If you are a Veteran’s spouse, you may be wondering what VA health care benefits you are eligible for. Or if you have a loved one who is a Veteran’s spouse, you may want to help them access medical benefits that their spouse earned through their military service. After all, a military spouse sacrifices a lot while their husband or wife serves, often for long periods away from home, and especially if they made the ultimate sacrifice.
At AVCC, we understand how important your VA spouse benefits are, and we will work to help you access them. Here’s what you should know about your VA spouse medical benefits.
The Basics of Surviving Spouse Benefits
If you are a surviving spouse and you’re wondering, “Are spouses eligible for VA benefits?”, you should know the basics of VA benefits for surviving spouses. Here are the VA’s service requirements for Veterans whose surviving spouses want to claim benefits:
For service on or before Sept. 7, 1980, the Veteran must have served at least 90 days of active military service, with at least one day during a war time period.
If he or she entered active duty after Sept. 7, 1980, generally he or she must have served at least 24 months or the full period for which called or ordered to active duty with at least one day during a war time period.
Was discharged from service under other than dishonorable conditions.
If you have children who need access to survivors’ benefits, they must be:
Younger than 18, OR
Younger than 23 if attending a VA-approved school, OR
Permanently incapable of self-support due to a disability before age 18
If you’re the spouse of a deceased Veteran and they meet the above service requirements, you will be able to claim surviving spouse benefits, including a survivor’s pension.
General Health Care Benefits for Current and Surviving Spouses
While your spouse receives Veteran’s benefits and possibly even a pension, you are also eligible for health insurance and health care services. Both current and surviving spouses can find out if they are eligible for the following health coverage programs:
TRICARE: The Department of Defense runs this program, which provides medical coverage for family members of active-duty, retired, or deceased service members, National Guard Members or Reservists, or Medal of Honor Recipients. If you qualify for TRICARE, it will cover your health plan, prescription medicines, dental plans, and more.
CHAMPVA: The Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs, or CHAMPVA, provides cost sharing health insurance for military family members. If you’re the spouse or dependent of a Veteran with service connected disability or a Veteran who died in the line of duty, you may be eligible for CHAMPVA’s services.
Pharmacy Benefits: If you receive health coverage through one of the VA’s family member healthcare programs, you may be able to access pharmacy benefits that can help you pay for your medications. You can use the Med by Mail (MbM) program to receive medications through the mail. If you prefer to use a local pharmacy, you can use the OptumRx network to do so.
These health care benefits programs can help you receive the medical care you need to live your daily life. AVCC can help you apply for and access the benefits you’re eligible for.
Aid & Attendance Pension Benefit
If you are a surviving spouse who received a survivor’s pension, you may be eligible for the VA’s Aid & Attendance pension benefit. This monetary pension benefit has very specific eligibility criteria, such as needing help with daily tasks or you have a corrected 5/200 visual acuity, and it has net worth limitations for Veterans and survivors who receive it. However, if you do receive Aid & Attendance, you can use that benefit to pay for healthcare or home care services to help you navigate daily life. At AVCC, we will screen you for your Aid & Attendance eligibility, and if you qualify for this pension benefit, we will fill out and submit the application for you. We have a VA-accredited attorney on staff who will make sure all the paperwork is in order, and we will continually check on your application’s status to ensure the VA approves it.
These healthcare benefit programs can help you receive the medical care you need to live your daily life. AVCC can help you apply for and access the benefits you’re eligible for.
Access Your VA Spouse Benefits Through AVCC
If you want to know if you’re eligible for the Aid & Attendance pension benefit, reach out to us today. As a surviving spouse, you’ve earned the right to claim these benefits, and AVCC will help you every step of the way.