How Does A Widow Get Veterans Benefits | South Portland, Maine

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How Does A Widow Get Veterans Benefits in Maine?

Published on October 17th, 2023

What Do I Need to Understand to Get Veterans Benefits for Widows in Maine?

Losing a military spouse is emotionally and financially challenging. In Maine, veterans’ widows can access benefits to ease these burdens. This guide will cover eligibility, types of support, the application process, and the unique advantages these widows have. It will also detail Maine’s specific benefits and how to access them.

Quick Overview:

VA Benefits for Widows: What You Need to Know

  • Widows of veterans in Maine can access various benefits for emotional and financial relief after the loss of their military spouse through VA benefits.

How Much VA Benefits Does a Widow Get?

What VA Benefits Are Available for Widows of Veterans and How to Apply?

  • VA benefits include disability compensation, education and training, health care, and burial assistance. 
  • Widows can also receive specific VA benefits such as DIC, VA Survivor’s Pension, CHAMPVA for health care coverage, Aid and Attendance or Housebound benefits, and Survivors and Dependents Educational Assistance.

When Can a Widow Start Receiving VA Benefits?

  • Social Security survivors’ benefits can be received at age 60 with consideration for claiming before full retirement age

Get the VA Benefits You Deserve with the Help of Our Veterans Benefits Attorney in Maine

  • Seek guidance from experienced veterans benefits attorneys at Jackson & MacNichol Law Offices to simplify the process and ensure Maine widows receive their rightful benefits.

If you’re a widow in Maine seeking access to your rightful Veterans Benefits, we empathize with your challenges. Dealing with the loss of your loved one who served our country is tough enough, and our expertise in Veterans Benefits can alleviate the stress of navigating the process. At Jackson & MacNichol Law Offices, we specialize in Veterans Benefits and possess comprehensive knowledge of every aspect.

What are Veterans Benefits (VA Benefits)?

VA benefits are government-provided services and programs for U.S. Armed Forces veterans. These benefits cover disability compensation, pension, education, health care, home loans, insurance, employment readiness, and burial assistance.

How Much Veterans Benefit Does a Widow Get?

If you’re the surviving spouse of a Veteran, your monthly payment would begin at $1,562.74. If you qualify for additional benefits, you can add those amounts from the provided table of 2023 VA DIC rates for spouses and dependents.

What VA Benefits Are Available for Widows of Veterans and How to Access Them?

Widows of veterans may qualify for VA benefit programs. Here’s what you need to know to access these benefits.

Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) 

DIC is a tax-free monetary benefit for eligible surviving spouses of veterans who died in the line of duty or due to a service-related injury or illness. To qualify, you must be the surviving spouse of a military servicemember or veteran who:

  • Passed away during active duty or while on inactive training duty, or
  • Died due to an injury or condition related to their service, or
  • Received disability pay for a severe condition for:
    • 10 years before passing, or
    • At least 5 years straight after leaving active duty and up to their death, or
    • At least 1 year before passing if they were a former Prisoner of War (POW).
The surviving spouse applying for DIC must meet the following criteria:
  • Married to the veteran for at least one year before their passing, or
  • Married a veteran who passed away due to a service-related condition within 15 years of leaving the service that caused that condition, or
  • Had a child with the veteran, or
  • Married to a service member who died while on active duty (or during training).

VA Survivor’s Pension (or Death Pension)

This pension is available to surviving spouses of veterans who served during wartime and have limited income and resources. It provides financial assistance for basic living expenses. Surviving spouses can apply until they remarry.

Wartime Service Requirement criteria:
  • Veterans who served on or before September 7, 1980, must have served at least 90 days, including one day during wartime.
  • Veterans who began active duty after September 7, 1980, should have served for 24 months or their entire duration, including one day during wartime. Note that the VA has specific periods considered as wartime.

CHAMPVA (Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs)

CHAMPVA helps cover the cost of healthcare services and supplies for unmarried surviving spouses and children who aren’t eligible for TRICARE. 

Aid and Attendance and Housebound Benefits

The VA Aid and Attendance or Housebound benefits are extra monthly payments that get added to the regular VA pension for Veterans and eligible survivors. To determine eligibility for these benefits, check if you require assistance with everyday tasks or are mostly confined to your home. 

For Aid and Attendance eligibility, you must need assistance with daily tasks, be mostly confined to bed, reside in a nursing home, or have severely limited eyesight. For Housebound benefits, you must spend most of your time at home due to a permanent disability that won’t improve.

Survivors and Dependents Educational Assistance

This VA education program provides opportunities for qualifying family members of Veterans who are disabled due to a service-related issue or who passed away in active duty or due to a service-related condition.

Eligibility criteria include permanent and complete disability or death during active duty or due to a service-connected disability. Dependents who do not meet these criteria may still qualify if the Veteran or service member transferred their Post-9/11 GI Bill entitlement.

There are two primary VA education programs:

  • Fry Scholarship:  Fry Scholarship for children and spouses of service members who died in the line of duty or due to a service-connected disability
  • Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance (DEA) Program: DEA Program for eligible dependents of veterans who are permanently and completely disabled or who died while on active duty. 

It’s important to note that you cannot switch between the Fry Scholarship and the DEA program once you’ve made your decision and applied.

For personalized assistance and to explore your eligibility, contact our skilled lawyer at Jackson & MacNichol Law Offices. Our dedicated team supports veterans and their families like you, ensuring you receive the benefits and support you deserve. Reach out today to start securing the assistance you need.

When Can a Widow Start Receiving VA Benefits?

Widows/widowers can get Social Security survivors’ benefits starting at age 60. They can choose to start anytime between 60 and their full retirement age. Starting before full retirement age means reduced benefits for each month before that age. 

If they’re already receiving widow’s/widower’s benefits and become eligible for a retirement benefit higher than their survivor’s benefit, they can switch between ages 62 and 70. Consulting a Social Security rep or a veterans benefit attorney is advised for personalized guidance on these rules.

Get the VA Benefits You Deserve with the Help of Our Veterans Benefits Attorney in Maine.

At Jackson & MacNichol Law Offices, we’re not just lawyers; we’re strong advocates for veterans and their families. With over 20 years of experience and more than 5,000 successful cases securing benefits for veterans, we’ve made it our mission to fully understand the complex process of veterans’ benefits in Maine.

If you are a widow seeking clarity and support on your journey to secure veterans’ benefits in Maine, we invite you to reach out to our legal team at Jackson & MacNichol Law Offices today. Your loved one fought for us, and now it’s our turn to fight for you. Your path to peace of mind starts with a simple conversation with our compassionate and experienced team. Don’t hesitate to reach us today.

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