Being the spouse of a Veteran or active duty service member requires sacrifice. You spend a lot of time supporting your spouse, so shouldn’t the VA support you? As a military spouse, certain benefits are available to you while they serve, after they are discharged, and if they are injured or killed in the line of duty.
Here are some VA benefits for spouses and surviving spouses that can help you receive medical care, education, and keep living your life while your loved one is serving away from home or after they have passed.
VA Spouse and Surviving Spouse Benefits
Spouses have access to the following health and medical programs:
TRICARE: This program provides comprehensive health benefits, including health plans, dental plans, medical prescriptions, and programs for Veterans’ family members who have special needs.
Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs (CHAMPVA): CHAMPVA provides health insurance and healthcare services and supplies for spouses, surviving spouses, and dependents who do not qualify for TRICARE.
Camp Lejeune Family Member Program: This program provides healthcare benefits to spouses and dependents who lived at U.S. Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune or Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) in North Carolina from August 1953 through December 1987 because of contaminants that were found in the water there. These benefits make up for any medical problems that military spouses and dependents may have experienced as a result of exposure to that water contamination.
Pharmacy Benefits: Spouses and surviving spouses who qualify for CHAMPVA can receive prescription benefits through their local pharmacy or the VA’s Meds by Mail program.
While you spend a lot of time supporting your Veteran or service member spouse, you should also be able to pursue your own goals and dreams. The VA provides two main GI bill programs that offer educational assistance to military spouses and dependents: the Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship (Fry Scholarship) and the Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance (DEA) program. You can learn more about these programs and their qualifying criteria here.
VA Benefits for Surviving Spouses
Spouses who have lost their partners in the line of duty are entitled to specific benefits to help them after their Veteran or service member spouse has died. These VA surviving spouse benefits include:
Survivors Pension: You may be eligible for a VA Survivors Pension if your spouse served at least one day of active duty during a wartime period and you meet specific income and net worth limits set by Congress. You will have to qualify and apply to receive these death pension benefits.
VA Home Loan Programs: You can apply to receive a certificate of eligibility (COE) that will allow you to build, buy, repair, or refinance a home. The VA also provides financial counseling for surviving spouses who struggle with mortgage payments and the risk of foreclosure.
Compensation for Surviving Spouse and Dependents (DIC): This program provides a tax-free monetary benefit to family members of service members who died of a service-related injury or illness.
Burial Benefits and Memorial Items: The VA can give you step-by-step guidance on planning a burial in a VA national cemetery or another Veterans cemetery. You can also apply for financial assistance for burial costs, access grief counseling and transition support, and request memorial items for the funeral or memorial service.
AVCC helps Veterans’ spouses find out what benefits they qualify for so that they can access them. We also connect Veterans and their family members with home care services and financial assistance. Contact us today if you would like us to help you determine which spouse benefits you qualify for.