Surviving the loss or permanent disability of a spouse in active military duty is a trying ordeal. Few things, aside from time, will allow these wounds to heal. Benefits and support services provided by the government to survivors can help ease this struggle both mentally and financially.
Some of these services include bereavement counseling, educational and vocational benefits, health plans and more. Unremarried surviving spouses with a low income are also eligible for a benefit called Survivor’s Pension. This is a monetary benefit that can act as a supplement to current income and net worth. Survivor’s Pension also extends to unmarried children (under 18 years old) of a deceased service member.
Another major benefit granted to the un-remarried spouses of deceased service member is the VA Home Loan. The VA Home Loan can be either a Purchase Loan, an Interest Rate Reduction via refinancing or a Cash Out Refinance Loan.
The VA Home Purchase Loan allows a surviving spouse looking to purchase a new home to buy at a competitive interest rate. This can also be an effective means of financing when regular banking channels break down due to credit or other financial reasons.
The VA Cash Out Refinance Loan allows a spouse with an existing home to take cash out of the existing equity to support education programs, pay down debts and much more. This loan can also be utilized by a surviving spouse who needs to refinance a non-VA Loan into a VA loan.
If a survivor currently has a VA Home loan but is looking to refinance in order to lower monthly interest rate, the Veteran’s association also offers the IRRRL (Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan). The IRRRL can also be used to convert an adjustable rate mortgage to a fixed rate mortgage.
Both the purchase and the cash out refinancing loans are backed by the VA Home Loan Guarantee. This guarantee is provided by the Veteran’s Association as insurance for the private lending institution should the surviving spouse have issues providing regular payments.
There are many more benefits and services available to the surviving spouse of a service member. Please follow the links below to learn about them in detail.