Can second wife keep veteran’s benefits after he dies?

If the veteran’s condition (injury or disease i.e. Agent Orange) is combat related, depending on circumstances, apply for CRSC from the Department of Defense.  This offsets retirement and will match VA compensation and is non-taxable.  However, you cannot have both CRDP (if over 50% rated) and CRSC, but CRDP is taxable. Consequently, it may be an advantage to change to CRSC.  The form is DD 2860.

If spouse is the beneficiary of the veteran’s military retirement, upon veteran’s death, the spouse will receive SBP from the Department of Defense.  Additionally, if the veteran is receiving Tricare for Life, the spouse should receive these benefits.

Furthermore, to receive DIC benefits, the veteran must die service connected or is rated 100% for ten years prior to death and spouse was married and living with him for those ten years.  But, if the spouse is eligible for DIC, may lose the SBP, but will receive the greater amount of DIC.  There are exceptions for POWs who were rated 100% prior to death.

Of course, if not eligible for DIC, may qualify for non-service connected pension, depending on spouse’s finances.  Also, keep the SBP and receive VA benefits.

Plus, she will also receive burial benefits for the veteran.

To increase your monthly income, please contact us about a FREE HANDBOOK about VA Benefits, written by David Wingate, an accredited VA Attorney, of Senior Life Care Planning, LLC, go to or if you require additional information about VA Benefits, visit our Senior LCP's Website.

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