- You may be eligible for VA benefits or compensation for surviving spouses if you meet the requirements listed below. You’ll also need to provide evidence with your claim showing that one of the descriptions below is true for the Veteran or service member. Evidence may include documents like military service records, doctor’s reports, and medical test results.
One of these must be true. You:
- Married the Veteran or service member before January 1, 1957, or
- Married the Veteran or service member within 15 years of their discharge from the period of military service during which the qualifying illness or injury started or got worse, or
- Were married to the Veteran or service member for at least 1 year, or
- Had a child with the Veteran or service member, aren’t currently remarried, and either lived with the Veteran or service member without a break until their death or, if separated, weren’t at fault for the separation
Note: If you remarried on or after December 16, 2003, and you were 57 years of age or older at the time you remarried, you can still continue to receive compensation.
You’ll also need to provide evidence showing that one of these descriptions is true for the Veteran or service member:
- The service member died while on active duty, active duty for training, or inactive-duty training, or
- The Veteran died from a service-connected illness or injury, or
- The Veteran didn’t die from a service-connected illness or injury, but was eligible to receive VA compensation for a service-connected disability rated as totally disabling for a certain period of time
If the Veteran’s eligibility was due to a rating of totally disabling, they must have had this rating:
- For at least 10 years before their death, or
- Since their release from active duty and for at least 5 years immediately before their death, or
- For at least 1 year before their death if they were a former prisoner of war who died after September 30, 1999
Note: “Totally disabling” means the Veteran’s injuries made it impossible for them to work.
For more information please call our office at (518) 270-2760