The VA awards extra compensation to spouses of Veterans rated at or above a certain percentage of disability. This amount varies yearly as it considers COLA adjustments and the number of dependents the Veteran has.
A 100% schedular rating is based on one debilitating service-connected condition or a combination of conditions causing significant impairment. Berry Law can help you understand what benefits your spouse may be eligible for.
Additional spousal benefits
A spouse of a disabled veteran who receives a 100% disability rating may be eligible for additional benefits. These include a tax-free monetary benefit called Dependency and Indemnity Compensation, burial benefits, housebound benefits, and more.
Exploring the various aspects of 100 percent disabled veteran benefits for your spouse is essential to ensure you fully understand the support and resources available to you as a veteran and your loved ones.
Spouses of disabled veterans also have access to education benefits through Dependents Educational Assistance (DEA) programs. They can use these benefits for degree and certificate programs, apprenticeships, on-the-job training, and correspondence courses.
Additionally, a surviving spouse of a deceased disabled veteran can receive survivor pension benefits to help cover living expenses. These are payable monthly based on a rate set by Congress.
Home loan programs
The VA provides several programs that make homeownership more accessible for disabled veterans. These include fee-free mortgage loans, property tax exemptions, and a funding fee waiver. The latter is beneficial for those with higher disability ratings. Disabled vets also qualify for Specially Adapted Housing and Temporary Residence Adaptation grants to help pay for home modifications to make them more accessible.
The VA also provides educational assistance and vocational training. This includes degree and certificate programs, apprenticeships, and on-the-job training. It pays for a substantial portion of tuition costs for dependents, too. This includes spouses and children, although their eligibility requirements vary by state. It’s essential to keep the VA updated on any changes in family status so that benefits aren’t cut off.
Aid and attendance benefits
Many veterans with 100 percent service-connected disabilities are eligible for specific benefits that benefit not only the Veteran but their family as well. One such program, Aid and Attendance Benefits, provides tax-free payments to help lessen the burden of those who require assistance with daily activities. These benefits are added to the base disability payment a Veteran receives.
The VA also offers travel benefits to pay for transportation costs to medical appointments. These are not limited to just trips to and from the VA hospital but can also include other forms of transportation, such as taxis or ambulatory services.
The Veteran must meet clinical and financial requirements to qualify for this benefit. A Veterans benefits attorney can explain the eligibility requirements and help a Veteran determine whether this or other benefits may be available. A lawyer can also guide the application and appeals process.
Dependency and indemnity compensation
The surviving spouse and dependent children of a Veteran rated 100% disabled may be eligible for a tax-free cash benefit called Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC). This is based on the service-connected disability rating of the deceased Veteran.
DIC payments are adjusted each year for increases in the cost of living. Spouses of a veteran with a 100% rating might also be able to use educational benefits through the Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs (CHAMPVA).
When a Veteran is rated 100 percent disabled, it means that they have been determined to have permanent, total disabilities due to injuries or illness. This rating typically requires them to waive military retirement dollars, dollar for dollar, to receive their VA disability compensation payments.
This reduces the disposable retirement pay available for division in a divorce, which harms the spouse’s economic interests. An experienced military disability attorney can help you navigate this process.