VA widow's benefits?

patrice607April 17, 2007

Any experience applying for VA widow's benefits? My MIL's 2nd husband was a vet, was married to her at the time of his death, fought during a war, served for more than a year and was honorably discharged. I called VA. 1st guy says yes! She qualifies. Transfers to forms dept. 2nd guy says no - her husband did not apply during his lifetime so she's not eligible. 3rd person "not sure" go ahead and apply.

Has anyone had succes in applying and know whether or not her husband had to have applied during his lifetime? The form is quite long and complicated.

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She should fill out the form and try. It would be foolish to NOT at least try and see.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2007 at 9:18AM
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My mother was married to a man who was killed in WWII. Then she married my father who was also in WWII. When my father died, she began to get a VA benefit from him. (A DIC?)
Then after a year or so, we heard that she could also receive a benefit from her first husband's service. We applied (the benefit will be in place from the time of filing) and she now receives a benefit from both. The second one is also not taxable! Let me know know if you would like additional info as to what each benefit is called, etc.


    Bookmark   May 24, 2007 at 6:42PM
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Carol -

Yes, any info would be helpful. We have been told that the paperwork is very confusing and we should hire a professional to file for us. Did you do it yourself?


    Bookmark   May 25, 2007 at 8:56AM
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A "professional"? What sort of professional? Pay? No, you should be using your local Veteran's Affairs office, that's what they are there for. There will be a local office somewhere near you. Start there.

You should not have to pay to use their services, altho it might take a little patience and perseverance.

Here is a link that might be useful: Survivor benefits

    Bookmark   May 25, 2007 at 10:33AM
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I'm with fairegold -- no professional needed. The benefit that my mother gets from my father's service (during wartime, no combat) is called SBP (survivor's benefit pay?).

After he died, I contacted the regional VA office, was sent the appropriate forms,filled them out and she got the benefit. It comes direct deposit each month. She fills out a form every year saying that she has not remarried.
It was all very straight forward and simple.

For this benefit, the info on the back of her monthly statement says: Write to us at Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS), PO Box 7131, lONDON ky 40742-7131.

Call DFAS 1-800-321-1800
fax 1-800-982-8459

Include your mother's ss number and your father's in any correspondence.

The second benefit -- from her first husband who was killed in combat -- is the DIC. It is tax free. I called and got the paperwork to apply and it was processed in about six weeks, but payable from the time of application.
"For more detailed information on filing a claim, call 1-800-827-1000. Any questions or correspondence should be submitted to the regional VA office that handles your account."

There is also a benefit for those widows of combat veterans who live in Assisted Living or Nursing Homes which allow that benefit to be paid. If you ever need to find out about it, I suggest googling "little known VA benefit".

I hope this will get you what you need for your mother.


    Bookmark   May 25, 2007 at 5:36PM
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Thanks again for the info

My BIL says we shouldn't file because then MIL will make too much money to qualify for medicare. This is confusing. Has anyone been able to receive both?

    Bookmark   May 25, 2007 at 5:57PM
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Medicare has no income limits. If you have higher income it may cost you more but you still get it.

Maybe your MIL is on Medicaid? If she is check with her case worker to see how the VA benefit would effect it.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2007 at 6:47PM
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I receive SS from my late husband,,,am I eligable for benefits from the army also??

    Bookmark   January 28, 2011 at 11:47PM
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It all depends on his benefits from the Army. You need to contact the local Veterans' Affairs office and be prepared with his service information.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2011 at 12:27AM
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Hello, My husband had been in the service before I married him, but received his discharged papers 2 years later. He died in 1985.

My question is can I now get a pass to go on the army base to buy food? (we never had one)


    Bookmark   February 4, 2011 at 1:57PM
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You may not be eligible now if you were not eligible when he was alive. Call your local Veterans' Affairs office.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2011 at 2:05PM
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My grandfather served in Korea, I do believe. When he died in '05 my grandmother was eligible to receive his SS along with VA benefits. We had some trouble since her assets were too high to receive Medicare, and yes I do mean medicare (that's what the Medicare people told us). We moved her into a nursing facility and that qualified her for the max benefit she could receieve from the VA. We did have a one time meeting with a professional to help us get the proper paperwork in order since we were given the run-around by the Veteran's Office. I would possibly consult someone knowledgable if you keep having problems, oh and we were also told she would lose her benefits if she re-married. Not sure if that is still true but something to consider.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2011 at 12:03PM
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Jenn, there is no needs-testing for Medicare. Warren Buffett has Medicare, whether he uses it or not.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2011 at 12:35PM
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I did not know that there was an income limit on medicare, are you sure? I googled it but must not have used the right wording, I could not find an answer.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2011 at 8:41PM
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Medicaid is the program for very low income people, needs tested. It is called different things in different states, sometimes: in California it is MediCal. Medicare is a federal program that you pay into with your social security taxes. Some people will not qualify for Medicare by virtue of not having worked enough in the qualifying time.

If you qualify for Medicare by virtue of payroll taxes and age (65), there is no upper income level.

Here is a link that might be useful: How to qualify for Medicare

    Bookmark   March 2, 2011 at 10:04PM
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confused about a VA 'rule'. Getting widows benefits. Questioning the remarriage rule. VA says I can remarry after I turn 57 and I will still get my widow's pension. Good, however, will I still be able to use the military healthcare if I remarry? That is a huge factor in my decision about remarrying -- I need the healthcare. Will I still be able to have an ID card?

    Bookmark   April 27, 2011 at 1:19PM
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gemend, can you call your local Veterans' Affairs office and ask?

    Bookmark   April 27, 2011 at 1:40PM
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My father recently passed away and I went to the local VA office and helped my mother fill out the forms for the survivor ben as well as the funeral benefit. The person there at the office told us that it could take a year to make a determination on whether or not she qualifies. Does anyone know if this is accurate? Any info will be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2011 at 2:53PM
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Took me almost 2 years to get the benefits. They drag their fee, keep sending you forms, lose what you send them (make sure you send it Certified Mail, Return-Receipt-Requested)and make you wait hoping you'll give up. However, once you apply, and they approve the benefits they have to pay you back pay from the date you applied. So if you apply Sept. 2009 and find out in October 2010 the benefits are approved, they have to pay you from 9/09-10/10 in addition to the monthly benefits going forward. But I have waited almost 5 months since that time and still no back check, but I am getting the monthly benefits.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2011 at 3:02PM
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My husband died a month ago. He had a defibulator, five stents and diabetes. He served in viet nam for a year and was exposed to agent orange. I had no encouragement from the local va rep.My husband served twenty two and one half years. Is this the way widows of vets are treated? I also have some major health problems but still trying to work parttime Mary

    Bookmark   June 2, 2011 at 6:49PM
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My father who is now deceased served in WWII and was honorably discharged. He and my mother were married during this time and their first child was born while he was overseas in the war front. After approx 25 yrs of marriage they were divorced. My father remarried. Would my mother qualify as the "widow" for any benefits? She is almost 91 years old with no assets other than a house that is completely mortgaged and receives approx $900 monthly from SS. He was married to his 2nd wife when he died. But they were only married for a few years and he had been out of the service for more than 25 years when they married.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2011 at 3:07PM
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Dorothy, you have to contact the Veteran's Affairs Office. No one here can give you an answer. Good luck!

    Bookmark   June 20, 2011 at 5:12PM
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My husband just passed last week and was in the army for 3 years over 30 yrs ago (1970-1973). He has never applied for any money or benefits thru them other than a va loan for our home, will I be able to receive any widows benefits from them? When he died his SS disability and pension stopped so I am left with only my income as I am quite a bit younger than he was...and its a terrible struggle...looking for any help or suggestions please.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2011 at 1:05AM
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My mother just lost her husband. We called veterans administration and when they asked how much SSecurity she was getting every month (900) they said she would only qualify for VA benefits if she was receiving less than 600 a month. I can't believe that is true. Does anyone know?

Thanks. Carrie

    Bookmark   September 27, 2011 at 6:14AM
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I have friends married to vets as I was, none get benefits. If any do, it may be due to the vet being injured in action.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2011 at 3:53PM
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I think thats just terrible.....they served their country and were hard working men who wanted to care for their families, and in the end, their families are left to struggle.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2011 at 3:40PM
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No offense to anyone here, but when it comes to supporting people where does it end. During the war the men were paid and could send money home and the men and families got benefits while in service to their country. Now after 60 some odd years the government is suppose to support their widows? Do you realize how many men served, there is a limit to what this country can afford to do.

Trisha you should be able to draw on his social security if he was drawing it and if you are old enough.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2011 at 9:23PM
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My mom has received VA benefits since the death of my father in 1990, She also receives SS and has Medicare. I am now in the process of applying for (for her) a VA benefit called "Aid and Attendance" for veterans and their surviving spouses who need home care, nursing home care or assisted living care since she now has Alzheimer's. It used to be true if she remarried she would lose her military annuity, but I think they have changed that law. She also has Tricare for Life...a very good insurance.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 9:41PM
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I meant to say the Aid and Attendance is for WARTIME vets and surviving spouses and I think children

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 9:43PM
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