38 U.S.C. § 1541 - Surviving spouses of veterans of a period of war

Cite as:38 U.S.C. § 1541
Currency:Current through P.L. 116-193 (10/30/2020)
 
FREE EXCERPT

(a) The Secretary shall pay to the surviving spouse of each veteran of a period of war who met the service requirements prescribed in section 1521(j) of this title, or who at the time of death was receiving (or entitled to receive) compensation or retirement pay for a service-connected disability, pension at the rate prescribed by this section, as increased from time to time under section 5312 of this title.

(b) If no child of the veteran is in the custody of the surviving spouse, pension shall be paid to the surviving spouse at the annual rate of $7,933, reduced by the amount of the surviving spouse's annual income.

(c) If there is a child of the veteran in the custody of the surviving spouse, pension shall be paid to the surviving spouse at the annual rate of $10,385. If the surviving spouse has custody of two or more such children, the annual pension rate shall be increased by $2,020 for each such child in excess of one. In each case, the rate payable shall be reduced by the amount of the surviving spouse's annual income and, subject to subsection (g) of this section, the annual income of each such child.

(d)

(1) If a surviving spouse who is entitled to pension under subsection (b) of this section is in need of regular aid and attendance, the annual rate of pension payable to such surviving spouse shall be $12,681, reduced by the amount of the surviving spouse's annual income.

(2) If a surviving spouse who is entitled to pension under subsection (c) of this section is in need of regular aid and attendance, the annual rate of pension payable to the surviving spouse shall be $15,128. If there are two or more children of the veteran in such surviving spouse's custody, the annual rate of pension shall be increased by $2,020 for each such child in excess of one. The rate payable shall be reduced by the amount of the surviving spouse's annual income and, subject to subsection (g) of this section, the annual income of each such child.

(e)

(1) If the surviving spouse is permanently housebound but does not qualify for pension at the aid and attendance rate provided by subsection (d) of this section, the annual rate of pension payable to such surviving spouse under subsection (b) of this section shall be $9,696 and the annual rate of pension payable to such surviving spouse under subsection (c) of this section shall be $12,144. If there are two or more children of the veteran in such surviving spouse's custody, the annual rate of pension shall be increased by $2,020 for each such child in excess of one. The rate payable shall be reduced by the amount of the surviving spouse's annual income and, subject to subsection (g) of this section, the income of any child of the veteran for whom the surviving spouse is receiving increased pension.

(2) For purposes of paragraph (1) of this subsection, the requirement of "permanently housebound" shall be met when the surviving spouse is substantially confined to such surviving spouse's house (ward or clinical areas, if institutionalized) or immediate premises by reason of a disability or disabilities reasonably certain to remain throughout such surviving spouse's lifetime.

(f) No pension shall be paid under this section to a surviving spouse of a veteran unless the spouse was married to the veteran-

(1) before (A) December 14, 1944, in the case of a surviving spouse of a Mexican border period or World War I veteran, (B) January 1, 1957, in the case of a surviving spouse of a World War II veteran, (C) February 1, 1965, in the case of a surviving spouse of a Korean conflict veteran, (D) May 8, 1985, in the case of a surviving spouse of a Vietnam era veteran, or (E) January 1, 2001, in the case of a surviving spouse of a veteran of the Persian Gulf War;

(2) for one year or more; or

(3) for any period of time if a child was born of the marriage, or was born to them before the marriage.

(g) In determining the annual income of a surviving spouse for the purposes of this section, if there is a child of the veteran in the custody of the surviving spouse, that portion of the annual income of the child that is reasonably available to or for the surviving spouse shall be considered to be income of the surviving spouse, unless in the judgment of the Secretary to do so would work a hardship on the surviving spouse.

(h) As used in this section and section 1542 of this title, the term "veteran" includes a person who has completed at least two years of honorable active military, naval, or air service, as certified by the Secretary concerned, but whose death in such service was not in line of duty.

To continue reading

FREE SIGN UP