The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides specific financial, educational, job assistance, and health care benefits to the spouses of veterans with a 100% disability to help support disabled veterans’ families. These benefits also include additional monthly compensation for vets with other dependents like children or parents. If your partner has such a disability rating, you can seek various VA benefits even after their death.
This assistance can help ease the burdens on military families, as long as they are aware of the benefits they qualify for, and how to apply for them.
Benefits Eligibility for Spouses of Veterans
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Veterans with a 100 percent service-connected disability rating are eligible for specific payment increases for their spouses and children. These additional payments are automatically awarded, so the spouse does not have to apply for them.
The additional payments are added to other disability compensation the veteran is awarded, which include:
- $150 a month for a spouse with no children
- $259 a month for a spouse with a child
- $75 a month for each additional child
In addition to this financial assistance, if your spouse has a 100% disability rating, one benefit you can get is healthcare. VA, through TRICARE, provides healthcare benefits to dependents of disabled vets, including their spouses. Depending on your eligibility, you can enjoy various health programs such as:
- Health plans
- Dental plans
- Prescription medications
- Special needs programs
If you do not qualify for TRICARE,your family may be eligible for health care coverage through the Civilian Health and Medical Program (CHAMPVA), which shares the cost of healthcare services and supplies with the VA. Spouses and children of disabled veterans may be eligible for reimbursement for inpatient and outpatient services, prescription medications, medical equipment, nursing care, and mental health care as long as the following remains true:
- The veteran and their spouse remain married.
- All children are under 18 (or under 23 and still in school).
- Children may remain on CHAMPVA after the above age limits if they have disabilities that make it impossible to support themselves.
Education and training Benefits
Paying for schooling after your veteran spouse suffers a disabling condition can be challenging. If your spouse has a 100 percent service-connected disability, or died in the line of duty, the VA u provides education benefits for up to three years and nine months for the spouse and all children.
This can be used to pursue a degree, a certificate or a work-training program, and they can help cover tuition fees, housing, books, and other supplies. Spouses can also use it for correspondence courses.
The spouse’s state of residence may offer additional benefits to the spouses of disabled veterans. These benefits may include employment assistance, free counseling, and property tax exemptions. The benefits offered may vary from state-to-state, so it is a good idea to check with your state’s Department of Veterans Affairs to learn more.
What Happens if Your Spouse Dies With a 100% Disability?
If your partner dies with a 100% disability, you may qualify for Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC). This refers to tax-free monthly benefits sent to the surviving spouses of disabled veterans. Per VA, the base compensation you can receive in 2022 is $1,437.66 per month.
However, your monthly check may read a higher amount due to various factors. For example:
- If your spouse had a 100% disability for at least eight years before their death and you were married to them for all eight of those years, you can get an additional $305.28 per month.
- If you have a disabling condition that requires regular help with daily activities, you can receive an additional $356.16 per month.
- If you cannot leave the house due to your disability, you may receive an additional $166.84 per month.
- If you have minor children, you can get an additional $306.00 per month for the first two years after your spouse’s death, as well as $356.16 per month for each dependent child.
What Is a VA Survivors Pension?
VA survivors pensions are payments made to spouses and dependents of deceased veterans. However, if you have remarried or earn an income higher than the eligibility limits set by Congress, you may not qualify.
Like the DIC benefits, survivors’ pension payments are made monthly. The amounts may also change depending on the rates set by Congress.
Since the survivor’s pension benefit is only available to spouses of vets who served during specific wartime periods, it is vital to confirm if your partner was in this category. Contact VA for more information about their deployment history if you are unsure.
What Are Other Benefits Available to Spouses of Deceased Veterans?
As a spouse of a deceased veteran who had a 100% disability, you can get more benefits from VA, such as:
Free Career and Educational Counseling
Such guidance can help you select a field matching your interest and goals.
This includes a wide range of services to help you readjust to life after your partner’s death, such as financial advice and will preparation services.
Home Loan Programs
Paying for housing after your spouse passes can be tricky, especially if you have a mortgage. VA provides partners of veterans who had a 100% disability with home loan programs.
These allow you to seek financing to buy a new home or fund an existing one. You may also use the money to renovate and remodel your property if you have a physical impairment.
To qualify for this benefit, you must present a Certificate of Eligibility to financiers. You must also meet the lender’s income and credit requirements.
How to Obtain 100 Percent VA Benefits as a Spouse
If you are the spouse of a 100% disabled vet, it is vital to understand the benefits you can get from VA. You should also confirm what you may be eligible for if your partner is deceased or was in active service during a specific period.
Some benefits should be awarded automatically once your spouse’s service-connected disability is rated at 100 percent. Other benefits will be awarded only after your application has been approved.
The application process can be complicated, and the VA is not always clear about requirements or due dates. A disability attorney can help you determine eligibility for various VA benefits. They may also guide you in filing a decision review process or seeking retroactive benefits.
Veterans disability lawyer George Sink, Sr. and his team are ready to work hard on your behalf to make sure that you and your family get all of the benefits you are eligible for. George Sink knows what it is like to be a disabled veteran because he is one. That’s why so many other veterans and their families have turned to him for assistance. He knows the process and truly cares about helping other vets get the assistance they deserve.