How can we find out if my mother is eligible for VA survivor benefits?

1 answer | Last updated: Sep 21, 2016
A fellow caregiver asked...

My family just recently found out about VA survivor spouse benefits which we believe my mother would qualify for. She was recently put on Hospice care, but I'm still caring for her full-time at home. Would she still be eligible for VA benefits?


Expert Answers

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.

I am going to assume that your father did not die from a service connected disability. Your mother's eligibility for a survivor's benefit is based on her income and her expenses for home care (she can pay you) and health insurance premiums. Her eligibility is not impacted by her being on hospice. In fact, since she is teminally ill, the application process can be expedited. That said, the time it takes the VA to process her application can be lengthy, e.g. 8 or more months. If she passes away prior to the approval of the application, no benefit will be paid.