There’s an important veteran’s benefit that many veterans and their spouses don’t know about. It’s called Veteran’s Pension.
This is a program that can help the surviving spouse of the deceased wartime veteran. Your spouse must have served during World War II, Korean War, Vietnam War or the Persian Gulf War and met the requirements for active duty of at least 90 days of active duty in the wars, if after 1980 had to have at least two years of active duty, an honorable discharge. Then in that situation, as the surviving spouse of the deceased wartime veteran, you could be eligible for the widow’s benefit, that could be, as of 2016, as much as $1149 a month to help pay for the cost of care at home as well as in assisted living.
This is an important benefit that many spouses don’t understand is there and can be a tremendous help for home care and assisted living. Make sure that you talk with an Elder Law Attorney who understands how the Veteran’s benefits work, and also some of the important changes that may be coming in this benefit and how it may help you later on. Now, one matter that I do want to mention is that generally, the spouse had to be married to the Veteran when the Veteran died. So if you were divorced from your spouse, then you would lose eligibility for that benefit. Or if you remarried and your spouse was then a wartime veteran as well, you may be able to qualify on that spouse’s VA record. So when you’re talking about how to pay for the cost of care and your former spouse, your deceased spouse was a wartime veteran, this is an important benefit that could make a difference in whether you are going to be able to afford the pay for care at home or assisted living.