Hi! My mother is 82 years old and was married to a vet who retired after 26 years of service (no disability) who passed away 10 years ago. Is she entitled to any VA benefits that may help her with the costs of any home, and/or long-term care?
I've searched online, but it's difficult to make sense of all the info.
Is there a specific website that someone can direct us to that might be able to help with this particular topic?
Actually, there may be. If she has very low income, she might qualify for a pension. The veteran husband must have had at least 90 days of active military service, at least one day of which was during a period of war, though there's no requirement that he actually saw combat. Go here for more info:
The pension is very difficult. If she is collecting Social Security, then it and any other income is offset dollar for dollar. If he was disabled, she would have possible entitlements.
Eligibility: For a survivor to be eligible for Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC), the veteran’s death must have resulted from one of the following causes: A disease or injury incurred or aggravated in the line of duty while on active duty or active duty for training.
An injury, heart attack, cardiac arrest, or stroke incurred or aggravated in the line of duty while on inactive duty for training.
A service-connected disability or a condition directly related to a service-connected disability.
VA provides pensions to low-income surviving spouses and unmarried children of deceased veterans with wartime service.
Eligibility: To be eligible, spouses must not have remarried and children must be under age 18, or under age 23 if attending a VA-approved school, or have become permanently incapable of self-support because of disability before age 18.
The veteran must have been discharged under conditions other than dishonorable and must have had 90 days or more of active military service, at least one day of which was during a period of war, or a service-connected disability justifying discharge. Longer periods of service may be required for veterans who entered active duty on or after Sept. 8, 1980, or Oct. 16, 1981, if an officer. If the veteran died in service but not in the line of duty, the death pension may be payable if the veteran completed at least two years of honorable service.
Children who become incapable of self-support because of a disability before age 18 may be eligible for the death pension as long as the condition exists, unless the child marries or the child’s income exceeds the applicable limit.
A surviving spouse may be entitled to a higher income limit if living in a nursing home, in need of the aid and attendance of another person, or permanently housebound. Payment: The death pension provides a monthly payment to bring an eligible person’s income to a level established by law. The payment is reduced by the annual income from other sources such as Social Security. The payment may be increased if the recipient has unreimbursed medical expenses that can be deducted from countable income.
Rates at $7,933 and effectively your income needs to be less than that to qualify. All income - Social Security, death benefits, investment income, annuities, etc are counted.