before the ages of 55-57. For TRICARE, remarried spouses will have access to those benefits as long as they were previously married to the veteran for at least 20 years or the veteran had at least 20 years of service. 

Health Status 

The VA Aid and Attendance benefits provide monetary assistance for help with daily living activities if the family member is disabled or has some other condition preventing them from being able to care for themselves. To be eligible for this benefit, you need to prove you need help performing daily activities, be bedridden, be in a nursing home, or have limited eyesight.

Veteran Service

To be eligible for spousal benefits, your veteran spouse must have served for a certain amount of time in specific wartime periods. Their discharge status also matters. 

For example, some scholarship benefits spouses have access to are determined by the circumstances of the veteran's death. The Fry Scholarship only allows spouses access to this benefit if their spouse died during duty on or after September 11, 2001. 

You’ll likely encounter lots of paperwork and applications you need to file to prove eligibility for these benefits. Stay on top of things by using Trustworthy to organize and store your documents in one secure location. 


Veteran Spouse Benefits List

veteran spouse benefits list

There are a lot of benefits spouses have access to, but it’s a matter of knowing which ones and how to apply for them. 

VA Aid and Attendance for Spouses

As discussed above, this type of benefit provides monetary assistance to help with performing daily living activities to remove the financial burden on veteran spouses. This type of benefit ultimately improves the quality of life.   

TRICARE 

TRICARE is a benefits program providing veteran spouses with health benefits, including health and dental plans. These benefits will assist with expenses associated with medical prescriptions and prescriptions for special needs persons. 

Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs (CHAMPVA)

For those who don't qualify, the VA offers spouses and children access to the Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs (CHAMPVA). These benefits cover inpatient and outpatient care, medical prescriptions, and supplies. Some co-payments will be applied. 

Pharmacy Benefits

As a veteran spouse, you can access pharmacy benefits covering the cost of prescriptions at your local pharmacy or the VA’s Meds by Mail program. 

Education Benefits

The VA honors your support and sacrifice as a veteran spouse by giving you access to a number of different education benefits. These include: 

  • Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship (Fry Scholarship)

  • Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance (DEA) program

  • Employment help through programs like the Military Spouse Career Advancement Account (MyCAA)

  • G.I. Bill

In addition, some programs, like the Post-9/11 GI Bill, assist with tuition fees, general stipends, and even a housing allowance. 

Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC)

Should your veteran spouse pass away during active duty, you can receive monthly payments from the Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) of around $1,612. This payment is tax-free. 

Survivors Pension 

Widowed veteran spouses can access the survivor's pension, which is paid out monthly to lower-income spouses. Your Maximum Amount of Pension Payable (MAPR) determines the amount you get paid, so if it is less than $155,356, you can access this benefit. 

Suzette Graham, founder and CEO of Patriot Angels explains:

“The MAPR is calculated on income versus medical expenses… The way you would calculate the MAPR is liquid assets — assets that can be turned into cash — plus income after you have subtracted medical expenses.”

Home Loan Guaranty and Home Adaptation Grants

Surviving spouses also have access to a VA-backed home loan and VA-backed mortgage, which come with lower monthly repayments. You can get loans for home improvements, building, and repairs. If you need to build ramps for wheelchair access or other aids, these benefits will help cover the cost. 

Burial Benefits and Memorial Items

It’s a traumatic time when a loved one passes away. Finding money for burial costs is added stress you don’t need. The VA provides benefits to help with the costs of a veteran burial, a headstone, and the gravesite. They also assist in planning a memorial service. 

Keep a list of these benefits in a secure location like Trustworthy so you can access them easily when the time comes. 


How to Apply for Veteran’s Spouse Benefits

how to apply for veteran’s spouse benefits

Now that you know what benefits you can access as a veteran spouse, you need to know how to apply for them. You must be patient during this process, as the VA is not known for its speed.

File the Claim 

To start the process, you must file the claim with the VA. This can be done online, by mail, or in person at your nearest office. Before you submit the claim, you need to correctly fill out the application for DIC, survivor's pension, and accrued benefits. 

Include all supporting documents, such as evidence (if claiming health benefits), your spouse's veteran details, and supporting statements from the relevant people. 

Claim Received Notification 

After you submit the claim, you will receive a notification from the VA saying they have received your application. Online submissions have instant notifications, and if you submit via mail, your notification could take at least one week if there are no delays.  

The Claim Is Reviewed

At this stage in the process, you have nothing else to do but wait for the VA to do its job. During this time, they will review your application, gather their own evidence, and review the evidence you provided. 

Receive Your Claim Packet 

Once your claim has been decided, your claim packet, which includes the details of the decision, will be sent to you through the U.S. mail. This process can take 7 to 10 business days. 


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the most common 100% VA disability?

The most common 100% approved VA disability is one caused by a loss of body parts. 

What is the most approved VA disability?

The most commonly approved VA disability claims are for Tinnitus, an ear condition commonly experienced by soldiers on active duty. 

What is the easiest VA claim to win?

The easiest VA claim to win is the condition of Tinnitus. 

What is a VA surviving spouse?

A VA surviving spouse is the spouse of a veteran who has died during active duty or service-related activities.

Try Trustworthy today.

Try Trustworthy today.

Try the Family Operating System® for yourself. You (and your family) will love it.

Try the Family Operating System® for yourself. You (and your family) will love it.

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White house
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A couple reviewing documents and signing them
A couple reviewing documents and signing them
A couple reviewing documents and signing them