Losing a spouse is a difficult experience, especially when they are serving in the military. It is heartbreaking to receive the news of his passing while they were bravely serving their country. This grief is even more challenging when you are left to care for children alone. However, now you may be contemplating the question of remarriage. If you are in this situation, it is crucial to understand that once you remarry, this choice may affect your survivor benefits.
Understanding what benefits are affected
The U.S. government ensures that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) adequately cares for the surviving family members of veterans. This includes receiving specific benefits as a military widow. To ensure the well-being of these family members, the VA offers various benefits, such as:
- One year of Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) payment
- Survivors Pension benefit
- TRICARE medical coverage
- Education benefits
- Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC)
The sacrifices made by the military for this country are immeasurable. However, if a surviving spouse decides to remarry before reaching a certain age, they may lose all these benefits.
Remarriage and keeping survivor benefits
According to a particular law, an individual must be unmarried to qualify for the survivor benefits offered by the VA. Because if you decide to remarry, you may no longer be eligible to receive these benefits. However, there is a loophole. While it is usually the case that a remarried spouse does not qualify for DIC benefits, there are exceptions depending on the date of remarriage. If you remarry after age 57 and remarry on or after December 16, 2003, you may still be eligible to receive DIC benefits.
That said, it is important to think carefully about how getting remarried will affect your survivor benefits. This will give you time to figure out how to compensate for the benefits that will stop after you remarry.