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Va Survivors Pension And Social Security

Who Qualifies For Social Security Survivor Benefits

Can I Get VA Survivor Benefits and Social Security?

Monthly survivor benefits are available to certain family members, including:

  • A widow age 60 or older who has not remarried
  • A widow of any age who is caring for the deceaseds child under age 16 or disabled
  • An unmarried child of the deceased who is younger than age 18 , or 18 or older with a disability that began before age 22
  • A stepchild, grandchild, step-grandchild, or adopted child, under certain circumstances
  • Parents, age 62 or older, who were dependent on the deceased for at least half of their income and whose own Social Security benefit would not be larger than that of the deceased offspring
  • A surviving divorced spouse, if they meet other eligibility requirements

First of all, you have to work a certain number of years and amass the requisite number of credits each year for your loved ones to be eligible for benefitswhich you have to do to be eligible yourself. For 2021, you receive one credit for every $1,470 you earn, up to $5,880, for a total of four credits a year. In 2022, it rises to every $1,510 you earn, up to $6,040.

To Wait Or Not To Wait

Consider taking benefits earlier if . . .

  • You are no longer working and cant make ends meet without your benefits.
  • You are in poor health and dont expect the surviving member of the household to make it to average life expectancy.
  • You are the lower-earning spouse, and your higher-earning spouse can wait to file for a higher benefit.

Consider waiting to take benefits if . . .

  • You are still working and make enough to impact the taxability of your benefits.
  • Either you or your spouse are in good health and expect to exceed average life expectancy.
  • You are the higher-earning spouse and want to be sure your surviving spouse receives the highest possible benefit.

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Additional Requirements For Surviving Spouses And Dependents

An unremarried spouse of a qualified deceased veteran is eligible to receive the Survivors Pension at any age. However, once the recipient remarries, they no longer qualify for this monetary benefit. Eligibility may be reestablished if the surviving spouses remarriage was annulled or declared void or if the remarriage was terminated due to death or divorce on or after January 1, 1971, and before November 1, 1990.

A late veterans child only counts as a dependent if he or she meets ONE of the following requirements:

  • Under age 23 if attending a VA-approved school
  • Permanently incapable of self-support due to a disability that arose before age 18

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Eligibility Requirements For Survivors Pension

Like the basic VA Pension, there are several eligibility requirements for the Survivors Pension. These are primarily based on the deceased veterans service, but surviving dependents must also meet some guidelines to receive financial assistance.

The first and simplest requirement is that the deceased veteran must have received a discharge other than dishonorable. All other requirements are described in detail below.

Earnings Limit On Survivor Benefits

SMC for short, is a tax

If you file for any Social Security retirement benefit before your full retirement age, there is a limit to how much you can earn. The fact that this also applies to survivor benefits will often catch individuals by surprise.

If you are under full retirement age you are limited to $19,560 in wages or net earnings from self employment. If you exceed that limit, your benefit will be reduced by $1 for every $2 you go over. The one exception is the calendar year you turn full retirement age. For that period, your limit is a much higher $51,960. The amount theyll reduce your benefit by is more generous as well.

Once you are full retirement age, there is no limit to the amount you can earn while drawing Social Security. You can read my article on the Social Security earnings limit or watch my video.

NOTE: Although the SSA uses a slightly different table for determining FRA for survivor benefits, the earnings limit is always tied to FRA for retirement benefits.

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Va Benefits For Children Of Vietnam Or Korean Veterans Born With Spina Bifida

$1,054 $1,769

The period of eligibility for spouses of Servicemembers who died on active duty expires 20 years from the date of death. This is a change in law that became effective Dec. 10, 2004. Spouses of Servicemembers who died on active duty whose 10-year eligibility period expired before Dec. 10, 2004, now have 20 years from the date of death to use educational benefits.

Effective Oct. 10, 2008, Public Law 110-389 provides a 20-year period of eligibility for spouses of Veterans with a permanent and total service-connected disability rating effective within 3 years of release from active duty.

Retroactive Application For Mother/father Benefits

When you file for mother/father benefits, you can backdate your application by up to 6 months , thereby allowing you to receive a lump sum for months for which you were eligible for a benefit but simply had not yet filed for such.

A reader writes in, asking:

I often hear how smart it is to wait until I turn 70 to begin taking my SS benefit. But I have also read that there is a maximum possible benefit. How can I be sure that I wont run into that maximum before age 70?

This is a common misunderstanding of what is meant by a maximum benefit. There are two different maximum benefits that you might read about , but, to be clear, neither one gets in the way of you waiting until age 70 to file for your retirement benefit.

That is, there is no rule that stops you from accumulating delayed retirement credits due to having run into some maximum. Said yet another way, your own maximum retirement benefit, for a given level of earnings history, will occur if you file at age 70, not prior to age 70.

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Va Home Loan Guaranty:

A VA loan guaranty to acquire a home may be available to an unmarried spouse of a Veteran or Servicemember who died as a result of service-connected disabilities, a surviving spouse who remarries after age 57, or to a spouse of a Servicemember officially listed as MIA or who is currently a POW for more than 90 days. Spouses of those listed MIA/POW are limited to one loan. Surviving spouses of certain totally disabled Veterans, whose disability may not have been the cause of death, may also be eligible for VA loan guaranty.

Other Mortgage And Financial Calculators

VA Pensions for Surviving Spouses | VA Benefits for Veterans’ Wives & Husbands | theSITREP

In addition to the standard mortgage calculator, this page lets you access more than 100 other financial calculators covering a broad variety of situations. Choose from calculators covering various aspects of mortgages, auto loans, investments, student loans, taxes, retirement planning and more.

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Am I Eligible For A Va Survivors Pension As The Child Of A Deceased Wartime Veteran

You may be eligible for this benefit if youre unmarried and you meet at least one of these requirements.

At least one of these must be true:

  • Youre under age 18, or
  • Youre under age 23 and attending a VA-approved school, or
  • Youre unable to care for yourself due to a disability that happened before age 18

The Basics About Survivors Benefits

. If you are working and paying into Social Security, some of those taxes you pay are for survivors benefits. Your spouse, children, and parents could be eligible for benefits based on your earnings.

. You and your family could be eligible for benefits based on the earnings of a worker who died. The deceased person must have worked long enough to qualify for benefits.

For more information, please read .

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Can I Get Va Survivor Benefits And Social Security

Many spouses and children of veterans have questions about VA survivors benefits. One of the most common type of survivor benefits is what is commonly known as DIC Benefits.

DIC stands for Dependency and Indemnity Compensation. In this article, I want to answer some of the most common questions that I get asked about DIC benefits.

What Am I Entitled To If My Partner Dies

The widow or widowerâs guide to Social Security benefits

Being in a so called common law partnership will not give couples any legal protection whatsoever, and so under the law, if someone dies and they have a partner that they are not married to, then that partner has no right to inherit anything unless the partner that has passed away has stated in their will that they

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The File And Suspend Strategy

Prior to 2016, workers could file for benefits , then suspend their own benefits in order to maximize their credits for deferred filing. This so-called file and suspend strategy meant that a lower-income partner could take advantage of spousal benefits while the primary earner accrued delayed retirement credits, thereby increasing their benefit amount.

However, this have your cake and eat it, too loophole was closed with the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, which took effect in April 2016.

While it is still possible to file for benefits and then suspend payments temporarily, any other benefits that would normally be available on your account are no longer payable during such suspensions.

Pennsylvania Attorneys Who Stand Up For Veterans

If you have been denied the VA pension benefits you deserve, Martin Law has the experienced and skilled lawyers you need to create a compelling appeal. Our law firms staff of attorneys include Frank J. Udinson, who the VA has certified as veterans benefits specialist.

To secure a free consultation with one of our attorneys, call Martin Law at . You can also contact us online.

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The Rating For Aid And Attendance

A Rating Allows for Special Deductions and Additional Income Allowances VA will provide additional income in the form of an allowance on top of the basic Survivor’s Pension benefit of $8,830/year or $735/month if the widow has a regular medical need for assistance or a need for supervision due to disability. This is sometimes called “Improved Survivor’s Pension” or “Survivor’s Pension with an allowance.”

A medical need for assistance or supervision due to disability is, in most cases, crucial to getting the Survivor’s Pension benefit or not getting it. A so-called “rating” from VA recognizes either the regular need for aid and attendance from another entity or the condition of being housebound. This rating, determined by a doctor’s examination is determined from VA Form 21-2680, and allows certain medical and care expenses and ancillary non-medical expenses to be subtracted or deducted from future income.

A “rating” also increases the allowable Survivor’s Pension rate as seen above in the MAPR Chart. For example, a surviving spouse with no rating is only eligible for basic Survivor’s Pension, up to $735/month. If the same surviving spouse becomes unhealthy and proves a need for the ongoing aid and care of another individual, he or she would be eligible for up to $1,176/month.

Unfortunately, very few of all eligible surviving spouses are actually receiving Survivor’s Pension. Most do not know of the benefit nor this special deduction.

Activities Of Daily Living And Instrumental Activities Of Daily Living

Maximize Your Income! | VA and Social Security Benefits Together | Find Out More

Activities of Daily Living VA uses the terms “Medical Services” and “Nursing Services” and “Custodial Care” somewhat interchangeably. Generally, care involving two or more Activities of Daily Living is considered “Custodial Care.” Once a medical need is established and 2 or more ADLs are part of a claimant’s custodial care, the surviving spouse’s ongoing care costs are considered Unreimbursed Medical Expenses . UMEs can be deducted from income. This helps the claimant receive more of the applicable Pension maximum amount. We have taken rules from 38 CFR §3.352 and applied them to a more modern terminology of what is to be considered Activities of Daily Living. Here is our list based on the regulation.

  • Assistance with bathing or showering
  • Assistance with toileting and incontinence
  • Assistance with feeding
  • Assistance with dressing or undressing
  • Assistance with transferring in or out of a bed or chair
  • Assistance with ambulating
  • Assistance with keeping oneself ordinarily clean and presentable, including hygiene issues
  • Assistance with frequent need of adjustment of special prosthetic or orthopedic devices which cannot be done without the aid of another person
  • Having an incapacity requiring care or assistance on a regular basis to protect the patient from hazards or dangers incident to his or her daily environment
  • Is a patient in a nursing home because of mental or physical incapacity
  • Meets the criteria of being totally bedridden as defined in the regulation
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    Definition Of Surviving Spouse And Rules Pertaining To Application

    The rules pertaining to application for Survivor’s Pension for a single surviving spouse who was married to a veteran are very much the same as the rules pertaining to application for Pension. There are, however, some minor but very important differences.

    The single surviving spouse can be any age and does not have to be permanently and totally disabled prior to age 65. The veteran, who died, did not have to be totally disabled if death occurred before age 65. The veteran who died does have to qualify based on active duty service days as well as serving during a period of war.

    Application should not be made unless it is certain that the surviving spouse meets the rules to be a surviving spouse. All of these following conditions must apply or the surviving spouse is not eligible for Death Pension.

  • The surviving spouse must have met the conditions to be married under VA rules. Generally this means a marriage lasting at least one year or a child was born as a result of the marriage regardless of the length of time married. Under certain conditions, VA will also accept common-law marriages or marriages where the couple held themselves out to be married and can prove that was their intent.
  • The surviving spouse must have lived continuously with the veteran while they were married unless they were separated due to the fault of the veteran.
  • The surviving spouse must have been married to the veteran when the veteran died.
  • Survivors& Dependents Educational Assistance Eligibility:

    VA provides educational assistance to qualifying dependents as follows:

  • The spouse or child of a Servicemember or Veteran who either died of a service-connected disability, or who has permanent and total service-connected disability, or who died while such a disability existed.
  • The spouse or child of a Servicemember listed for more than 90 days as currently Missing in Action , captured in the line of duty by a hostile force, or detained or interned by a foreign government or power.
  • The spouse or child of a Servicemember who is hospitalized or receives outpatient care or treatment for a disability that is determined to be totally and permanently disabling, incurred or aggravated due to active duty, and for which the service member is likely to be discharged from military service.
  • Surviving spouses lose eligibility if they remarry before age 57 or are living with another person who has been recognized publicly as their spouse. They can regain eligibility if their remarriage ends by death or divorce or if they cease living with the person. Dependent children do not lose eligibility if the surviving spouse remarries. Visit www.benefits.va.gov/gibill/ for more information.

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    What Is Survivors Pension With Aid And Attendance

    Survivor’s Pension also known as Death Pension is a disability income program available to the single surviving spouse and/or dependent children of a deceased veteran who served during a period of war.

    Eligibility requirements for the deceased veteran include active duty service for at least 90 days – with one of those days during a period of war – and an honorable discharge or a discharged classified as other than dishonorable. Service in combat is not required. For deceased veterans of the Gulf War, the service requirement is 24 months or completion of the requirement for active duty service, whichever comes first.

    Here is the Period of War chart for benefit purposes:

    Period of War

    Korean Conflict

    Vietnam Era

    Gulf War

    For Qualified Surviving Spouses With At Least 1 Dependent:

    If you have 1 dependent child and Your MAPR amount is :
    If you have 1 dependent child and You dont qualify for Housebound or Aid and Attendance benefits Your MAPR amount is : 14,078


    • The Survivor Benefit Plan /Minimum Income Annuity limitation is $10,757.
    • If you have more than 1 child, add $2,743 to your MAPR amount for each additional child.
    • If you have a child who works, you may exclude their wages up to $13,850.
    • If you have medical expenses, you may deduct only the amount thats above 5% of your MAPR amount .

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