My wife divorced a veteran in 1966. Is she still eligible for benefits?

16 answers | Last updated: Jul 13, 2016
A fellow caregiver asked...

My wife was previously married to a veteran who served in World War 2 and Korea. She divorced him in 1966. Is she still eligible for benefits?


Expert Answers

Rita Files, LPN, VSR, a nationally recognized expert on the elderly, has more than 30 years of experience in the health care industry, with 20 years focused on eldercare. She has developed programs for many leading providers in the senior living industry. Accredited through the V.A. in veterans' benefits, she is an advocate and powerful resource committed to educating veterans and their families about the nonservice connected pension benefit and providing them with accurate information. She is cofounder and COO of Aging with Grace.

Your wife would not be eligible to apply for VA benefits under her ex-husband. A divorce and subsequent remarriage terminates the eligibility of a non-veteran spouse for veterans' benefits because this person no longer meets the definition of spouse.


Community Answers

A fellow caregiver answered...

I have been married for 38 years. My husband retired military wants a divorce He receives va disability pay will his benefit go down. and if he remarries are they reinstated for him


Writergrrrl answered...

I am a widow of a veteran who served in Korea. He passed away 10 years ago, and I receive a small widow's pension. His death was considered not service connected. I've been trying to find any additional kind of monetary help for me through the VA because I now have stage 4 breast cancer and need help. Do you know anything in the VA that helps someone like me? Thank you.


A fellow caregiver answered...

Also people check with Social Security...check if you qualify for any portion of their benefits as well as VA.


A fellow caregiver answered...

My ex- husband is Viet Nam Vet. He remarried but I didn't. We had 3 children now grown. Am I or my children in do of any of his benifits? Also he had a life insurance policy,while in the service and while we were married. BellsnavyLi


Emily m. answered...

Hi anonymous, If you'd like to post your own question, you can do so in our Ask & Answer section here: ( https://www.caring.com/questions/new ). Take care. -- Emily | Community Manager


Confused in chicago answered...

According to the va if you are remarried you are not entitle to your husband benefit but if I was her I would look into it a little more.


Rick717 answered...

No, neither her or you (or any ex-spouse to answer all the questions here) are eligible to receive the veterans benefits after divorce. You did not serve as a member of the military, therefore you are not entitled to reap the benefits of being a veteran. Make sense? You have to earn what you get. Hope this helped.


A fellow caregiver answered...

Rick, that is not a true statement, I was married for 25 years to an active duty USAF member, we divorced after 25 years of marriage and I feel under the 20/20 rule. I recieve half his retirement, and tri care till I am 65. If I remarry it ends http://www.military-divorce-guide.com/former-spouse-military-benefits/202020-and-202015-benefits.htm


A fellow caregiver answered...

My mother was able to get my dad's (who is deceased) benefits, called "Aide and Attendance" from The Department of Veterans affairs. All we needed was his discharge papers.


Bethsquire answered...

Rick, your answer is incorrect, as well as insulting. While a military spouse may not serve directly, they make great sacrifices to support the servicemember. A military spouse surrenders their choice of where to live and when to move, endures the many hardships and stresses that military life and deployments put on families, tends to the physical and mental injuries of the servicemember, and they must re-start their careers each time they PCS. This is particularly difficult for spouses whose careers require state-level licensing, such as lawyers. Military spouses and children do earn the many benefits they are afforded and any suggestion otherwise is ill-informed and insensitive.


A fellow caregiver answered...

Rick answer. A military spouse that divorced from their military husband or wife is not entitled to VA benefits. If the veteran die then they will receive benefits only if they were still married.


Warrior to the end answered...

I loved my Dad dearly and he was away from me and my family and small community when I was a child. No one can tell me I didn't fight the battles he fought. My parents were married before the military and after. We paid for burial and grieved greatly at loosing him to agent orange cancer. Military never helped with colleges, nothing. I hear from retired vets, active servicemen, and read about benefits we have never gotten. This hurts deeply. My Dad always told me he fought for his country and us. My mother is classified as military and she should be respected and treated as such.


A fellow caregiver answered...

I have a question. I was married to a Veteran for 25 years, and had 3 children together. When he found another job and was transfered to several states, he wanted a divorce from me. he even call the local court house and filled the forms for the divorce for me. He know the laws of divorce well. he went to law school for a year and a family member also is an attorney who assisted him with advice. he demanded a divorce from me and i signed for it, and ended our marriage. At the time i had 3 teens to support. I only got $1000 alimony from him. i was totaly uneducated about devorce and life was devasteted for me and my children. i could not afford an attorney to give me advice. No one even cared. besides i was so busy working to pay the bills he created. he got remarried and the wife qualify for everything.. I believe that is a big crime who ever pass such a stupid law. My life was hell trying to help him with his education so he can help his children, instead i work all my life to make him someone to help his new wife. she was not much of a wife anyway. their life was all travelling and enjoy life. she did not suffered the way I did! I built his career to built his children. Just because he died and she was there, big deal. The medical facility did all the caring for him not her.


Rich from florida answered...

To the WriterGirl You should contact the local chapter of the Korean War Vets. As the surviving spouse of a Korean War Vet. If you are experiencing financial difficulties you may be entitled to a Survivors Pension. "VA helps Veterans and their families cope with financial challenges by providing supplemental income through the Veterans Pension and Survivors Pension benefit programs." Once deemed eligible for a Pension you may also be able to receive Aid & Attendance. Also the Korean War Vets have a fund set up to assist Vets and their spouses.


Joshandles answered...

Any spouse who believes they are not entitled to benefits should research this--

Uniformed Services' Former Spouse Protection Act

You may not get benefits from the divorce but if you meet guidelines (length of marriage and his or her length of service), when your spouse retires you can collect a portion of their retirement benefits until you remarry or die (or they pass)