Q:

What VA benefits are available for a surviving spouse?

A:

Quick Answer

The spouses of deceased veterans may qualify to receive the Survivors Pension benefit, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs says. Apply for the benefit directly through the Department. Certain qualifying criteria apply.

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Full Answer

The Survivors Pension is only available to spouses who remain unmarried after the death of her spouse and have low incomes, the Department of Veterans Affairs says. A veteran who served before Sept. 7, 1980, must have served 90 days or more in the military, and at one of those days has to have been during wartime. Veterans who enlisted after Sept. 7, 1980, must have served at least one day during wartime or served for at least 24 months.

The surviving spouse's age does not matter, but children are only eligible to receive benefits until they reach age 18, the Department of Veterans Affairs notes. If a child has a disability that makes him unable to financially support himself, and the disability occurred before the child turned 18, the age limit can be extended up to age 23 if the child is attending a school VA-approved school. All applicants must have yearly incomes that fall below the limit Congress establishes in order to qualify for the Survivors Pension.

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