A deceased veteran’s surviving spouse may be eligible for benefits in certain cases. Spouses of military personnel who served in wartime may be able to receive a largely tax-free survivor’s pension, but they must first hire Veterans Affairs Lawyers in Melbourne FL, and they must meet these requirements:
* The veteran must have died during active duty or training
* The death must have been caused by a service-connected disability, or
* Not have occurred due to willful behavior
* The veteran must have been eligible for compensation
* The person must have been discharged at least five years before death
For a spouse to be eligible for survivors’ benefits, the marriage must have taken place at least a year before the veteran’s death, or the spouse should have the veteran’s child. Lastly, if the spouse remarries before age 57, they are ineligible. The current available amount is $1195 for veterans who died after January 1, 1993. However, increases are available in limited circumstances. The section below explains eligibility for the surviving spouse’s pension.
The Veteran’s Requirements
* Service duration: For a surviving spouse to receive benefits, the veteran should have served at least 90 days of active duty service before September 7, 1980. If the person joined the military after that date, they must have served a full term or a minimum of 24 months with at least one day of wartime service.
* The veteran should not have received a dishonorable discharge.
* Income restrictions: These rules are set by Congress, and they deduct a person’s countable income from the set limit. For instance, if the maximum is $12,000 and the survivor earned $10,000, they can only receive $2000 under the pension plan.
* Children and parents may be able to receive survivor benefits if they meet similar requirements and restrictions.
Should a Surviving Spouse, Child or Parent Seek Legal Help?
As shown above, applying for survivors’ benefits can be complex. Dealing with the VA (the Department of Veteran’s Affairs) can be difficult and time-consuming. By hiring Veterans Affairs Lawyers in Melbourne FL with Matheson, Horowitz & Devonmille, a survivor can avoid costly delays and be assured of receiving the appropriate amount of compensation earned by the veteran spouse.