If my mother remarried a man who wasn't a veteran, does she lose her veteran benefits?

A fellow caregiver asked...

I have a question about the Veteran Aid and Attendance program. I have attended seminars and no one is, or able, to answer my question.

Dad was WWII Vet, dad past away 1996. Mom and Dad were married over 40 years. After dad past away, in 1998, mom remarried. This man was not in the military, thou, I have told he had his own business which supplied material to the government during the wars. In 2002, he past away. Barely married to mom less than 5 years.

Mom lives in her own home (still owns) w/ my brother. He lives there free/clear. She has dementia and other health related problems. My brother and I have DPOA, but my brother says he "established residency" hires in-home caregiving which is dwiddling her savings away.

1) Did mom lose her eligibility for Vet Benefits for Aid and Attendance because she remarried someone not physically a Vet?

2) Doesn't being married to a Vet for over 40 years count for some benefit? 3) Mom has pension and SS, which is approx $2300 monthly

Mom and I live in Michigan. I have a multitude of issues with my brotehr, but will stay focused on my question concerning the Vet Aid and Attendence, I would appreciate any help on this matter. Thank you. Please help....

Expert Answer

Barbara Steinberg is the CEO and founder of BLS Eldercare Financial Solutions, which specializes in helping families pay for long-term care for their loved ones. A registered financial gerontologist, she speaks regularly on the topic of paying for long-term care and is a financial expert for Caring.com.

When a widow of a Veteran remarries a non-Veteran and he subsequently dies, there is a very specific rule that applies. The second marriage must have ended on or before November 1, 1990 for the surviving spouse to be eligible for a widow's pension with or without Aid and Attendance. In your mother's case, both marriages ended after this date, so she is not eligible for this benefit. The base benefit is a pension, which is means-tested. This means that there are financial qualifications. Aid and Attendance is an additional award when the claimant needs assistance from someone else to help with daily activities. In this case, the means test doesn't apply because your mother does not meet the eligibility criteria for a surviving spouse.