Surviving Spouses Of Veterans Are Eligible Even If Veteran Never Applied For VA Pension

Surviving Spouses Of Veterans Are Eligible Even If Veteran Never Applied For VA Pension

Surviving Spouses Of Veterans Are Eligible Even If Veteran Never Applied For VA PensionYour mother is elderly and is in need of your help to get through life and you are having to reach into your pocket to help cover long term care costs.

Then you hear about the VA Pension (Aid & Attendance) and wonder if this might help your mom because she was married to your father who was a veteran.

But then a well meaning friend or advisor tells you that your mother is not eligible because your father never applied for or qualified for the VA Pension benefits.

Is this true?


Your father — the veteran — does NOT have to apply for these benefits for your mother — as a surviving spouse — to qualify for these benefits.

Here’s what your mother must show to qualify for the VA Pension:

  • Father (the veteran) was on active duty for at least 90 consecutive days;
  • The father had one day of the 90 days was during a time of war;
  • Father had an honorable discharge (not a dishonorable discharge);
  • Mother has not remarried since father’s death;
  • Mother meets the income requirements; and
  • Mother meets the asset (net worth) requirements.

To know if she meets the income requirements, we look at the amount of benefits she is eligible for, looking at her health, and compare this to her income as the VA counts it.

Remember the income — the IVAP (Income for VA Purposes) — is reduced by unreimbursed recurrent medical expenses.

The most common form of this is assisted living facility bills or a caregiver agreement with an adult child or other relative.

These two options are ways to get the income down to zero (or negative) so that the full benefits under the VA Pension can be paid.

We will talk about these concepts in more detail in other articles but wanted to address this major point now that there is no need for the veteran to apply for benefits in order for the surviving spouse to apply for these important benefits.

Contact Us.

We realize the VA rules can be confusing.

So, if you would like to talk to us about how to navigate through the VA benefits system, call us.

You can reach us by phone at 1-205-879-2447.

You can also contact us through our website.  

We look forward to hearing from you.

For further research and information:


  1. Sabrina Comer says:

    Great information! Good job getting the word out so that these folks can get this much-needed benefit. Thank you!

  2. Bill Miller says:

    Great article. Understanding the qualifications for this much needed benefit is difficult. This article explains exactly how a surviving spouse can qualify. Thanks

Leave a Comment