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New Benefits Law Won’t Track Eligible Remarried Spouses



Article  
New Benefits Law Won’t Track Eligible Remarried Spouses
[1/21/2005]

Source: By Rick Maze for the Army Times December 29, 2003

The Veterans Benefits Act of 2003 has some additional survivor benefits that will probably reach only 15 % of those who might benefit from them. 


          A surviving spouse age 57 or older who remarries is eligible to continuing getting Dependency and Indemnity Compensation if they were getting benefits before their remarriage.  There are also home loan and educational benefits improvements under the new Act. 


          These changes are expected to impact between 300 and 350 individuals each year who can now keep benefits if they remarry.  Currently about 10,800 survivors lost their benefits under the old policy.  They can have their benefits reinstated if they apply for them within one year.


          The Veterans Affairs Department does not have a method of contacting them so the expectation is that only 15 % will apply.


          Another change resulting from the passage of the new law will allow surviving spouses of a veteran to be buried in a VA cemetery beside the veteran even if the spouse decides to marry again.  This part of the law is retroactive to 1 January 2000.


         


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