As a Veteran, you may be able to receive compensation for any disabilities that you have endured because of your service in the military. Depending on the severity of your disability and the amount of help you need, the VA will assign different ratings so that you can receive the VA disability benefits you deserve.
However, benefits do not stop with just you. If you were injured during active duty, others in your family, such as your spouse and dependents, are able to receive benefits as well. Specifically, spouses of those who have a 100% disability rating following wartime service can receive certain benefits to help with the overall challenges that may come with having a disability.
When your husband or wife is rated a 100% disability rating by the VA, sometimes, the VA disability compensation benefits will automatically include you. However, this is not the case in some situations, such as an income limit or net worth limit. The VA may only give you benefits once your application has been approved.
This process can take a while, given the time it takes to go over everything to make sure that you qualify. When approaching large applications like this, it is always best to have a team at your side.
When people go about this process alone, it can be challenging to know all the requirements for a particular application. It should not be as complicated as it is, but with our help at Berry Law, we can help you receive the benefits you deserve.
We will ensure that you provide all of the necessary information that the VA requires and guarantee that you get it in on time.
Many benefits are included when you are a spouse of a Veteran given a 100% disability rating following a service-related injury.
Whether it is financial benefits, attendance benefits, or health benefits, you may be surprised to find the number of benefits you and your spouse can receive. The benefits will help ease some of the burdens of caring for those with a disability. You must know which benefits you qualify for and how you can use them.
You may already know about survivor benefits for those whose spouses died during military service, such as the tax-free monetary benefit called Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC), burial benefits, and survivors pension. Did you know that the spouses of living disabled wartime veterans can also receive financial benefits?
The nice thing about the financial benefits for spouses of former service members with a 100% service-connected disability is that you do not have to apply. Disability pay is separate from military retirement pay. These benefits come automatically with the Veteran’s compensation for their disability rating. The monthly payments a spouse will receive depend on how many dependents they have in the household. It breaks down into three main categories.
The VA should already know the number of children you have when assigning a rating. In some cases, a former spouse may also receive a monthly benefit.
As a spouse of a Veteran, you and your children may also be eligible for certain health benefits based on certain criteria.
The health care coverage comes through the Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs (CHAMPVA). CHAMPVA helps to share the cost of healthcare services with the VA. As long as you meet the requirements, you will be reimbursed for prescription medications, medical equipment, inpatient and outpatient services, nursing care, and mental health care.
Here are the specific eligibility requirements you need to maintain to receive these health benefits:
Children who are physically or mentally disabled and unable to support themselves can stay under CHAMPVA even if they are above the normal age limit. Check any of the requirements for your children that fall under this category when you apply for further health benefits after your disabled child turns 18.
When reading this, you may be wondering what CHAMPVA entails.
There are no premiums when you receive health care services from CHAMPVA, and the coverage is free. However, there are deductibles and co-pays. There is an overall deductible of $50 a year. Once the participant pays that, they will pay 25% of the covered amount. CHAMPVA is available for current spouses, dependent children, surviving spouses, and surviving children.
If you are eligible for CHAMPVA, you cannot receive other health benefits such as TRICARE or CHAMPUS.
Make sure to go over all that is covered and not covered by your health benefits so you can use one that best suits your needs.
Even if your spouse is a disabled Veteran injured in the line of duty, you do not have to overlook your education or your children’s. You may be eligible for Dependents’ Educational Assistance (DEA), also called Chapter 35 benefits. These benefits are available provided your spouse’s discharge was not under dishonorable conditions, in addition to a few other considerations.
The VA gives benefits for education up to three years and nine months. Your children can use the benefits to pursue a degree, certificate, apprenticeship, or job training program. You could even use it for correspondence courses if you would like.
Your current state of residence may provide certain benefits depending on where you live.
These benefits include employment assistance, property tax exemptions, and even free counseling. The benefits will vary from state to state, so check with the Department of Veterans Assistance to know what your benefits include.
Sometimes, certain terminology and criteria can be confusing when it comes to VA benefits. Does it have to be a permanent disability to be given a 100% disability rating? No, and here is why.
When a Veteran receives a 100% disability rating, it does not mean that they will be permanently in this condition. A Veteran only receives a permanent disability rating when the medical evidence shows they will have that disability for the remainder of their life. For the VA, total and permanent disability are two different categories.
An example of a temporary total disability would be when a Veteran goes through surgery. Sometimes, this leaves the Veteran incapable of caring for themselves. If this is the case, the Veteran may receive benefits for being 100% disabled, but only until they recover. In these scenarios, the benefits will not last the Veteran’s lifetime.
For a disability to be total, it has to be a service-connected injury that leaves the Veteran with an impairment of the body or mind, making them unemployable or unable to sustain employment.
Just because a Veteran may be permanently disabled does not mean that they receive a total disability rating. A Veteran must be permanently and totally disabled to receive the benefits of both.
If you feel you are not getting the benefits you deserve due to a service-connected injury, reach out to a professional who can help along the way. Do not go about this journey alone. Veterans often do not feel that the VA gave them the proper rating for their disability. This may have to do with the status of the disability or a lack of evidence in determining the disability’s severity.
You can appeal a decision by the VA if you feel that is the best possible route to secure the necessary benefits, and a team of legal professionals can help. At Berry Law, we will help you get the rating and benefits you deserve.
Certain challenges come with being a spouse of a Veteran who is 100% disabled. Because of this, the VA has many benefits to help alleviate some of the burden. With financial, health, education, and state-related benefits, you can help yourself and your family along the way.
It is essential to know all the criteria to be eligible for these benefits. If you find that you are, but have still not received the benefits you deserve, contact a legal expert at Berry Law so that we can help you secure your benefits.
For any more information or guidance in the whole process of securing benefits, visit our website.
What is CHAMPVA Health Insurance? | Senior Veterans Service Alliance
CHAMPVA Benefits | Veterans Affairs
About VA DIC For Spouses, Dependents, And Parents | Veterans Affairs
Our monthly newsletter features about important and up-to-date veterans' law news, keeping you informed about the changes that matter.