Wives and husbands of U.S. military veterans are eligible to receive benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs if they and/or their veteran spouse meet certain requirements. The requirements vary depending on the type of benefit sought. Benefits for spouses of veterans include access to a veteran's pension, educational assistance and burial benefits, including bereavement counseling.
Spouses of veterans are eligible to receive the veteran's pension under certain conditions, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans' Affairs. The veteran must have performed at least 90 days of service, with at least one day during a wartime period, and must not have received a dishonorable discharge. Veterans who served after Sept. 7, 1980, must generally have served at least 24 months or their entire tour of duty. The spouse must not have remarried and must meet a yearly income requirement set by Congress to be eligible to receive a pension.
Spouses And Dependents Educational Assistance
The VA provides up to 45 months of education assistance to spouses of veterans who are totally disabled, killed, taken as prisoners of war, missing in action or undergoing treatment for an injury likely to result in the veteran's total disability. The injury, disability or death must have occurred in the course of the veteran's military service. Spouses must claim benefits within 10 years of a veteran's disability or 20 years of a veteran's death.
The VA, in conjunction with the National Cemetery Association, provides a number of burial benefits to spouses of deceased veterans. Burial benefits include burial in a national cemetery, a grave marker, perpetual care and a burial flag, which are provided to the spouse and family free of charge. Spouses may also be buried beside the veteran, even if the spouse is the first to die. Spouses of veterans who died of a service-related injury or disability or who were receiving a VA pension or care in a VA hospital or nursing facility when they died may also be eligible to receive a burial allowance to cover the costs of a private burial.